Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chris Rucker (CB) joins Colts in the 6th round

In Chris Rucker the Colts take their first gamble of the the draft.  Rucker carries character issues into the draft as well as uneven performances.  At one time he was projected to go in the first two rounds - an uneven senior season and suspension (2 separate arrests) hurt his draft stock.

Rucker is big for a Colts corner (6'1", 195) but he projects well in our cover two defense where our corners are not asked to match up man on man as much as other teams.

The Good:

  • Good size
  • Solid Tackler
  • Plays CB or SS
The Bad:
  • Poor ball skills
  • Not a pure cover guy
  • Lacks intangibles
There is not much to really like or dislike about this pick.  Polian does his homework on guys like this and he is probably worth the risk.  It's the sixth round, Rucker won't have to do much to justify the pick.

Delone Carter (RB) is the Colts pick in the 4th round

In an interesting move, the Colts picked up a running back in the 4th round in the person of Delone Carter out of Syracuse.  It's no surprise to me, but to the many Colts fans who think Joseph Addai is a good running back - it is a shock.

I saw where one blog said it meant the end for Donald Brown - but this makes no sense.  Carter is a 1st and 2nd down back.  Brown is a 3rd down / scatback type.  Clearly Carter is not being brought in to replace your 2009 1st round pick - right?

All that said - I don't like this pick at all.  Based on the tape I watched, he looks decidedly average.

When evaluating running backs, I do not look at their long runs and say wow.  I look at how well the running play was blocked and I see if the running back gains more yards than what was blocked for.

The Pros:

  • Better than average balance
  • Good vision
  • Seems intelligent and thoughtful (based on interviews I watched)
  • Nice, compact solid body
  • Quick feet
The Bad:
  • Despite his size, is most often brought down by first tackler.  Does not run with power
  • Prone to breaking runs to the outside, whether it is a good idea or not.
  • Not a receiver
  • Not much of a blocker
  • Does not possess a "4th gear"
I would not be surprised if he does not make the team; I certainly do not see much production from him.  I think they got him to push Addai and Carter's future depends on how Addai reacts.

Colts snag LSU DT Drake Nevis in 3rd round

Wow, I'm glad that Drake Nevis was there for the Colts in the 3rd round.  Nevis is a pure Tampa-Two defensive tackle with no natural position in the 3-4 - which only a few teams still use.

He is a stout body type with good burst and change of direction.  Lacks top end speed, but makes up for it with hustle and feistiness. 

The Good:

  • Gets off the line very nicely and into the blocker
  • Manages traffic well and will be very helpful on stunts
  • Very strong for his size
  • Always hustling

The Bad:
  • Short for a DT at 6'1"
  • A little light for a DT (played at 286 lbs)
  • Lack of top end speed for chasing down plays
  • Plays high and thus wastes his leverage advantage
This guy had COLTS stamped all over him - I'm glad he dropped to us.

Colts take Ben Ijalana - T in 2nd round - Mike Pollak sells home in Indy

The Colts made a minor splash moving up four picks in the 2nd round via a trade with Washington to pick Ben (Bob Lamey's going to hate calling his name) Ijalana.

This is a difficult player for me to evaluate as all of the film and reports on him are as a left tackle - but it is expected that the Colts will move him inside to guard.

On all accounts he is a good athlete with some qualities that we currently lack - namely power and explosiveness.  The major knocks on him is his lack of height - but at 6'3" he is fine for playing guard.

I really like this pick and I can't wait until preseason so I can see him in his pro position of guard.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Colts draft Anthony Costanzo from BC

Well the Colts did what was expected of them and got offensive line help with their 1st round pick in the person of Anthony Costanzo.  Presumably he is slated for the LT spot at some point with Charlie Johnson sliding to guard to replace a previous failed draft pick.

Ordinarily I would say that you could expect him to start from day one at LT; but with the current labor situation I don't see him getting the coaching that he would need to step right in.  I'm sure that Manning will do a great job organizing the offense for the duration of the lockout/foolishness, but I doubt Manning is going to be teaching Costanzo how to slide and punch.

