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CaptainHook

Colts IDP

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This is from an earlier thread I had in the main forum:

 

I know it's early. And I know middle linebacker for the Colts hasn't been a big producer, but here is the latest. With the Colts allowing Rob Morris to walk away as a free agent, it was expected they would take a linebacker in the draft. So of course, with their first six picks, Indianapolis went CB, CB, DT, G, S, DE, before finally taking a linebacker. In the fifth round, with the 173rd pick, the Colts selected Tyjuan Hagler, LB, Cincinnati. Surprisingly, Bill Polian made it sound that he will be given every chance to be the Colts starting middle linebacker. The only other MLB on the roster is Gary Brackett, who has been an undersized backup for several years. Polian also mentioned that it was possible that Gilbert Gardner, an outside linebacker from Purdue drafted in the third round last year, may be moved to compete for the position.

 

In other news, Tony Dungy said that they would not experiment with moving DE Robert Mathis to linebacker. They did not want to lose the production (10.5 sacks) they had from him last year. Also, Donald Strickland will not make the move to safety, but will compete for the starting CB spot he lost after missing most of last year with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

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Well, stick a fork in Tyjuan Hagler. Sports hernia. He's done for three months. In the Colts experience with these things, Joseph Jefferson and Ben Utecht had sports hernia operations, and they both missed entire seasons. Gary Brackett is currently still the starter. Kendyll Pope, a 2004 fourth rounder from FSU, reportedly had some work a MLB during summer camp. So did Dominique Sims a rookie free agent. Dungy is reportedly considering bringing in some depth. Possibly Rob Morris?????

Edited by CaptainHook

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I really cannot see Brackett as the Opening Day starter. He is generously listed at 5'11", and was an undrafted free agent from Rutgers in '03. The Colts absoutely refuse to spend money on upgrading their LB's. They've let Marcus Washington and Mike Peterson walk away for nothing. But they do have a lot of competion for a couple spots. The only guy assured of starting job, IMO, is David Thornton who will start at strongside linebacker. The other two spots could be filled by any combination of the following: Gary Brackett, Kendyll Pope, Gilbert Gardner, and Cato June. Longshots include Tyjuan Hagler, Jim Nelson, and Keyon Whiteside.

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Crap, right when I thought Hagler was a complete STEAL in my IDP league...

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CH -- What are the chances D. Thornton will moved to MLB? When I acquired him in a trade, I was hoping that it was at least a possibility.

 

Seems to me that it would be smart to put their most experienced LB in the middle. Filling the SLB spot is generally easier, I'd guess.

 

What's your take?

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i thought jim nelson signed with baltimore?

 

821700[/snapback]

 

 

 

Oops! You are right! I thought he had another year on his contract. He is currently a Raven.

Edited by CaptainHook

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CH -- What are the chances D. Thornton will moved to MLB? When I acquired him in a trade, I was hoping that it was at least a possibility.

 

Seems to me that it would be smart to put their most experienced LB in the middle. Filling the SLB spot is generally easier, I'd guess.

 

What's your take?

 

822387[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

I don't think it will happen. He played weakside linebacker in 2003. Strongside in 2004. I can't imagine them moving him again. I think he will be the strongside backer again this year. Anything is possible though. Injuries, etc. could force a move. The Colts will be trying a lot of guys out in different combinations in training camp and preseason.

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Re-signing unrestricted free-agent MLB Rob Morris remains an option, but head coach Tony Dungy wants to provide former undrafted free agent Gary Brackett an opportunity to earn the starting job, as he did with former CFL product Nick Harper, now the Colts’ starter at left cornerback. Brackett, listed at 5-11, 239, is closer to 5-foot-9 and has a body type similar to Dolphins starter Zach Thomas (5-11, 230) and Dat Nguyen (5-11, 238) of the Cowboys. “Some guys just need the opportunity,” Dungy told reporters at the Colts’ May 18 summer-school practice. “If they were two inches taller or a certain amount of pounds heavier, then they’d be a high draft choice. It comes down to getting the chance to play and taking advantage of the opportunity. A lot of those guys — like a Mike Singletary or a Sam Mills — have done just that.”

 

from Pro Football Weekly

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Trying to conform. . .

 

Linebackers: Most of my IDP report has been about the linebackers. No new news. Currently the starters are David Thornton (strong side), Gary Brackett (middle) and Cato June (weak side). Only Thornton is guaranteed a starting spot, in my opinion. Kendyll Pope (middle) and Gilbert Gardner (weak side) could possibly break into the starting lineup depending on camp developments. Keyon Whiteside is coming off a knee injury from last year, and fifth round pick Tyjuan Hagler will be significantly slowed in his development by his hernia surgery. No other linebackers are currently worth mentioning.

