Colts Pre-Season Game #2 Notes

Last night we finally had the opportunity to watch Andrew Luck and co. play against a quality team in a hostile environment when the Indianapolis Colts kicked off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.  Despite losing 24-26 on a late Pittsburgh field goal, the new look Colts showed us many things to feel positive about.

So just like last week, here are the Studs, the Duds, and the Question Marks from this week’s game.

STUDS

Colts Camp Report – Who is Standing Out?

With almost a full week of camp under their belts, the Indianapolis Colts are starting to look like a team again and not just a collection of new/young transplanted players. As expected, Andrew Luck already looks comfortable with a horseshoe on his head completing over 70% of his throws with limited turnovers early in camp. But beyond the obvious, who is standing out so far?

Colts Camp, Who to Watch

With Colts Camp set to begin this weekend, a new era of Indianapolis Colts football is set to begin. Gone are mainstays such as Peyton Manning, Jeff Saturday, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, and Gary Brackett. In to replace them are a large group of rookies and young vets looking to carve a name for themselves in this league. While the media has pretty well written this season off for the Colts and put us as the worst team, I still see a lot of promise and believe 8-8 is a possibility, 6-10 is realistic, and 4-12 is the worst case scenario. All of this depends on how some guys perform in camp. Here are the top 5 players to watch as Colts camp begins.

Pagano’s Colts Redecorating, Not Rebuilding

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano banned the word “rebuilding” from everyone’s vocabulary.  “Redecorating” is the new word around town.  Maybe revamping is another good word for it.  Whatever the case the colts are totally doing just that.  Coach Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky both come from a 3-4 and are finally  implicating that system after playing a soft Tampa 2 since the Tony Dungy days started.  Im very excited to get away from it and play more physical defense.

Pat Angerer will benefit the most from the switch in my opinion. He will be able to play more up on the ball and plug the seams. Last year he had to drop back into coverage way to much.  He obviously shown freak talent since getting playing time. It’s exciting to think about Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as defensive/linebackers. Both will be playing new roles that they have never seen. I see the change for the good and both players can really really shine in the hybrid scheme.
Coach Pagano has a lot of work to do, don’t get me wrong.  The secondary is a major concern with Jarraud Powers is the only proven guy we have. If he stays healthy this could be a really good year for him  I seem to think that Chuck is ready for the challenge.   Colts fans are ready for a more in your face defense that’s for sure.

Andrew Luck Finishes Up At Stanford

Know that Andrew luck is just as excited to get to Indianapolis on Tuesday as we all are.  Luck is finishing up his degree in architecture in Palo Alto, California a world away from his receivers, coaches, and team.  He of course was banned from working out at the complex until he finished his degree.  Fellow colts teammate and college roommate Coby Fleener is also finishing up at Stanford.  We all are counting on Luck to be our savior since the release of Peyton Manning.  Andrew is very smart and I am sure he was hitting the play book hard

The Colts were banned from communicating with him over computer or phone and were also not allowed to travel to him.  At first Jim Irsay was gonna let Luck use his private plane to get around, until the league caught word and nixed that.  His receivers were allowed to travel to California, but apparently never had the opportunity to get together and work out.  Austin Collie did have dinner with Luck and his girlfriend, but no passes were thrown. (Unless maybe they went to a Dave and Busters).
I think it’s a great thing that Andrew is finishing his degree that he worked so hard on for years.  All we have known since 1998 is a smart quarterback, nothing looks to change this year.  He seems like a very likable fellow as well.  I had the opportunity to speak with both Luck and Fleener via twitter while they were at the Players Association Headquarters.  Coby said when asked how he was able to focus on school when all he had was football on the brain, “It’s difficult.  I can’t wait to be done with school.  I loved my time at Stanford but am ready for the NFL”.  I asked Luck kinda a funny question about his appearance on Gruden’s Quarterback Camp.  He vowed to never throw to the Venus again on a spider 3 y banana.  Saying “Coach Gruden made sure I will never do that again.  I learned my lesson against USC last year”. (He threw a pick six late in the game after making the wrong read).
I bought my Luck jersey last weekend, so I am very excited for our new Captain to finally get here on Tuesday.  Not as excited for the return of the neck beard.

Comeback Player of the Year – Donnie Avery

There comes a time in every young career where a player must face some sort of adversity. For Indianapolis Colts WR Donnie Avery, that adversity came early, and unlike most players, it just would not leave him alone. This story is not about his failures however, it is about what he is about to do in his 5th professional season.

A Letter To Bill Polian

Dear Mr. Polian,

 As a lifelong Colts fan, I do have a great appreciation for the teams that you built for us in the late 90’s and the abundance of success that we enjoyed under your management throughout the early 2000’s.  Because of these teams, we have a beautiful Super Bowl Championship banner flying high above Lucas Oil Stadium and we just had the opportunity to host our cities first Super Bowl. 

Colts Draft Day Targets By Round

This offseason, the Indianapolis Colts have gone through their first full scale roster purge since the mid-90’s. There are a lot of roster holes that that have to be filled before training camp. Despite some quality free agent signings, there are still plenty of gaping holes to fill. True to Colts form, they plan to utilize the draft to fill these holes and begin to build a new dynasty.

So who should the Colts target in each round? Here is my “expert” opinion:

Manning Mania

If you have read any of my blogs here on Tim Tebow you should know two things.  One, I think Tim Tebow is an outstanding person and two, I think Tim Tebow will never be an NFL quarterback.  I believe John Elway thinks the same things.

I have long said that Elway does not believe Tebow can fix his mechanics.  Like me, I believe Elway thinks that 20 years of mechanics cannot be corrected in any span of time no matter how motivated the person may be.  I believe that Denver is NOT going to play a college style offense in the NFL.  They tried to work with it this season and against some mediocre teams it had a little success. However, against the elite teams in the NFL that kind of play is never, ever going to work.  Elway knows this.

That’s What He Said

I do not care what Colts owner Jim Irsay or QB Peyton Manning have to say, neither of them is telling the whole truth.

There has been much made of the “war of word” between Irsay and Manning over the last week.  Tweet fight has become the new catch phrase of the day.  Only people are making a lot out of nothing because what Irsay and Manning are “fighting” about has little to do with the truth of the situation.  Neither of them is telling the truth about where it is the Colts and Peyton Manning truly are.  But I will…or what I BELIEVE to be the truth.