More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

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    More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

         As is the case with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning needs solid protection to be at his best. That said, there may be a problem for the Colts at the all important LT spot. OG Charlie Johnson is being moved to LT, to replace the disappointing incumbent, Tony Ugoh: http://www.indystar.com/article/20090810/SPORTS03/90810037/1100/Johnson+returns+to+practice++replaces+Ugoh+on+starting+line

         You may remember that Ugoh was acquired in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft to replace the then retiring Tarik Glenn. Bill Polian traded his #1 draft choice in 2008, plus a 4th rounder, to get him. If Ugoh isn't the player that Indy hoped he'd be, this would be a major blow to the Colts'...and could speed along a possible decline in the AFC South: http://blogs.indystar.com/philb/2009/08/now_starting_at_lt.html 

         Expect the Colts to run the ball and screen more often in 2009, with RBs Donald Brown and Joseph Addai. Perhaps this may help to keep defenses honest, and take some pressure off their OL.  
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    this team has averaged 11 wins a season since 1999, manning's second year.  they've only had one season without double digit wins, 6 in 01', during that span.  peyton manning hasn't missed one game in his career, an 11 year span.  the odds are that the offense will keep rolling.  it seems to me manning's quick release and strong pocket presence may have more to do with his continued success than the talent of his offensive line.  i don't think they're close to falling down the ladder yet. 

    whatch more for how caldwell handles in game situations, how he reacts to things when they aren't going smooth, and how he handles the media with respect to comparisons between he and the possibly hall of fame coach he has replaced.  also that defense.....is freeney as explosive as he once was, can sanders stay healthy, and can their defense play cohesive fundamental football, which they seem to struggle with at times from year to year.

     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    TP -

    There are definitely grumblings about this, but, frankly, this is not surprising.  Ugoh has been given 2 years to prove himself and has not produced as expected.  Maybe that will change.  He is young, but at this time, apparently he is not the best at the position. 

    Why don't I believe it will hurt the colts too much? 

    1.  Because if he is not the best for the position but has been in place 2 years, then his replacement can only be an upgrade. 
    2.  With Ugoh in place, the colts gave up 23 and 14 sacks in each of the last 2 years.  Last year's 14 was one of the best in the league with a rotating offensive line due to injuries and more immobile than normal QB due to 2 surgeries. 

    Why might this help the colts?

    1.  The colts running game was one of the worst in the NFL last year.  This can be attributed to both injuries on the line and injury to Joe Addai.  But also, maybe Ugoh is not a very effective run  blocker.  With the drafting of Donald Brown and Addai's return to health, there has to be an expectation that the colts will run more.  I am hoping that Charlie Johnson in the LT position makes the run blocking better. 

    This is obviously preseason optimism.  We'll know more when its time to actually play the games.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]TP - There are definitely grumblings about this, but, frankly, this is not surprising.  Ugoh has been given 2 years to prove himself and has not produced as expected.  Maybe that will change.  He is young, but at this time, apparently he is not the best at the position.  Why don't I believe it will hurt the colts too much?  1.  Because if he is not the best for the position but has been in place 2 years, then his replacement can only be an upgrade.  2.  With Ugoh in place, the colts gave up 23 and 14 sacks in each of the last 2 years.  Last year's 14 was one of the best in the league with a rotating offensive line due to injuries and more immobile than normal QB due to 2 surgeries.  Why might this help the colts? 1.  The colts running game was one of the worst in the NFL last year.  This can be attributed to both injuries on the line and injury to Joe Addai.  But also, maybe Ugoh is not a very effective run  blocker.  With the drafting of Donald Brown and Addai's return to health, there has to be an expectation that the colts will run more.  I am hoping that Charlie Johnson in the LT position makes the run blocking better.  This is obviously preseason optimism.  We'll know more when its time to actually play the games.
    Posted by underdogg[/QUOTE]

    Underdogg,

    Did you catch last night's HOF game?  I only saw part of it but the Titans looked pretty good it seemed--espescially for a pre-seaon game and an early one at that. Since they are in your division, I assume you have to be concerned with them as a potential rival to the Colts.  But then, I also have to say that the Bills did NOT look to good to me, so I can't be sure if the Titans are really as good as they apepared to be, or the Bills were so bad, they just made them look better.  I'd be interested in your thoughts (and anyone else's who saw the game.)
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    I saw only a bit of it, but what I saw did make me more concerned than I was.  I don't know why (except to say I listened to the pundits) I thought the loss of one guy (Haynesworth) would make so much of a difference. 

    I was sure they would be good, but maybe they will be better than anyone really thought.  I am going to chalk it up to preseason and say that what we saw was essentially nothing.  Colts optimism, baby.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009 : Underdogg, Did you catch last night's HOF game?  I only saw part of it but the Titans looked pretty good it seemed--espescially for a pre-seaon game and an early one at that. Since they are in your division, I assume you have to be concerned with them as a potential rival to the Colts.  But then, I also have to say that the Bills did NOT look to good to me, so I can't be sure if the Titans are really as good as they apepared to be, or the Bills were so bad, they just made them look better.  I'd be interested in your thoughts (and anyone else's who saw the game.)
    Posted by Rimfire[/QUOTE]

         Don't know if the Titans have the personnel to take advantage of the Colts' areas of weakness. Much depends on whether they can take a lead, and play ahead.

         A lot about football is match-ups. Good pass-rushing teams like Philly, Giants, Dallas, Minnesota, SD, Pittsburgh, and, believe it or not, Houston, seem to match up pretty well with Indy. 

         Incidently, Ugoh was hurt quite a bit last season...and...as we Patriot fans so painfully learned in SB 42, just because a team doesn't give up many sacks statistically...doesn't mean that all is well with the OL. Furthermore, the Colts' rushing attack was one of the worst in the game last year...largely because of poor OL play. This made the Colts a one-dimensional team on offense. 

         C Jeff Saturday is old, and coming off knee surgery. Charlie Johnson, a former 6th round pick, and Indy's 2nd round pick in 2008, C/OG Mike Poll@ck, have both had knee problems. But for a couple of fortunate wins (at Houston and in Minnesota), Indy was extremely close to falling out of playoff contention in the first half of last season. 

         What players has Indy added to improve their OL? Are they counting too heavily on young OG Steve Justice, who likely will replace Johnson? 

         Other concerns are the health (as always) of SS Bob Sanders, and kicker Benedict Adam Vinatieri: http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/07/31/pair-of-marquee-colts-start-camp-on-pup-list/   
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    I watched the game last night (at least the first three quarters). And I do not think it was Buffalo's defense which was so bad. Their O-line was pretty bad, though. They have two rookies starting, and they lost Peters. Owens will soon be complaining when Edwards can't get him the ball because he is on his back or has a DT in his face! But the Titans offense looked extremely sharp. Collins was on target (and his O-line gave him plenty of time), and Alge Crumpler looks like he will be a huge help. They also picked up a good WR in Washington from the Steelers. True, it's really hard to judge from a few possessions in a preseason game, but they looked like they will be right in the mix in the AFC South. As long as they keep Vince Young on the bench, that is. The Bills defense pretty much plugged up the middle for Chris Johnson, he got nowhere running into the line. But Lendale White (a shadow of his former self after losing 25 pounds or so) was still plowing through the middle at the goal line. I thought they might be a fluke at 13-3 last year, but it appears they may just be for real. Fisher is a good coach, and seems to have them motivated. And though they lost Haynesworth, they still have Vanden Bosch, who is now healthy, and he's a beast. I'm not buying into the Texans hype that's floating around, and who knows how the Jags will do. But I'm thinking Tennessee will give Indy all they can handle this season. It should be a tight race, IMO.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    Bill Polian needs to be extra brilliant now just to break even.  For a number of years the Colts were the most free-spending team in the league, in an age of salary caps.  They would have had to mortgage their future in order to pull off this trick for several years in a row.  So now Indy has a mortgage hanging over the team, payable to once-upon-a-times such as Marvin Harrison even if Harrison takes his shots downfield on the street and in a courtroom these days.  That means no backups, at least not better than JAG status, and a few holes.  Any team's actual hollowness is rarely visible at first.