 

Fantasy Outlook – Your best bet in IDP leagues is Thornton, since he is the only guy who doesn't have any competition for his spot. Whoever wins the weakside spot is usually a tackling machine, and will be a great IDP player. I have a sneaky suspicion that Gardner gets this spot.

 

Update 6/9/05 David Thornton missed summer school mini-camp. He is recovering from groin surgery. He is expected to be ready by the start of training camp.

Update 6/15/05 The Colts re-signed MLB Rob Morris to a one year deal at $500 K. I guess he didn't have many offers. Not hard to believe, since he sucks. Apparently he has been told that he will be the back-up to Brackett, and that he can compete for the starting spot in training camp. I am disappointed by this move.

Update 8/21/05 It does not appear that Rob Morris will be able to pry the starting middle linebacker job from Gary Brackett. Brackett had two interceptions in the pre-season game against the Bears. The Colts like his coverage abilities much better than Morris'. It also appears that Cato June will retain his starting weakside linebacker spot. The Colts had linebacker Micheal Barrow in for a work-out, but did not sign him.

Update 8/31/05 Kendyll Pope has been suspended for 1 year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Update 9/4/05 The Colts traded for middle linebacker Rocky Calmus from Tennessee. He will be David Thornton's back-up at strong-side linebacker.

 

Defensive Ends: Dwight Freeney is simply awesome. He didn't seem to run himself out of as many plays last year, and he is so fast, it is scary. His spin moves sometimes come back-to-back and his size make it hard for big LT's to get their hands on him. Officially, his backup is Robert Mathis, but on third downs and passing situations, they both are in the game. Sometimes Freeney will move to DT, sometimes he'll flip to the other side. The starting right defensive end is Raheem Brock. He is a solid, but unspectacular. A lot of times he will leave his feet jumping at the quarterback, and is easily cut down by backs or tackles. He had some success with that move his rookie year, and seems to have decided to make it his signature play. Unfortunately, he ends up on the ground 99% of the time. The Colts do so much shuffling on the defensive line, it is hard to say who the back-up RDE is. Sometimes it is Mathis. Josh Thomas was getting a lot of playing time last year, but tore his ACL. Supposedly he is recovering well, and will play this year. The Colts drafted Jonathan Welsh as a Robert Mathis-type situational DE. Mathis got hurt at the end of the year and missed the play-offs. They wanted a back-up for him.

 

Fantasy Outlook – Freeney is the man. If your league is sack heavy, Robert Mathis is also worth a look, although he is a situational pass rusher.

 

UPDATE 6/9/05 Freeney missed the summer school mini-camp due to the surgery on his shoulder. The Colts say they expect him to be ready at some point soon after the start of training camp on July 27. He may miss some of the begininng of camp. Josh Thomas will also be monitored and may be limited to one practice per day, as he is recovering from his torn ACL.

Update 8/9/05 Jonathan Welsh suffered a PCL injury in the American Bowl in Tokyo and may miss up to 5 weeks. Dwight Freeney has yet to return to practice, although it is believed that it will not be much longer.

Update 8/21/05 Dwight Freeney returned to practice on August 18th, but was held out of the preseason game against the Bears as a precaution. He should play next week at Denver.

 

Defensive Tackles: Montae Reagor has been a pleasant surprise to me. He fits the Colt's system very well, and has been a solid contributor against the run and pass. He is a guaranteed starter. Who will play beside him is not. Josh Williams and Larry Tripplett are below average. Tripplett has been very disappointing to me as a second round pick. "Sweat Pea" Burns was a third round pick from Kentucky. Guess what? He's undersized. (6'2" 260) I don't expect a whole hell of a lot from this crew. The Colts will struggle against the run again this year.

 

Update 8/9/05 Vincent Burns suffered a PCL injury in the American Bowl in Tokyo that will require surgery. He will miss up to 5 weeks.

Update 8/11/05 Josh Williams has a sports hernia that will require sugery. He will be placed on the PUP List and will miss the first 6 games of the regular season. Larry Tripplett will start with Montae Reagor at defensive tackle for the Colts.

8/31/05 The Colts have signed Corey Simon! This vastly upgrades the defensive line and improves the value of Dwight Freeney and the Colts LB corps. The Colts feel he is a better fit for their one-gap style than he was for Philly's two-gap defense.

 

 

Cornerbacks: After screaming for years at the Colts for refusing to draft corners before round three, they finally listened. They took Marlin Jackson in the first round and Kelvin Hayden in the second. Corner is now one of their deepest positions. I am not even going to guess how this will play out at this time. The most veteran of the crew, Nick Harper, surprised me by re-signing with the Colts. Maybe he didn't have any other offers. Harper always starts off the year great. But injuries nag him almost every year, and his play steadily declines. The Colts also have second year man Jason David, who added significant muscle to his slight frame in the off-season. David played beyond my wildest expectations as a rookie, mainly because he had to, with 49 tackles and 4 picks. He replaced starter Donald Strickland who had to undergo season ending shoulder surgery. Strickland is back and has been told to compete for the CB spot. However, he played extensively at free safety his rookie year, and did well. More on that later. Joseph Jefferson is one of the Colts more physical specimens at corner, but he too has suffered myriads of injuries.

 

Fantasy Outlook – Once again, I have NO clue how this battle will shake out.

 

UPDATE 6/9/05 Joseph Jefferson has been working at safety in mini-camp. He has been asked to make the move, and agreed. He played safety in college. He might be the free safety the Colts are looking for.

Update 7/30/05 In the first week of training camp, Donald Strickland and Nick Harper have been working with the #1 unit as cornerbacks. Rookie Marlin Jackson and second-year man Jason David are the back-ups. Strickland pulled a hamstring and wil undergo an MRI.

Update 8/9/05 Due to a hamstring injury to Donald Strickland and a foot injury to Nick Harper, Marlin Jackson started in the American Bowl in Tokyo. I was very impressed. He looks extremely phyical, and showed solid tackling as well as great body control on a deep pass. I think he will be a starter by the season opener. Second rounder Kelvin Hayden also showed big-play ability by forcing a fumble on a big hit.

Update 8/21/05 I don't see any possible way Marlin Jackson is not a starter on opening day. The guy is a player. Great tackler. The fact that "starters" Nick Harper (foot) and Donald Strickland (hamstring) have not played this pre-season is clouding the picture. I think Harper will retain his starting spot, with Jackson on the other side. Jackson is an IDP sleeper this year.

 

 

Safety: The Colts have some hard-hitting guys back there. Mike Doss and Bob Sanders will knock the crap out of you. Doss is a liability in coverage and will play strong safety. Sanders will play free safety. He did not play that position last year for the Colts. He either filled in for an injured Doss, or just flat-out got the start over him. The big problem with these two is injuries. Doss has had knee sprains and hamstring problems his first two years. Now he's shooting guns in the air outside of night clubs. Sanders looks like a beast. He is small, but built like a tank. He missed the beginning of the season with a foot injury from college. Just as he was starting to get comfortable, he sprained his knee on kick-off coverage. I love this combination, but am very leary about their ability to play 16 games. In my opinion, the Colts do not really have a true free safety on the roster. I think Donald Strickland ends up losing his cornerback battle and finds himself as a free safety by the end of training camp. Gerome Sapp and fourth round pick Matt Giordano are the back-ups of note.

 

Fantasy Outllook - I LOVE Sanders. But can he stay healthy?

 

Update 6/9/05 Joseph Jefferson has made the move from cornerback to safety during mini-camp. The reason given is that the Colts need more depth at safety with Doss to serve at least a one-game suspension for his legal issues. Jefferson played safety in college. Dungy acknowledged that this could be a long-term switch for Jefferson. I think this is a significant development. Barring injury, I think it is very likely that Jefferson wins the starting free safety spot. Bob Sanders would be the strong safety. That means Mike Doss could be a back-up this year.

Update 6/15/05 Mike Doss has been suspended for the Colts' first regular season game. He can still practice with the team and can participate in all pre-season games.

Update 7/30/05 Doss has opened training camp working with the second unit. Joseph Jefferson (SS) and Bob Sanders (FS) are the first unit safeties.

Update 8/9/05 Joseph Jefferson and Bob Sanders started the American Bowl in Tokyo. Mike Doss is nursing a groin injury and did not play. Both looked good. Sanders had the first tackle of the game and an interception off a deflected Mike Vick pass. Jefferson had 5 tackles and appeared to be everywhere. I like this combination!

Update 8/21/05 Mike Doss returned to practice and promptly reaggrevated his groin.

Edited by CaptainHook

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Looks like another Colt in trouble. What's with these guys?

 

 

Colts | Police and Courts: N. Harper - from www.KFFL.com

Sat, 4 Jun 2005 12:40:50 -0700

 

The Indianapolis Star reports Indianapolis Colts CB Nick Harper was arrested on a domestic battery charge at his Carmel home Saturday, June 4. Harper's wife, Danielle, suffered an eye contusion. Harper is charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic violence, but must stay in jail until he appears before a judge. "He'll be in jail all weekend," Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter said. A spokesman for the Indianapolis Colts was unaware that Harper had been arrested.