As for the talent of Costanzo, I'm not really excited about him.  Based on the film I have seen of him:


  • Very Smart
  • Good size (6'7", 308 lbs) with some room to put on more weight
  • Good character guy
  • Motivated
  • Better than average movement skills
  • Pretty good blocking downfield for the run (good for the stretch and screens for sure)


  • Does not play with power
  • Plays high in the run game and frequently loses contact with his assignment
  • A bit slow out of his stance at times
  • Prone to being bull-rushed
  • His height and lack of natural knee bend make him vulnerable to Robert Mathis-style small rush ends.

You really see his lack of power in pass blocking against a strong DE, he struggles against rushers with good rip moves.  Looks light up top with somewhat narrow shoulders.

This may seem critical, but he does not measure up to the top LTs in the league in the areas that matter most.

He looks like a mid 2nd round pick in most drafts.

All that said I do expect him to be a upgrade for the Colts and to be a long-time starter.  This is based on what we have already and the style of offense the Colts play.

We have had some bad timing in the draft the last few years: 

When we were desperate for a running back to replace Edgerrin James, we were stuck with a thin draft for running backs and ended up with the shockingly average Joseph Addai.

When we were desperate to replace a departing Tarik Glenn, we were stuck with a thin draft for Offensive Tackles and ended up with the mechanical and passionless Tony Ugoh.

And now with us desperate to replace the busted out Tony Ugoh, again we have a weak draft for Offensive Tackles and we end up with the bright but flawed Anthony Costanzo.

Lets hope this works out.  Just the fact that he actually cares about football puts him miles ahead of Ugoh.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Top Ten Indianapolis Colts (Pre-1998) - #9: Jeff Herrod, Inside Linebacker (1988-1996, 1998)

Drafted in the 9th round of the 1988 draft, not much was expected out of Jeff Herrod.  What the Colts and their fans got was nine solid years of middle linebacking excellence.  He was a Team Captain for almost his entire time here and lasted through FOUR head coaches (Ron Meyer, Ted Marchibroda, Jim Mora, and Lindy Infante).

He was a bit undersized and was considered a bit slow, but just about every time you looked at the stats at the end of the season you would find him at the top of the tackling statistics.  Jeff was a fan favorite and all around good guy.

The Top Ten Indianapolis Colts (Pre-1998) - #10: Barry Krauss, Inside Linebacker (1979-1988)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Top Ten Indianapolis Colts (Pre-1998) - #10: Barry Krauss, Inside Linebacker (1979-1988)

Barry Krauss went from being the star of the 1979 Sugar Bowl for Alabama to a very poor Colts team.  He was a big and mobile inside linebacker who played very well for the Colts for nine years.  He was a good leader and was popular with the community.  I think that in a larger market Barry would have been considered one of the better linebackers in the league.  He manned the middle alongside Cliff Odom to form a solid inside linebacker tandem for a few years.

Barry Krause - looking for someone to collide with!
He tore his knee up early in the 1986 season and was lost for the season.  To add to his troubles he contracted a staff infection from his surgery that caused him to lose 50 lbs of his muscle mass.

Barry was back for the 1987 season about twenty pounds lighter than opening day the previous year.

I will always remember Barry as the best linebacker on a strong unit that the Colts had during those years.

New feature: The Top Ten Indianapolis Colts (Pre-1998)

I was thinking about doing a article on the top ten Colts of the Indianapolis era, but I decided that it would be dominated by players from the time Bill Polian joined the team in 1998.

There were a lot of great and beloved players who played for our Colts before then - even if as a team we did not have a lot of success.

In terms of my criteria, first off I am NOT a stats guy.  I don't care about stats - stats are for people who don't understand football.

My major considerations are how long they were here and what kind of impact on the team *and* the fanbase they had while they were here.  Bonus points for a player who brought national recognition to the team.

I do plan to do another list for the players from 1998 to present at some time in the future.

Hopefully you will enjoy it!  Feel free to share who you think should be on the list - I promise that it will have no effect on me whatsoever, but I'd like to see what others think.

I'll put direct links to each position as they are posted:

#10: Barry Krauss, Inside Linebacker (1979-1988)
#9: Jeff Herrod, Inside Linebacker (1988-1996, 1998)