    Give them time to put some subs in.  The Patriots play them 11/15/09 at Indy.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from underdogg. Show underdogg's posts

    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    TP -

    I think there are enough reasons for concern along the line - but per your comments re: the pats o-line, I say this: if the line can get you to the SB, they are plenty good enough. 

    You are right, Ugoh was hurt last year and missed 4 games.  Not too concerned about Johnson's knees.  He actually started all 16 games last year in various positions.  Saturday is just fine.  I expect good things from him.  Polluck is young, healthy and ready to go. 

    Last year, Indy drafted not only Polluck but also Jamie Richard (OG) in the 7th from Buffalo.  Richard played well last year starting 7 games as a rookie at C and LG. 

    Ryan Diem is a lock at LT.  The biggest question is Ryan Lilja coming off of multiple knee surgeries and out the entire season last year.  Good thing Mudd is back for one more year. 

    As for Justice, I think they have him penciled in as Saturday's back up, but as you know (or at least for the colts) many of these guys play multiple positions.

    Not at all worried about the secondary.  Bullitt played very well in the absence of Sanders.  In fact, I believe the colts have one of the more talented and deep secondaries in the league. 

    Vinateri is definitely a question.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

         Colts fans should be concerned about Jeff Saturday. He is the anchor of the Indy OL, and was a great center. But, the fact remains that hes' 34 years old, and playing on injury ravaged, 34 year old knees. Youngsters Justice and Poll@ck may be pressed into service.

         Dogg may like Indy's young DBs, but...lets' not kid ourselves. The Indy defense is not the same quick, pesky bunch, without Bob Sanders.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]     As is the case with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning needs solid protection to be at his best. That said, there may be a problem for the Colts at the all important LT spot. OG Charlie Johnson is being moved to LT, to replace the disappointing incumbent, Tony Ugoh: http://www.indystar.com/article/20090810/SPORTS03/90810037/1100/Johnson+returns+to+practice++replaces+Ugoh+on+starting+line      You may remember that Ugoh was acquired in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft to replace the then retiring Tarik Glenn. Bill Polian traded his #1 draft choice in 2008, plus a 4th rounder, to get him. If Ugoh isn't the player that Indy hoped he'd be, this would be a major blow to the Colts'...and could speed along a possible decline in the AFC South: http://blogs.indystar.com/philb/2009/08/now_starting_at_lt.html        Expect the Colts to run the ball and screen more often in 2009, with RBs Donald Brown and Joseph Addai. Perhaps this may help to keep defenses honest, and take some pressure off their OL.  
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    TEX:
    I agree with your stance on the colts. Tony Yugo will be considered a bust for sure if he remains a second stringer. I look for the Colts to be competitive, but, by no means dominant. I'm not so sure this years top pick,RB Donald Brown will pan out either. I don't think their team is quick enough or tough enough upfront on both sides of the ball to contend for a title. That and a rookie head coach will be the demise of the Colts this season. 
    How I see it:
    JAX -W (barely)
    @MIA- L
    @AZ- L
    SEA -W
    @TEN-L
    @STL-W
    SF-W
    HOU-W
    NE-L
    @BAL-W, might lose this too
    @HOU-L
    TEN-L
    DEN-W
    @JAX-L
    NYJ-W
    BUF-W

    9-7 outside looking in , no postseason
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]The Indy defense is not the same quick, pesky bunch, without Bob Sanders.
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]
    That's the problem with small players like BobZilla.  They play hard, do well and really smack into people, but then they usually break down quickly because they aren't 300 pound linemen and the chaps they hit are sometimes 300 pounders.  When a Volkswagen beetle and a semi truck collide head-on, the Volkswagen takes far greater gee-forces, stops and gets driven backwards in an instant and is usually totalled.

