The Colts Need to pay some people now and get some help for Matt Ryan.

Throughout this free agency, I keep thinking to myself… Why? Why isn’t Chris Ballard out here looking to chuck some dough around. What is he waiting for!?! Does he not see the writing on the wall? He needs to fix this team QUICK if he wants to be the General Manager for the Colts for much longer. I can’t imagine that Irsay will stand for this much longer considering how outspoken he’s been this last week on his frustrations with some of the moves made by the organization (mostly Carson) and his frustration with consistently losing to the Tenessee Titans. He’s had enough and he knows most of the fan base has had enough as well.

This guy wants to win bad.

So even following the acquisition of a proven veteran in Matt Ryan the Colts are still dominating the cap clearing game. I don’t get why Ballard hasn’t thrown a bag yet. I mean Irsay has been candid this week on what he’s wanting out of his squad, and I would think if I were Ballard I’d be looking to pay somebody, show that you are out here using the cap space that you’ve worked so hard to get. While getting the QB was essential, now we need somebody who can set the tone and the attitude of the receiving room.

We need to get some help. At least one of the remaining wide receivers out there is a must. We need a veteran presence to get in the buildingand help set the tone throughout our wide receiver room. While Michael Pittman is developing well, he is doing just that, developing. We need a receiver who’s been around and has really cut his teeth. We need someone who can come in and be the veteran presence all of our developing receivers can look toward.

For those of us out there thinking that we need to trust the plan here, unfortunately the plan has gotten us to middle of the road play with a carousel at the single most important position in the game. Chris Ballard is an absolute A+ talent evaluator in my book. But man… he needs to be willing to spend some of this cap space if he wants to keep calling the shots in my personal opinion. I don’t know what dream scenario Chris Ballard thinks is just waiting to present itself. But there’s no pride in going into the season as the most underpaid team in the league, so do something and make a splash Chris!

I truly believe Will Fuller has a lot left to play for. I think getting him would be a great boost to our offense. In my own, unprofessional and often delusional opinion, Will Fuller would compliment Michael Pittman Jr.’s game nicely. Will Fuller has got some NASA grade burners when fully healthy. While the last injury to hold him out was a broken thumb, I believe that his speed should not be the issue. Paying Fuller would present Matt Ryan with a dependable option at each level of the field. Jonathon Taylor in the flat, Michael Pittman in the middle, and Will Fuller in the deeper part of the field. I really think if protected by a line committed to the game plan this year, that offense could be something to write home about.

Also I guess there is Jarvis Landry… But I’m thinking his personal evaluation of his own skills may be a tad out of the range that Ballard may be willing to spend. But, I’d figure a man with his job on the line, as I believe Chris Ballard is, he’d be looking for any way to succeed at any cost to the Colts. For better or worse Chris, you can’t spend the money when you’re gone. What are you waiting for?!

Don’t be a cheapskate Chris.

For The Shoe.

JUST GET ME ONE TOP FREE AGENT! Tyrann Mathieu to the Colts seems like it may have legs. Short thoughts.

Just one time. Just one time I want to land a top tier free agent. What’s the point of all this cap space if we aren’t going to use it on a stud or two? Tyrann Mathieu appears to be having odds on him to the Colts. It appears the gambling site oddschecker has moved the Colts into the odds favorite to get Tyrann Mathieu from free agency, following his tenure in Kansas City.

Tyrann Mathieu seems to be the biggest named free agent still available on the defensive side of the ball. With the Colts being seen as favorite a few places, I have to say this must really have some legs. Because when are we EEEVVVEEERRRR the favorite for a projected free agent landing zone? Not too often. I seem to get my hopes up each and every year that we will get the free agents of top caliber, but rarely is this ever the case.

I’ve gotten my hopes up time and time before. And time and time before I’ve been let down. We have yet to make a real splash in free agency in the Ballard era. The largest splash we’ve seen was Carson Wentz and I’ll say the unexpected move of Matt Ryan was solid, with the actual verdict to come following his play on the field. We haven’t had a solid free agent track record from our current regime. So I am cautious to get too invested in potentially wishful thinking.

Although, I believe if the Colts can secure Tyran Mathieu and he can perform up to the level that we’ve seen from him over the course of his career, the Colts defense could have the most intuitive defensive duo in the NFL. Darius Leonard and Tyronn Mathieu are both very, very intuitive players. Their instincts and knowledge for the game seem to put them in positions to make a play more often than not. Not many players possess this gift to any degree, while these two guys may be some of the best examples of this in the NFL.

He would enter that Colts’ locker room and immediately seek to aid Darius in setting a tone of attitude and rock steady defense. His resume speaks for itself and would speak volumes to those within the Colts organization. He is a genuine leader, and after watching the Colts last year, other than Darius, I feel like our leadership was lacking. The Colts Need to go out and get the guys that will help “set the tone” for lack of a better explanation.

While all of this is very promising I can’t help but fear a potential fall off in Tyrann’s game following his next contract signing. I’m sorry I just don’t see him remaining in that top tier of NFL safeties for too much longer. I imagine he may be looking for this next contract to be his last MAJOR payday. If this is the case, I think he may be looking for a longer contract, and get really comfortable wherever he lands next. I don’t know how tied down we’d want to be with a major contract spent on Mathieu when there seem to be more imperative roles that need to be paid and cemented within our franchise. (Fingers crossed we got QB covered for a few more years if Matt Ryan should find a second wind in Indianapolis and want to stick around).

Here’s hoping something can come of this. I will be over the moon if we are able to land him. Because ultimately, this salary cap is going to climb. And there seems to be more and more ways that creative accounting is allowing teams to manipulate that salary cap. So throw it all at him. Get our number 1 recruiter Darius Leonard on the case! I’m ready to see Tyrann Mathieu suit it up For The Shoe.

Matt Ryan to the Colts. A hopelessly optimistic fanboy’s thoughts.

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

-Meister Eckhart
Meister Eckhart, Late 13th Century Theologian and probable Colts fan

Alright… So we’ve finally figured out who will be under center for the Indianapolis Colts this season. In doing so we see yet another new beginning for the franchise. Just yesterday Matt Ryan was traded to the Colts for the 82nd pick (3rd round). And I have got to say… I will take it. Now I know nothing about constructing a winning squad in the NFL, but I’m going to run with this straight from the gut and say I love it.

You have to think about the situation that Ballard had gotten the Colts into. Matt Ryan was the best option. An option that didn’t seem available at the beginning of free agency. I mean the Atlanta Falcons really did their franchise star for the last 2 decades dirty in this one. It seemed out of the blue that an Atlanta rebuild was presented, even though it was desperately needed. It still looked like they would ride with Matt Ryan until the wheels fell off.

Matt Ryan has been the face of the Atlanta Falcons for 14 years. While I am grateful that we have addressed our most glaring issue on the roster, can’t help but feel like Matt Ryan got absolutely dissed by the front office here. He restructured his monster contract in order to give the front office the ability to get him other guys with more cap space in good faith, and they did not reciprocate. I believe the fans of Indianapolis will welcome him with open arms and he will forget the franchise that did him dirty pretty shortly after his arrival in The Circle City.

While a 20 to 12 isn’t a great TD to Interception ratio. I truly believe that most of Atlanta’s roster is absolute doodoo stank, except the freak of nature that is Kyle Pitts and a few defensive dogs.  I really believe that we may get to see sparks of Matt Ryan of old when he had a run game to open the playbook a bit. I remember when Matt Ryan had a tandem of Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman (Shout out my Hoosiers) where the Falcons offense was dominant. Yes that was with Julio Jones and Matt probably both in the prime of their careers, but then again with guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tommy Titles out there whose to say he can’t have a strong showing in this his 15th season in the NFL.

I really believe that Jonathon Taylor will open up the passing game in a way that Matt has not seen in quite some time. Of course there are still glaring needs in the passing game. But if Michael Pittman Jr. can continue to progress and we are able to find a reliable deep threat either through what’s left of free agency or the draft, we could really see something out of this squad. This year’s wide receiver draft class is pretty stacked so we may be able to pick someone up that could make an immediate impact. Although there is now a glaring hole at Tight End (barring Mo Allie-Cox stepping up to what I believe his potential could be), a deep threat to compliment Michael Pittman’s game would be exceptional in my very unprofessional, very biased opinion.

Another effect that signing Matt Ryan might have is the free agency of Julio Jones. And while even just typing that out makes me feel like I may be going a little senile, it hasn’t stopped Darius Leonard from going to recruit the Hall of Fame bound wide receiver. Darius tweeted out yesterday,
“@juliojones_11 aye man hear me out! Matt have already thrown you a lot of touchdowns in the dome in Atlanta, y’all could finish what y’all started in Atlanta in the dome here in Indy!” And yeah, a tweet may not mean much. But hey, why not kick the tires. If this is a possibility we could really see an entirely new offense in Lucas Oil next season.

I’ll be the first to admit while writing this I am getting flashbacks to when we signed Carson Wentz. This hopeful, and admittedly somewhat unwarranted optimism is an all too familiar feeling that I felt 3 times in the last 3 years. Rivers. Wentz. And now Ryan. But whatever… I bleed Blue. So I’m riding with this team for better or worse.

So all in all, I’m possibly too optimistic about what Matt Ryan had left to offer, but then again I didn’t expect Phillip Rivers to do jack in Indianapolis. And honestly I was wanting him to come back for a second season. I believe Matt Ryan to have an even better chance to make a difference in our season than Phillip did. Which is very promising in my own opinion. So I will be putting all of my chips on Matt Ryan this year. For better or worse I was born a Colts fan, an irrationally loyal one at that. So excited about this season, I’m on board wherever this may lead.

Indianapolis Colts in line to lock down Casey Hayward for next season?

In updating their projected landing spots for their top-50 ranked free agents of the 2022 offseason, Pro Football Focus believes the Colts will sign former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory and former Los Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward. This feels like cheating, but Hayward and Gus Bradley should be on the same team until Hayward retires. Bradley’s Cover-3 scheme fits Hayward’s skill set perfectly, as it allows him to use his instincts and smarts. The Colts could replace Xavier Rhodes with Hayward on the outside. However, coverage performance from year to year can be streaky. Hayward recorded a 59.5 PFF grade in 2020 and then a 76.6 in 2021, but he could just as easily revert back to a sub-60 grade in 2022.” – Kevin Hickey, USA today.

Just to catch you all up on Casey Hayward… It’s been 4 years since he’s nabbed a spot on the NFL top 100 list. But, this guy’s still got game though… Big Trust.

This signing would be a huge boost in addressing our looming free agent holes. With Pro Bowl cornerback Kenny Moore headlining, Casey Hayward brings skill and MASSIVE experience to the Colts second CB position. I think this signing is a no brainer, unlike the current QB situation.

While Casey Hayward lacks the hands of most corners(who already aren’t receivers largely due to lack of hands), he has experience for days over most of the league. This experience is sooooo massively important for a cornerback. This experience allows a player to know where to be on the field. He’s seen it all, and in turn, knows how to counter it all!

While most sites and media outlets see Indianapolis as the landing spot for Hayward this offseason, this signing will go a small way in locking up a Super Bowl quality team for Indianapolis. The only other problem is addressing the Edge and QB positions. Easily the two most important positions in the game… so while this is a sign of promising acquisitions to come, I need to hear that we can lock up those other two positions if the Colts have any shot in hell this year!

Given the previous relationship between new Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley and Casey Hayward, this will be a great match. While many thought Hayward may have fallen off last year, he stepped up and contributed to a stout Raiders secondary. Here’s to Casey Hayward on the Colts!!!!

As is always the case, I write this FOR THE SHOE!

Chris Ballard deserves to be on the hot seat. Why do Colts fans we give him so much slack?

The entire offseason has been centered around our search for a Quarterback. While questions regarding Frank Reich and Chris Ballard especially are present, but much fewer and farther between. Why is it that Chris Ballard is gifted so much… let’s say “benefit of the doubt”. In the six years since Chris Ballard has taken over as general manager the Colts have 1 playoff win. Any other fan base would be calling for the man’s head. I’m more perplexed because honestly I still believe Ballard’s a good GM.

But why is that?

He’s been able to build out one of the deepest rosters in the entire National Football League. A team that can contend at each and every position is a dangerous one, only problem is the most neglected position was quarterback. Of course, Chris Ballard thought he was inheriting a sure fire Hall of Famer in Andrew Luck. But the moment that was not the case, that had to become our main priority. End of story. You can’t win in the NFL without a QB. The Bengals almost just proved that sometimes you may be able to win with OONNLLYY a QB (and Chase of course). But QB must be addressed, and I really think that he was looking to build a powerhouse roster then draft a competent QB on a rookie contract to lead the team. That is a great plan, so long as that QB is coming down the line.

I would say the single biggest reason for Chris Ballard’s slack as GM is the 2018 draft. Drafting Quenton Nelson and then finding Darius Leonard in the second. I say finding because looking back now I would believe these guys to go top 3 overall from that class. Still granting that #1 spot to Josh Allen from the 2018 draft class. What a draft for the Colts. We picked up the two tone setters for our team in that same year. Great draft. So what have you done for me lately?

I genuinely believe that we as Indianapolis Colts fans have been conditioned to accept terrible choices through our tenure with Ryan Grigson. Ryan Grigson, his stench still resonates. What a terrible NFL GM. Terrible. Trash. