Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

I think I’m going to like Donte Moncrief

Donte+Moncrief+Indianapolis+Colts+v+Pittsburgh+Oa_Wmeq2CaNl

I think I’m going to like Donte Moncrief. I hate to admit this being a burgeoning Colts fan; but I didn’t know the guy went to Ole Miss. He finished his rookie season with 32 catches for 444 yards and three touchdowns.

His best games came against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 26th, 2014 (seven catches, 113 yards, one touchdown) and in Indianapolis on Thanksgiving Weekend against the Redskins (three catches, 134 yards, two touchdowns).

He’s a big-bodied target for Andrew Luck who figures to grow into a more prominent role with the Colts next year with the receiving corps thinning out.

Here’s Moncrief’s NFL.com Scouting Report from before the 2014 NFL Draft:

Strengths

Terrific size. Smooth accelerator — jets off the line, eliminates cushion and has speed to stretch the field vertically. Good balance and body control. Can stem his pattern and leverage defenders. Drives off cornerbacks and creates separation. Knows where the sticks are. Outstanding leaping ability to elevate and pluck throws out of the air. Flashes playmaking ability. Able to sidestep the first tackler and pick up chunk yards after the catch. Gives effort as a blocker to engage and seal. Has experience going head-to-head with NFL-caliber cornerbacks. Will be a 21-year-old rookie and has upside. Tied for the longest broad jump (11-foot) among receivers at the combine.

Weaknesses

Needs to sharpen his route running. Inconsistent ball reactions, particularly in traffic — better running through or under passes. Does not always play to his size — gets outmuscled for “50-50” balls and is still coming into his own as a dependable go-up-and-get-it guy. Average hand strength. Tends to trap some throws against his body and occasionally drops catchable balls. Could be more physical. Average elusiveness and open-field electricity. Showed he could be contained — seven games of 60 yards or less as a junior.

Draft Projection

Rounds 1-2

Bottom Line

Big, physically gifted “X” receiver with deep speed, leaping potential and playmaking ability. Could emerge a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in a vertical passing offense, and his best football is in front him. Solid combine showing and pro-day workout have ascended his draft standing.

Seeing as how the Colts stole him in round three, this could be a guy that Ryan Grigson adds to his belt notches as home run picks. It seems like Grigson can pick this position group better (I credit him for T.Y. Hilton and Da’Rick Rogers at the very least).
I can’t wait to see how Moncrief develops in 2015. I felt like having a post devoted solely to him was deserved on this blog.
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February 28, 2015 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | | Leave a comment

A Cranky Canuck former Colts Writer is Cranky

Brad Wells used to write for Stampede Blue, until he got fired for being grumpy. He was fired up on twitter yesterday.

Someone is gonna sign the guy. I just want to win a damn ring. Switches or not. There are a lot of guys wearing the Colts uniform who do bad shit, Brad. The media just doesn’t catch it all. If we only knew the amount spent on strippers and sex acts by Colts players in 2014 alone. But you can’t think about that stuff. It will make you bitter, and make you hate the NFL.

I don’t know if I’ll make it up to Vancouver, BC to hang anyways. Give me Peterson!

I felt this season was lackluster as well, FWIW. Something was just….. missing. Even with the Colts going hopelessly to the AFC title game, I just felt like it was a shitty season and had a hard time feeling the nostalgic way I felt when I really loved the NFL more than anything in this world. From the early 90’s until the 2005’s or so. Before Madden the video game sucked. Before the game got so damn corporatized.

The jury is out on Grigson, but agree the Chuck Pagano gets out-coached far too often for my liking and while he’s a nice guy and all that; he probably never wins the big one. I just don’t think he’s that good of a head coach. I agree with the Canuck here.

I like football and can’t wait for 2015. The NFL has me hook, line, and sinker. Somehow, they’ve Jedi mind tricked me, and I still have the NFL Network on most nights even though I’m a huge baseball fan and the season is approaching. But this season was lacking something, Goodell is a crook politician, yet there’s a drama created by NFL football on Sunday’s that I still live for. I still have hopes that the game I love is restored fully.

Plus, every time you think of hating the NFL; just think about Andrew Luck. What is NOT to love about this guy? He’s everything that’s great about football, even being a dorkus malorkis.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Colts re-sign Matt Hasselbeck to one-year deal

Bah, so much for the Colts drafting a young QB to groom as the long-term back-up for Andrew Luck. Today the Colts agreed to a one year contract worth $3 million dollars to bring Matt Hasselbeck back at age 39 and hold the clipboard for Luck.

But seriously – I know the Colts don’t want to waste a pick on a position they don’t feel is of need – but Blake Sims from Alabama or Connor Halliday from Washington State would be more than fine with me.

We understand that Andrew Luck is a superstar, an eater of worlds. But you have to be prepared beyond a 39-year old second stringer. The Colts need to find a young guy who can be comfortable in the role of backing up luck for a half decade or so the way the 49ers always had one long-term backup for Montana and Young.

Maybe this isn’t the year for it. The QB class in the draft looks beyond thin after those first couple guys.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | , , , | Leave a comment

Adrian Peterson to Indy? Oh Football Gods Please Please Let this Happen

I have been flirting with the idea of Adrian Peterson somehow ending up in speedway blue all off-season. They have the money to make this happen, and Peterson fills a hole the Colts could avoid filling in the draft. Adrian Peterson’s dad says that his son is rumored to be going one of three places:

“I’ve heard rumors, Arizona,” Nelson Peterson told Tomasson. “I’ve also heard the rumors of Indianapolis and the Colts, going there with a quarterback the caliber of [Andrew] Luck. I’ve also heard the Cowboys, coming back home with the Cowboys, behind that offensive line that they have.”

It kind of seems like Mr. Peterson just created these three teams himself to create some buzz for three desirable destinations that Adrian would want to play for. Good enough for me.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Minnesota Vikings | | Leave a comment

Colts look at 40-yard Dash as a drill of most importance

In the spirit of preparing for the NFL Combine 2015 that kicks off tomorrow, Pro Football Talk checks in with a reminder that the Colts place 40-yard dash times of prospects very high on their ‘like’ list.

“The actual interview with the player we feel is incredibly important,” Grigson said. “It is where you find out how the player fits in so many ways from primarily a mental and character standpoint. Every year there is a guy who walks through the door that just brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm that is tangible and you make note of those types of strong interactions. The other I would say is the 40 time, not that it is or isn’t the reason to draft a guy, but at the end of the day it helps you assign proper market value to the player. Especially at those skill positions.”

The Colts clearly want a fast and agile group of players to dot their roster, but should they be geared towards a more physical animal? What kind of roster group is better to beat the New England Patriots in a winner take all scenario?

That’s the question the Colts need to ask themselves, because as long as Brady and Belichick are still around; the Colts will have to get through them to get to Super Bowls. We know New England has kept the Colts from one, and arguably two Super Bowl Sundays.

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts, NFL Combine | | Leave a comment

Colts getting thin at linebacker

Today the Colts not only released veteran Shaun Phillips (who was never the Shaun Phillips of old), but word came out that Robert Mathis has re-injured his achilles tendon injury that sidelined him all of last season.

Couple this with the fact that Bjoern Werner seemed to be a real question mark for most of last season including being inactive against the Patriots in the playoffs, and you’ve got a new need for the Colts this offseason. As Pat Kirwan said tonight on Sirius NFL Network radio, the Colts have some cap money to spend and while they can’t get Justin Houston; they need a pass-rushing linebacker to come their way via free agency.

Here’s a look at what’s available – it’s thin. The Colts will enter this spot with a real question mark in 2015.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Luck’s Finest Playoff Game

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There was the miracle comeback against the Chiefs in Indianapolis of course in the 2013 playoffs, but Andrew Luck’s day against the Bengals in the Wildcard Round of 2014 was one of his most sterling performances to date in his career, and his best postseason game

[NFL.com Luck Game Highlights]

[Gamebook]

[NFL.com]

He was 31 of 44 passing for 376 yards and no interceptions, passer rating of 104.0 for the day. I actually thought the Colts might lose this game. I felt the Bengals matched up well with them and that they were finally due to get that first playoff win under Marvin Lewis.

His touchdown throw to Donte Moncrief while being brought down made the fellas doing the highlight show late-night on NFL Network just ‘woooo’ with excitement. It’s one of those plays you’ll never forget.

It was the greatest game of Luck’s postseason career, and his second of his three postseason wins.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Cincinnati Bengals, Playoffs | | Leave a comment

Andrew Brandt: Luck will set new standard for NFL Contracts

On Sports Illustrated’s MMQB, Andrew Brandt states something I can’t hope to see soon enough:

Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck will set a new standard for NFL contracts. The present threshold—$20 million per year, with $60 million guaranteed—was set by Drew Brees in 2012, and the class of 2013 contracts (Romo, Rodgers, Ryan and Flacco) hovered just below that threshold. It’s time for a market adjustment, and we’ll see it with two quarterbacks who have become the signature players for their teams.

More interesting than the numbers, though, will be the structure of guarantees in these contracts. There is a unique and potentially groundbreaking opportunity here: fully guaranteed contracts. As transcendent players barely in their mid-twenties, these two have the opportunity to demand that all five or six years of a contract be guaranteed. It is on the Colts and Seahawks to justify not doing so

I hope Luck gets some type of lifetime deal that is the largest contract ever signed in the sport. It’s something that recent reports suggested wasn’t close to happening, though. Luck said he had no knowledge of it.

Brandt also predicts we get another season of Peyton Manning, which I agree with.

It’s overall a pretty good read on what will happen this upcoming offseason that will be filled with dollars thrown and transactions that have a ripple effect on the league not only for 2015 but for the years to come.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Contract Extensions, Offseason | , , | Leave a comment

Ahmad Bradshaw Faces Marijuana Charge

The Colts are definitely going to be looking running back in the upcoming NFL Draft.

According to a published report (I saw it on PFT), Ahmad Bradshaw got caught with some Marijuana last week in Ohio of all places.

I have to say, from linebackers Josh Mcnary and D’Qwell Jackson to now Bradshaw; the Colts have not exactly been choir boys as a group under Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson. It leaves one to wonder if Pagano is ever going to command enough discipline and strike fear into his players, or is Grigson putting together a roster of trouble-makers?

Of course, winning cures everything. If the Colts make good on those 12/1 odds to win the Super Bowl next year, as long as Andrew Luck stays out of the light of the law (and he will); everything will be overlooked.

I don’t think Bradshaw was to figure into the long-term plans of the team anyways. But either him or Daniel Herron represent the best running back on the roster at this point.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Arrests | | Leave a comment