Showing posts with label anthony costanzo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anthony costanzo. Show all posts

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Redskins at Colts Preseason: 2nd Look

I was a bit surprised that the offense looked as bad as it did Friday night.  You never expect things to go well when Manning is not in there, but they really took a step back from the Rams game.  In past preseasons it was easy to point towards horrid offensive line play, but this year the offensive line (both the starters and the subs) look great.

The passing game was clearly affected by the absence of Wayne.

We had pretty much all of the likely starters on defense in there early in the game, but their performance was spotty.  They gave up a long run to pedestrian running back Tim Hightower on the 2nd play from scrimmage (Gary Brackett took the wrong gap) which looked worse than it was. Bethea pulled his hamstring running him down.  Expect a few long runs given up in our first couple of regular season games as the guys get organized.

Firstly lets focus on the performance of the draft picks:

Anthony Castanzo (LT):
Castanzo started and played really well both in the run and pass game.  He may turn out to be a serviceable run blocker, but he will never be a road grater type like you see with the Ravens or Jets.  Brian Orakbo got by him to the inside a couple of times to pressure the QB, but that is no sin.

Ben Ijalana (RT):
Ben came in midway through the 3rd quarter at right tackle.  His destiny is to play right tackle for us, the only question is when.   No one got by him that I could see.  He is quite large and it is a long trip around him.

Drake Nevis (DT):
Nevis did not start but he played a lot and he played well.  He was not quite as active as he was against the Rams.  He got a lot of penetration.  I would not be surprised if he passed Molala in the DT rotation.

Delone Carter (RB):
With the Colts behind the whole game, Delone did not get too many run opportunities.  I did see him make a couple of nice pass blocks - and you know that the eye in the sky will not miss that.  He had one nice run on a draw that he broke outside.  People need to understand that this guy is not a power back, despite his size.  He has quick feet and does not run to contact like a power back would.

Chris Rucker (DB):
The stats say he had two tackles, but I can't say I noticed him.

Notes on other offensive lineman of note:

Jeff Linkenbach (LT):
Linkenbach replaced Diem at right tackle on the third series.  Last week it was Ijalana and Jeff was at left tackle.  Jeff did slide over to left tackle midway through the 3rd quarter.  He is really not large enough to be a good all around tackle on the right size as that is where you want your best run blocker.  But since he is a better than average pass protector and the Colts are a passing team - we can get by with him there if he has to play for Diem.  Of course if we look to have sufficient tackle depth, I would not be surprised if Diem got cut.

Joe Reitz (LG):
Joe started tonight and looked solid but not spectacular.

Mike Pollak (RG & C):
Pollak was not challenged much at right guard (where he started and played the first two series).  He then moved to center to replace Saturday.  Right now they are grooming him to replace Saturday, which is good for him as his lack of raw strength is a lot less of a problem there.

Jacques McClendon (LG): 
McClendon came in at left guard midway through the 3rd quarter to replace Reitz.  He looked fine and I did not see him miss any obvious assignments.  He had some nice run blocks.

Other players:

Jerry Hughes looked lost tonight.  I did not see any of his speed and athleticism, because his lack of awareness is crippling.  You can't teach athleticism, but you can train the mind.  Lets hope this happens.  He lost contain on the long run the Redskins had starting the second quarter and I saw him fall for run fakes all night and recover slowly.  At times he did not seem to compete.  Not good.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Colts at Rams preseason: 2nd look

Saturdays game had a pretty predictable outcome; basically when Peyton Manning is not playing the offense struggles to move the ball consistently.  That said, some aspects of the offense looked better than it has in the past in that situation.  You could tell that Painter had been getting a lot more snaps and the offense more closely resembled a run of the mill offense in the NFL instead of looking like a chimp trying to land a airplane in a blizzard.

The defense looked bad, but there were a few nice plays from the young guys.

Firstly lets focus on the performance of the draft picks:

Anthony Costanzo (LT):
Costanzo did not come in until the 2nd quarter (but who knows, he looks a bit like Linkenbach).  He showed good mobility, but then that was what he was known for in college.

Ben Ijalana (RT):
This is a big dude.  I expected him to be a guard for the Colts, but it looks like they are grooming him for the RT position.  He showed good power and movement in the run game and seemed to do fine in pass protection.  

Drake Nevis (DT):
This guy is really active for big guy.  He started and from the first snap he was getting penetration (of course he was blindsided by a trap on that play).  He chased down plays away from him from sideline to sideline.  Of course it is early and it is only preseason, but Nevis is the guy to watch from this draft class so far.  

Delone Carter (RB):
Carter did not get any real opportunities to shine.  He will continue to get chances with the second unit throughout the preseason.

Chris Rucker (DB):
The stats say he had two tackles, but I can't say I noticed him.

The Colts starting offensive line featured three regulars from last season, Jeff Saturday, Mike Pollak, and Ryan Diem.  We know a lot about Saturday and Diem; how did the young guys do?

Jeff Linkenbach (LT):
While last year he proved that he cannot play guard, Linkenbach always surprises when he comes in at either tackle spot with his solid play.  He never seems to outright screw up and he is where he is supposed to be at all times.  This helps offset the fact that by any measure he has marginal at best athleticism.  He remains a valuable backup at tackle.  He made some nice blocks on both the run and pass.

Joe Reitz (LG):
He looks a lot like Mike Pollak out there on the field, but he looks stronger and faster.

Mike Pollak (RG & C):
Pollak continues to look weak and undersized whenever he is in the game.  He started at RG for the first series but then moved to center to relieve Saturday for the second series.  He also does not play with the kind of quickness that might compensate for his lack of physicality.  When he was in at center and DeVan was playing right guard, the interior of the line was extremely weak and allowed penetration on multiple occasions.

Jacques McClendon (LG): 
McClendon does not really fit the profile of the standard Colts lineman - and that's a good thing.  He has a powerful squat body and is a power player.  He was not on very many team's radar when the Colts drafted him.  He had some solid run blocks and looked fine in pass protection.  I'm hoping he starts this season.

On to the Colts fans whipping boy:

Curtis Painter started the game and threw a pick on the third play of the game.  He moved up in the pocket and tried a little too hard to make something happen, attempting to throw a touch pass while he was running forward.  These things happen with inexperienced players and it did not bother me too much.  After that, he was decisive and accurate - leading the Colts on a long second drive for a field goal.  He seems to know what he is doing out there.

Jerry Hughes would be the second choice for Colts fan whipping boy.  He started tonight at Dwight Freeney's right defensive end spot.  This could have been called the "Irony Bowl" since he was matched up against IU product Roger Saffold who was starting at right tackle for the Rams.  The Colts chose not to draft Saffold despite need at tackle and instead picked Hughes.  While it is still early in both players career, Saffold has stepped right in and contributed whereas Hughes is behind Freeney and Mathis on the depth chart.  Saturday night he held up well against the run but I don't think he had any particularly good rushes as the Rams QBs were not holding the ball for very long.

Random notes:

  • Donald Brown looked really good, showing some nice burst and shiftiness when he received blocking.
  • The Rams ran some rather advanced and ingenious blitzes - interesting that they got that in with the limited practice time.
  • Watching the Rams offense in the first half I found myself thinking that they looked a bit like the Patriots - then I remembered that they had hired former Pats coordinator Josh McDaniels in the offseason.  So there you go.
  • Tommie Harris (10 year vet with the Bears) looked good in limited time.  We have a lot of bodies in that DT rotation.


Colts at Rams preseason: First thoughts

Notes and observations from the first viewing of the game.  Later in the week I will will post more detailed stuff after I get a chance to go through the tape a few times.

  • 3rd round pick Drake Nevis looked to be really active and mobile.  He is *really* wide.
  • Curtis Painter looked good to me on his 2nd drive.  With Manning hurt they are treating him like the starter - only playing to series.
  • Dan Orlovsky looked like a guy that has about two weeks of practice.  He yelled at Taj Smith for pulling up on a route - I like that.
  • I noticed Ollie Ogbu making a few nice plays at DT in the 2nd half.
  • First round pick Anthony Costanzo came in later in the first half and looked OK.  The line play will be what I'm focused on when I review the tape later.
  • Second round pick Ben Ijalana also came in later and looked OK.
  • Chad Spann looks to have some nice burst out of the backfield. 

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.