Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

CBS Sports Names Colts “Least Desperate” for a QB

Kind of a cool little feature done by CBS Sports here. It ranks NFL teams from 32 to 1 in terms of how desperate each franchise is for a Quarterback. No surprise but still nice to see, the Colts rank at the bottom of the list at 32!

Top 2012 draft pick Andrew Luck is turning into a superstar, just as everybody expected. Luck’s numbers have steadily increased in each of his three NFL seasons, and the 25-year-old is on track to receive an earth-shattering contract extension in the near future. Barring a shocking development, the Colts won’t have to worry about the quarterback position for at least a decade to come.

Click through the list to see how well-respected some surprising guys I like are becoming – like Ryan Tannehill and Teddy Bridgewater.

Also, Cam Newton was ranked unfavorably in the middle of the pack. Disagreement with that.

Not sure how they can rate Eli Manning 25th (he is a future Hall of Famer, coming off a nice season) and Matthew Stafford and the Lions at nine. Stafford needs to be better but this somewhat comes off a ranking of this writer’s confidence in each guy.

Glad he believes so heavily in Luck. The Colts are in such great shape if they can build an O-line fortress around him and continue to surround him with talent.

March 9, 2015 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | Leave a comment

Colts ‘outbidding’ teams for Nick Fairley

I had not previously seen this report – but I guess it’s good news seeing as how Ndamukong Suh is headed to Miami for huge dollars. As the hosts of a recent talk show on NFL Sirius Radio recently stated, when Fairly is staying out of trouble and shows up and decides he wants to play football, he can be pretty unstoppable.

Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, and reportedly, the Colts are outbidding the competition by a wide margin.

According to Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton, the Colts are offering twice as much guaranteed money as any other team.

I mean, it is Bleacher Report; so it seems like nothing they report comes to fruition but they have gotten better over the years. I still have a hard time believing someone at Bleacher Report outside of a guy or two (Ian Wharton ain’t one of them) has a well-placed source somewhere, and this isn’t being reported anywhere else.

Also, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole said the Colts would make a strong push for Suh. No evidence that really happened anywhere either.

Sign me up for Fairley and Greg Hardy next season if it can happen, and lock up your daughters.

March 9, 2015 Posted by | Free Agency, Indianapolis Colts | | Leave a comment

Re-Watching Colts week 1, 2014 vs. Denver Broncos

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[Gamebook]

NFL Network is re-airing this game right now. I figured since I didn’t pay close attention to it due to the 24-0 hole they dug themselves into, it would be a good time to see if I noticed anything a second time around.

The Colts lost the game 31-24.

Observations:

  • The Colts should have went for it deep in Denver territory on the opening possession of the season on 4th and 1 instead of punting. Pagano has to get more aggressive in these types of games and situations.
  • Luck missed a throw to Fleener on third down that was just rushed and probably should have went elsewhere.
  • Trent Richardson stuffed on the first run of his season. Had little to no burst, on other runs and screens. I think at the time watching it live I knew trouble was coming.
  • Reggie Wayne looked good in the first half. Three nice catches, and to me; he doesn’t seem like a guy that had lost it yet.
  • The Colts first TD of the season wasn’t a touchdown pass, or a run from the running back; it was a diving play with Luck stretching around the pile-on and upon review it was ruled a TD. This closed the first half at 24-7.
  • Opening possession of the second half, Colts drive down to the 1 and 1/2 yard line and on 4th and 1 Pagano calls a sneak for Luck and he’s stonewalled. Poor play-calling.
  • Poor play-calling on the Colts second possession of the second half when they stalled out in the red-zone and had to settle for a field goal to make it 24-10.
  • The Colts had so many opportunities to win this game. It really should have been no surprise to anyone that the Colts went in there in January and beat the Broncos.
  • Everything from Manning was screens and underneath really. The Colts built a book on Manning off this for the playoff game.
  • Colts trailed 31-10 with eight minutes to go. Luck’s first TD of the year passing comes on a throw to Dwyane Allen where he barely made the catch past the defender and then rushed down the sideline to stay in-bounds.
  • Indianapolis then recovered an onside kick with 7:45 left, trailing 31-17.
  • Luck then threw a tipped-ball interception deep in Denver territory off the hands of Colby Fleener after completions to Wayne and Hilton.
  • Luck throws a TD to Hakeem Nicks with 3:59 left in the game to make it 31-24.
  • Colts got the ball back with less than 3 minutes to go.
  • On 4th and 6, Luck fires a ball to tightly covered Reggie Wayne that is batted away by Bradley Roby. This effectively ends the game.