    New England is no different.  You should see some of New England's flyweight cornerbacks.  They'll last an average of 6 games apiece.  That's why BB keeps 6 or 7 of them.

    So, what is Indy's list of backups like?  And what if they go down too?  (This happens to teams.)
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]     Colts fans should be concerned about Jeff Saturday. He is the anchor of the Indy OL, and was a great center. But, the fact remains that hes' 34 years old, and playing on injury ravaged, 34 year old knees. Youngsters Justice and Poll@ck may be pressed into service.      Dogg may like Indy's young DBs, but...lets' not kid ourselves. The Indy defense is not the same quick, pesky bunch, without Bob Sanders.
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    I'll call this simply a difference of opinion.  A healthy Saturday will not be the issue with the colts offensive line.  Polluck is currently penciled as the starting RG.

    Re the db's:  believing Indy may have one of the best and deepest DB units in the league is not foolish in the least. 

    While Sanders is great and we would prefer to see him playing rather than not, Melvin Bullitt did nothing to disprove he could start for at least half the teams in the NFL.   As a second year safety, Bullitt started 9 games, had 4 ints, defended 9 balls, forced a fumble and had 53 tackles. 

    This is a unit that had 3 of 4 starters miss 52% of available starts yet still managed to have only 6 TD's thrown on them in the reg season. 
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    Dogg,

    Truthfully I said at the time of Dungy's retirement that I thought there was going to be an overall dropoff with the Colts.  As much grief as the posters here gave him I always thought he was a real solid coach and a great defensive mind, which really was needed with the Colts as they always seemed to be spending money on offense moreso than D.

    Peyton will always keep them competitive as long as he stays upright but right now the Colts remind me of the Dolphins during Marino's down years.  I maybe wrong, what is your overall impression of Coach Jim Caldwell and how he is doing?
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]  it seems to me manning's quick release and strong pocket presence may have more to do with his continued success than the talent of his offensive line.  Posted by beastplant[/QUOTE]

    I think manning's success has more to do with a hall of fame receiver a possible hall of fame TE, highly talented #2 and 3 receivers, a dominating running game first with edgerrin in his prime then adai. Not to take away from manning, but he's had all the elements of success that brady's only gotten recently, with the addition of moss and the pats haven't had a dominating running game since corey dillon. 
    Look at what brady  had to work with; 2001 patrick pass, antwain smith, jermaine wiggins, 2003; deon branch (certainly no HOFer) fred baxter and smith, 2004; david givens and troy brown ( god bless him but hardly a pro-bowl caliber WR).

    Give brady the personell that manning had to work with and the pats may well have won 5 or 6 super bowls since 2001.  
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]Dogg, Truthfully I said at the time of Dungy's retirement that I thought there was going to be an overall dropoff with the Colts.  As much grief as the posters here gave him I always thought he was a real solid coach and a great defensive mind, which really was needed with the Colts as they always seemed to be spending money on offense moreso than D. Peyton will always keep them competitive as long as he stays upright but right now the Colts remind me of the Dolphins during Marino's down years.  I maybe wrong, what is your overall impression of Coach Jim Caldwell and how he is doing?
    Posted by wozzy[/QUOTE]

         Wozz:

         I find myself in a strange position when it comes to Indy. Though I can't ever see myself rooting for the Colts, it will actually be beneficial to the Pats if Indy wins their division, and both Tennessee and Jacksonville fall flat on their faces. Remember, the Pats own the Jags' and Titans' 2nd round draft choices in 2010.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    Paul - see my note to TP.  Honestly, I think Indy's best unit offense and defense combined is their db unit.  Very good starters (with a couple of pro bowlers) and a very solid group of back ups.  Just my opinion.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    Bub - I think you are right, I think Tennessee is going to be in the mix not just for the south but the afc in general. 