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As I said, Cato June will have heavy competition for his job:

 

At outside linebacker, Colts have a slew of young players, including 2004 draft selections Kendyll Pope and Gilbert Gardner, the latter of whom was a second-round selection. Gardner worked at backup weakside backer behind June this past off-season.

 

“This group can be really good,” June said. “Guys have been around and now they know the system. It’s not so much guys having so much experience in the NFL, but it’s guys having this much experience in (Colts Head Coach) Tony Dungy’s scheme, so we know what he wants.

 

“We know what to expect. We know how to do it, it’s just a matter of going out and getting it done. This group can do tremendous things. We have a lot of speed and a lot of athletic ability, and that’s the key to being successful in the Cover 2 defense.”

 

June said he will get heavy competition from Gardner during training camp, and that not only doesn’t he mind, he expects it.

 

“There are no secure spots, especially at our position,” June said. “Everyone’s so young and no one but DT (Thornton) really has a lot of experience. Outside of him, we probably have less than 20 some starts between us. I kind of approach it like I did last year, going in with the mindset that it’s mine to lose.

 

 

full story

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The Colts signed rookie third round defensive lineman Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns to a three-year, $1.4 million contract that includes a $464,100 signing bonus and a minimum base salary of $230,000 for 2005.

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Hook -- Just out of curiosity, why doesn't Dungy just hand the WLB to June? Didn't he greatly exceed expectations last year?

 

I mean, if he totally sucks in camp, then of course, he should be replaced. But otherwise...?

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Cato June was a sixth round pick in 2003. Gilbert Gardner was a third round pick in 2004. Theoretically, Gardner has more talent. June played well last year. Honestly though, most LB's would accumulate a bunch of tackles as the Colts weakside backer. And after watching last year, I didn't think June stood out. I'd say he was average. I think the Colts are looking for any spark that can improve the defense. I really think Gardner has a legit chance to win the starting job. It should be an interesting battle.

 

Edit: One other thing, on special teams last year, Gilbert did well after recovering from a pre-season high ankle sprain, including an incredible deflection on a "center-eligible" trick play the Titans attempted on a fake punt. It's that kind of athleticism that has the Colts wondering "what if".

Edited by CaptainHook

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Matt Giordano, a safety from the University of California-Berkeley, signed with the Colts Monday, the team announced. A fourth-round selection in this past April’s NFL Draft, Giordano became the third of the team’s 10 2005 draft selections to sign.

 

Jonathan Welsh, a defensive end from the University of Wisconsin, signed with the Colts Monday, the team announced. A fifth-round selection in this past April’s NFL Draft, Welsh became the fourth of the team’s 10 2005 draft selections to sign.

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Marlin Jackson, a defensive back from Michigan, signed with the Colts on Wednesday. A first round selection, twenty-ninth overall in this past April's NFL Draft, Jackson will sign a five-year, $6.975 million contract.

 

Kelvin Hayden, a defensive back from Illinois, signed with the Colts on Wedsnesday. He was the Colts second round pick, and agreed to a 4 year deal.

 

Tyjuan Hagler, a linebacker from Texas Tech, signed with the Colts on Wednesday. He was one of the Colts three fifth round selections.

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Captain :D

 

What is the word on Special Teams in Coltsville...for some reason I have this obsession now on finding out about KR returners and Special Team Defense...strange I know!! :D

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Kick-off returns will be handled by D. Rhodes. He does really well.

 

Punts will probably be handled by Brad Pyatt. He gets hurt all the time. His back-up is Troy Walters. Walters is too small and just gets killed, which results in fumbles. The Colts haven't had a decent punt returner since Terrance Wilkins.

 

Defensively, the Colts have been much better on punt defense than kick-off defense. Vandy just doesn't have the leg or hang time. The Colts drafted a kick-off specialist from Michigan State, his name is Dave Rayner. I really won't have a good feel on special teams until I've seen a few pre-season games.

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Kick-off returns will be handled by D. Rhodes.  He does really well.

 

Punts will probably be handled by Brad Pyatt.  He gets hurt all the time.  His back-up is Troy Walters.  Walters is too small and just gets killed, which results in fumbles. The Colts haven't had a decent punt returner since Terrance Wilkins. 

 

Defensively, the Colts have been much better on punt defense than kick-off defense.  Vandy just doesn't have the leg or hang time.  The Colts drafted a kick-off specialist from Michigan State, his name is Dave Rayner.  I really won't have a good feel on special teams until I've seen a few pre-season games.

 

905191[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

Thanks!

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