The Colts had so many opportunities to win this opener. After going back and watching it for a second time in more detail, they were better than Denver this season. I’m not surprised that they got their revenge in the playoffs to advance to the AFC title game, and arguably; they played a better all around game the first time around in Denver, especially defensively.

Despite his mistakes, Andrew Luck was 35 of 53 for 370 yards and two touchdowns, and two tipped ball interceptions. He also ran for 19 yards on five carries and a touchdown.Reggie Wayne had nine catches for 98 yards.

March 8, 2015 Posted by | Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, NFL Network | , , | Leave a comment

Colts sign Nasty Guard Todd Herremans

I’m not quite sure how they signed someone already, but the Colts have agreed to terms with 32-year old offensive right guard Todd Herremans.

There’s some gray area on free agents in my eyes, I didn’t think anyone could sign with new teams until Tuesday.

Here’s what to know about Todd Herremans:

  • Drafted in the 4th round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Saginaw State by the Eagles
  • Knows GM Ryan Grigson from Grigson’s tenure in Philadelphia.
  • Despite being beloved by the Philadelphia fan base for his ‘nastiness’, he’s never been selected to a Pro Bowl.
  • 127 career games played, 124 career starts.
  • Has had a gruesome injury history.

He probably slides right into the starting lineup if healthy for Indianapolis. You have to hope his best football isn’t in his rear view mirror, and Herremans is still hungry. If so, this is exactly the type of move that didn’t cost a ton and they didn’t need to waste a draft pick on it. Now just add a great tackle in the first round and a center not long after in the draft.

March 8, 2015 Posted by | Free Agency, Indianapolis Colts | , | Leave a comment

Reggie Wayne honored by IPL Power downtown Indianapolis

Hat tip: Stampede Blue

March 7, 2015 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | | Leave a comment

A Say day in Colts land

I kinda waited to see what Jim Irsay tweeted about the subject, and he summed it up well as only an Irsay tweet can do.

He also gave this – a created video by the Colts of Reggie Wayne’s career highlights:

Bill Polian was the man who drafted Wayne with the 30th overall pick in the 2001 draft, and his comments were added in an Indy Star story that is in today’s paper.

Like Polian says, you would like to see Wayne go out wearing only the Horseshoe. We hope he’s played his last game, even if it wasn’t the Wayne that we had came to remember that we saw as our final impression.

I tried to eulogize his career best I could in a few words on my NFL site. I’ll miss Reggie Wayne, probably my favorite Colt of all-time who gave more Sunday memories to me than any other Indianapolis player.

Put the Money in the bag!

March 7, 2015 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | , , | Leave a comment

The Man who put Andrew Luck in Indianapolis retired today

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You had to figure after an uneventful return home to Oakland in 2014, Maurice Jones-Drew knew his time in the league was running thin. Today, he retired from football after nine seasons. That time certainly seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye.

It’s important to remember Jones-Drew in Indianapolis Colts lore. The day was New Years Day 2012. It was the week 17 game that if the Colts won, they would lose the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, forever changing the future of the franchise. It was for all the marbles – the Andrew Luck selection – and the Colts did everything in their power to screw it up and win.

Jones-Drew had 169 yards on 25 carries that day. Without him, Andrew Luck is never a Colt. Jim Irsay has acknowledged the fact recently himself. The Jaguars won the game 19-13, and it was closer than the score indicates.

There was a three year period where Jones-Drew was the best back in the league (2009 to 2011). Then it was gone seemingly overnight as it so often is with a running back in the NFl. He retires without numbers that will get him into the Hall of Fame: 8,167 career rushing yards, 68 rushing touchdowns, 346 receptions. He had a great NFL career. He played in just two postseason games, coming in 2008; totaling 48 yards on 14 carries in those two games.

But for Colts fans, they should never forget the unspoken favor this guy did for their franchise.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Retirements | | Leave a comment

My Top 10 Free Agent Wishlist

Now that we have some new names to add to the free agency list – here is my current top 10 for guys I want the Colts to sign in the off-season. This is regardless of realistic chances of it happening (Suh). My hope is that two of these ten are wearing speedway blue by the time the season starts, and that’s probably best-case scenario.

  1. Ndamukong Suh
  2. Demarco Murray
  3. Randall Cobb
  4. Stefen Wisniewski
  5. Vince Wilfork
  6. Devin McCourty
  7. Bryan Bulaga
  8. Greg Hardy
  9. Mike Iupati
  10. Torrey Smith

We will have to see if they can pull in any of these guys. In terms of guys who aren’t free agents, Adrian Peterson and Brandon Marshall top my wishlist; but I think both are highly unlikely to come to Indianapolis.

And on a few of these, I could be way off. Even if say; Bulaga, Iupati or Smith become Colts, I could still see them being highly ineffective or having their best days behind them due to hard mileage already put on their bodies in the league. There is a reason that these guys were not extended with their current franchises who know more about them than anyone else. It’s not always that they got too expensive.

I just have to hope Ryan Grigson and the Colts scouting department truly has a plan on how they want to spend. And if I have to say it in every post – leave enough money left over to sign Andrew Luck to the extension that he deserves before the 2015 season begins.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Free Agency | Leave a comment

Adrian Peterson provides Vikings with five teams he would approve a trade to

The Colts were reportedly part of a five team list that Adrian Peterson provided the Minnesota Vikings with in which he would approve a trade to.

That list is as follows:

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The report was from yesterday. This would be opposite of other reports that said Peterson’s meeting with the Vikings ‘went well’.

I don’t put huge odds on Peterson ending up a Colt. I think it’s probable that the Vikings keep him, or the most likely scenario is that he heads to Dallas with Demarco Murray heading elsewhere for huge dollars that he can’t turn down.

I’m okay with the Colts giving Murray the huge dollars he will command, contingent on the fact that they’ll still have money left over to do the right thing and give Andrew Luck the record setting contract extension that he deserves before the 2015 regular season begins. This is not something ownership and the front office should drag out, even if it means passing on some pricey free agents.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Minnesota Vikings | | Leave a comment

Colts top suitor for Hardy, Suh?

http://bleacherreport.com/video_embed?id=h3M3Byczq_sXNpIH6u4Hu-2qjEcMtZ4H

I don’t buy it, on least on behalf the Suh report.

Jason Cole, who is Bleacher Report’s NFL Insider; says that “the number one recruiting tool to lure players to Indianapolis is Andrew Luck”. That sounds good in theory, but I have to think the reports that the Miami Dolphins are the true frontrunner for Suh are much more accurate.

While picturing Hardy in a Colts uniform is a much more likely scenario and he would be a guy who can generate a rush from the outside – and he’s actually not the character concern the media would have folks believe he is – I see Suh signing with the Dolphins due to what they’ll offer and no state income tax on the huge dollars he is seeking.

My end prediction on this item: Suh to Miami, Hardy lands in Indianapolis. And I’m okay with this as long as the Colts land Adrian Peterson or Demarco Murray on the other side of the ball and draft a bevy of offensive lineman.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Free Agency, Indianapolis Colts | , | Leave a comment