Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

A Couple of Things I was Told about Andrew Luck

Just an email found floating round the interwebs. Please take it for what it’s worth.

Hey this is nothing you probably haven’t already figured out but as I told you before I work part-time at WNDE in town. Well I went tonight and talked to Jake Queary and found out some stuff I don’t want to put on the forum becuase 1, I don’t want to talk about Jake’s personal life like that and 2, since i don’t have a source I can post I don’t want all the people on the forum who don’t believe to just flame me for it.

Well Jake’s GF is Donnie Walsh’s daughter and she is good friends with one of the Irsay girls. I guess she told Jake that dad decided a long time ago Peyton is never going to be able to play again and shouldn’t play agin. That’s why he keeps saying IF HEALTHY with everything he said about keeping Peyton. She also said that he understands he can’t come out and publically say just that or the fan base will go nuts when Peyton says I want to play again. She said Jim feels like a dad when you know your child is going to do something stupid you can’t stop him but you aren’t going to do anything to help him do it either.

Jake also told me that it’s a done deal we are taking Luck and they just keep throwing RG3’s name out there in case something happens to Luck like a major injury and they have to take RG3 just so they don’t make him mad.

Again like I said I don’t want to put that out there as public knowledge but I don’t mind sharing it with my internet friends.

Particularly interesting (if true) is the part about Irsay just not wanting Peyton to play anymore period. But I wanted to get this up for those of you out there who have concerns about Irsay’s latest RG3 riddle-like tweets.

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March 29, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | , , , , | Leave a comment

Colts might play Lions on Thanksgiving 2012

The 2012 NFL schedule is expected to make it’s way out soon enough, and there’s a chance that the Colts might play on Thanksgiving Day against the Detroit Lions.

On Thanksgiving, the Lions will host the Texans or the Colts.  The Cowboys will welcome an NFC team; this year, the visitor will come from among the Redskins, Giants, Eagles, Buccaneers, Saints, and Bears.  No specific team has dibs on the third game Thanksgiving game, which will be televised for the first time on NBC.

So that’s cool. Like I told someone earlier today, it’s not like my wife is going to allow me to see any of that early-lunch game on Turkey Day anyways. So meh. If the Colts are picked for the Thanksgiving Game in Detroit, I’ll see slightly less than a quarter of it from New Jersey. If the Colts aren’t, even better. I’ll get to see their entire game a few days later on Sunday.

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

A Day in Indianapolis

I was in Indy on this beautiful day for business. When business finished up I decided to go for a run.

Our hotel actually looks right out into this–Lucas Oil. Couldn’t have picked a better Holiday Inn Express.

And here’s those famous boiler thingamajigs.

I *think* my colleague and I are heading here tonight. It was smelling good when I ran by it. A bunch of Miami Heat fans were in town, and the I put the equation together, they’re playing the Pacers.

Just awesome. It’s Colts Country.

Wanted to get this up on the blog while there’s still time. This image will not remain unchanged for much longer, I wouldn’t think.

I wonder how the Peyton Manning Room is doing.

The professor John Clayton stopped by the Colts Grille around the time of the Combine. And I was also told Rex Ryan was there three straight days for the combine just to hang out. I can’t blame him, I love the place.

I finally got the Yak Burger. It was AWESOME.

I made a stop at the end of my run at the Colts Pro Shop. I didn’t ask about the Colts New Nike Uniforms which come out at the beginning of April. Just asked who they thought the Colts would draft #1. You guessed it. “Definitely Luck.”

My wife is a Giants fan. I should have bought her this.

Back at the hotel. I should buy the fishwrap in the morning just to see if Kravitz is talking Colts.

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis | Leave a comment

NFL Films’ Greg Cosell: RG3 is Superior to Andrew Luck

I’ve always enjoyed Greg Cosell of NFL Films–particularly on the actual NFL Films blog. I get the feeling he watched a lot of tape and he has a weekly column or two dedicated to the scouting of certain players of interest.

This weekend he became the latest to take to task RG3 vs. Luck, and he says that Robert Griffin III is a bit more toolsy.

I have watched 5 games of both Luck and Griffin, all from their final collegiate season. Is that enough? Some might say yes, others no. Here’s what I saw. Luck ran a very controlled and condensed offense that featured multiple tight end personnel and a high percentage of compressed formations. He had a lot of freedom at the line of scrimmage to call plays and make adjustments based on defensive fronts and coverages. That’s an essential attribute as he transitions to the NFL, one that has dramatically increased in importance in the last number of years with the complexity and sophistication of defenses. There’s no question Luck is well ahead of the learning curve in that area.

Folks, he’s just getting started here.

Overall, Luck was not asked to make many tough throws at the intermediate and deeper levels. I did not see those. I will not say he can’t make them, but based on the 5 games I evaluated it’s a projection. In addition, Luck had a tendency to lift his back foot off the ground before releasing the ball. That prevented him from driving through his throws and at times negatively impacted his velocity and accuracy. He would lean over his front foot and push the ball. That can be corrected with coaching and repetition, but it’s a concern that must be addressed.

He also added that Luck was “not a special passer based on film study” and that Luck “was an economical player who was at his best as a timing and rhythm, short to intermediate passer.”

And here’s where it got interesting to a degree, with comparisons to Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, and even the great Peyton Manning sprinkled in.

He is not the same kind of arm talent as Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton. While charting Luck, I was compelled to reflect on Manning. Was Manning a special passer coming out of Tennessee? Most would probably say no. It raises the question: what is the connection between arm talent and high football IQ as it relates to NFL success? We know where it led with Manning. Also remember Peyton’s arm strength increased as played in the NFL.

Cosell then moved on to Griffin, which by the tone of this post you could probably guess he’s very high on.

Griffin predominantly ran a shotgun spread offense with 1 back and 4 wide receivers. What immediately jumped out was arm strength. He had a very compact and easy delivery with natural velocity. There was a snap to his throws.

There were two more aspects of Griffin’s game that Cosell really liked. The first was his patience and composure in the pocket, and the second was his ability to throw from different arm angles (Cosell refers to them as “platforms” and remain accurate.

This is just one man’s opinion that will have no bearing on the selection of these two players, but it makes for an interesting read. Cosell even suggests in the final line of his post that only time will tell who will be the better NFL player. But it’s nonetheless interesting to see the differing opinions pile up before draft day arrives.

And there’s little to no guessing going on as to who the Colts see as having the brighter NFL future.

March 25, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts, NFL Draft, NFL Films, Washington Redskins | , , | 1 Comment

Moves Round Up: Saturday, Stanton, Avery

Since the past few days have gone by quickly as I was transitioning over to this site, I missed a few moves. Here they are in short order:

Typically, I’d do a full profiling of the new Colts as I’ve done in the past and a full post dedicated to Jeff Saturday and Ryan Diem, the dearly departed. But I’ve been transitioning some stuff over to WordPress and still getting settled in. And as you know all of that takes time. So it results in a short order post like this one that I will promise not to make a habit of.

March 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Luck’s Pro Day

This pas Thursday was Andrew Luck’s Pro Day at Stanford. I was at work, watched a lot of the workout on a grainy monitor video view that only allowed me to hear some of Mike Mayock’s comments on NFL Network.

Here’s some cited tidbits that came out the morning of the workout:

“I would think it’s a mere formality,” one scout told me. “I didn’t write him up or study him, but just from crossover tape, you say, ‘Oh my God.’ He can do a lot of things. He can move. He can throw. He’s smart. He’s in a pro-style offense, so there won’t be a big learning curve …”

“He would have to have a catastrophic workout for him not to be the guy, in my opinion,” said a second scout. “The one thing he has to do at his workout in the Colts’ eyes is to come out healthy. That is it. He is easy to scout. He is ready to play now and will play at a high level in a short time.”

And from former scout Russ Lande of the Sporting News and GM Jr.: “I think more than anything, since they are going to both [RGIII] and Luck’s pro days, they want to be sure about Luck’s arm strength as that is a concern amongst some. Other than that, from what I have been told they have already decided on Luck and would only change their mind if something completely unforeseen were to happen.”

Now for the scouting of what I saw.

Effortless throws all throughout the routine. All throws appeared to be crisp spirals. It was a cold and windy day in Palo Alto, and it did not seem to impact on the throws. This would be an added bonus for a Quarterback that is headed to presumably play all home games in a dome.

Luck tossed a few deep balls starting the routine. Still effortless, tight spirals. First throw was a little underthrown, the rest have been in stride and good. He gets it out there effortlessly. The touch throws seem to be the best that he has within his arsenal.