    Wozzy - I think Caldwell is playing it just right at this time.  Certainly there is much more coaching to do beyond training camp, but he's simply going about his business.  There are some that are a little p.o.'d b/c in the first depth chart he put Charlie Johnson above Ugoh, but I have no issue with this.  That said, it concerns me that we may be weak at left tackle.

    Alfie - Its my opinion that a QB makes a receiver better moreso than a receiver making a QB better.  Regardless of how good the receiver is, he cannot throw the ball to himself.  Additionally, Manning does more at the line re: adjustments and play calling than any QB in the NFL.  The position is more than just throwing the ball.  I really don't think the league MVP trophy is given 3 times to a guy who is good mainly because of his supporting cast.  That suggestion completely detracts from not just Manning, but also those who were considered for the award but did not win. 

     

     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

         Heres' more on the Ugoh benching. Its' one thing when a coach rides a player. But, when an owner comes out and chastises a player, the way Jim Irsay did regarding Ugoh...not good: http://www.indystar.com/article/20090811/SPORTS03/908110340/1058/SPORTS03/Johnson+takes+Ugoh+s+left+tackle+spot
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    If the Colts dont win double diget games this year I will love to see what Underdogg has to say then. Maybe he is right they continue their dominance but if I am right and they fall off and teh Colts only win like 9 games this year let the excuses begin!
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    In Response to Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009:
    [QUOTE]Bub - I think you are right, I think Tennessee is going to be in the mix not just for the south but the afc in general.  Wozzy - I think Caldwell is playing it just right at this time.  Certainly there is much more coaching to do beyond training camp, but he's simply going about his business.  There are some that are a little p.o.'d b/c in the first depth chart he put Charlie Johnson above Ugoh, but I have no issue with this.  That said, it concerns me that we may be weak at left tackle. Alfie - Its my opinion that a QB makes a receiver better moreso than a receiver making a QB better.  Regardless of how good the receiver is, he cannot throw the ball to himself.  Additionally, Manning does more at the line re: adjustments and play calling than any QB in the NFL.  The position is more than just throwing the ball.  I really don't think the league MVP trophy is given 3 times to a guy who is good mainly because of his supporting cast.  That suggestion
    completely detracts from not just Manning, but also those who were considered for the award but did not win.   
    Posted by underdogg[/QUOTE]

    it's more complex than that.  brady won 3 rings with less than hall worthy receivers, then went undefeated until a loss in the sb with a star studded crew.  go figure.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    Manning would have never won his first two MVPs had he been with WRs like Rache Caldwell, David Givens, Deon Branch, Bethel Johnson, Jabbar Gaffney, David Patten, and Doug Gabrial. Manning would be a bum with these kinds of WRs and I know this because everytime the Ciolts fail he blames it on his teammates or walks off the field blaming his WRs and with bums like Caldwell that would have been enough to make their confidence shot. Brady didnt have a star WR till Welker and Moss got here and when he did he broke Mannings record. Manning has had good WRs his entire career which led to him becoming a 3 time MVP and Brady has a star WR once in his career and he won the MVP. So i would really love to see the two switch places and then see what you think. I would love to see Manning have to play with less then star quality WRs for a few seasons and see how you look at it then.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    Tas - you had Caldwell as a failure with anything less than 13 wins.  Are you backtracking a bit? 

    plant - Brady won 3 rings with twice the defense of the colts.
     
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    Re: More From Colts' Camp: OL Could Be A Problem in 2009

    Ok - and brady never would have won his superbowls with the colts defense.  I think you unnecessarily bash Manning, but that's your fandom. 

    I think as fans we are fortunate that our teams have the qbs they do. 
     

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