His footwork is tremendous. Also, his ability to dodge the guy with the broom (QB coach George Whitfield) and get back into throwing motion with such quickness is remarkable.

Luck threw one ball to the left while running left and it was spot on. Here’s my favorite throw from the pro day, a 70-yard ball into the wind that was requested by some scouts.

He tallied 46 of 50 completions, and as I said before a few drops were mixed in there.

I thought that Luck showed everything he had to so that people like me and the experts could say that he’s “as advertised”. I also thought that Coby Fleener showed that he should be a 1st round pick (or get heavy consideration for the Colts 2nd round pick if he falls that far).

Here’s a few of the videos from the pro day:

And here’s an interview he did with the ESPN crew immediately following the workout:

March 25, 2012 Posted by | NFL Draft | , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Films: 2003/2004 AFC Championship

Alright, I love these. Prepare for me to put these here when I find them.

March 17, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts, NFL Films | Leave a comment

Two New Colts

 Happy Saturday. Er, Friday. Feels that way when you take a day off for the first time in a while. As I battle through a bout of gastritis/stomach ulcer pain, I attended the NCAA tournament for the first time today. It was definitely on my sports bucket list. There was some news in Colts land in the past 48 hours.

The Colts signed Tom Zbikowski! They now have a real walking, breathing safety! Here are some things to know about ‘Zib’, and I suggest a visit to his football reference page if you want to spend time looking at old football information that will waste a lot of your precious time you can never get back.

  • Notre Dame product, was a teammate of Brady Quinn.
  • Selected in the 3rd round, 86th overall in the 2008 NFL draft.
  • Has basically played only on special teams even though he figures to be the starter for the Colts.
  • Who he might be when he grows up: Jim Leonard-type with an emphasis on his ability to return punts.

Also, another Eagle has left the nest for Naptown. His name is Mike McGlynn. On McGlynn:

  • From Austintown, Ohio. Was a Pittsburgh Panther on Saturdays.
  • 4th round pick, 109th overall in the 2008 NFL draft. 
  • Started 14 games for the Eagles in 2010 at center, and then 4 last season for the Bengals at guard.
  • Figures to be a swing-man type on the line. Hopefully just a back-up.

Also in closing out this post, Peyton Manning plans to sign with his new team next week. Rumor has it that the new team is the Broncos, and there’s an interesting story behind it all.

March 17, 2012 Posted by | Free Agency, Indianapolis Colts, Mike Mcglynn, Peyton Manning, Tom Zbikowski | Leave a comment

Reggie Wayne – A Colt for Life

Here’s a great read from the Indystar Blog Bounce it off Phil B. on Reggie Wayne’s decision to remain a Colt.

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts, Reggie Wayne | Leave a comment

Winston Justice will beef up Colts Offensive Line

Today the Colts opened up the morning by acquiring Offensive Tackle Winston Justice from the Philadelphia Eagles (Grigson connection here), and they didn’t have to give up a whole lot to get Justice.

The two teams simply swapped 6th round selections in the upcoming NFL draft, meaning now the Eagles get the No. 2 pick in the sixth-round from the Colts, and Indy gets the No. 17 pick in the sixth-round along with Justice.

Justice will probably be playing a lot of right tackle for Indianapolis. If you’re getting to know Winston Justice’s name for the first time, here are some notes:

  • He’s going to be playing in his age 28 season.
  • He played college football as a USC Trojan. 
  • I’ve seen him listed at 6’5″ and 300 and also 6’6″ and 320. 
  • He’s made 31 starts in his NFL career, all as an Eagle. 
  • You might remember the night in 2007 when he allowed Osi Umeniyora to get four sacks of Donovan McNabb. That’s my NFL memory of Winston Justice.

I think a lot of people expected the Eagles/Ravens connection from Grigson and Pagano, and this is definitely one of those moves. You have to think the Colts are thinking one thing right now, get bigger in the trenches immediately, and start compiling lineman so they can have every chance to keep Andrew Luck unscathed in his rookie season.

Justice will be a guy who the Colts are depending heavily on in 2012 to protect the franchise. He’s an important piece to the puzzle. 

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Free Agency, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Winston Justice | Leave a comment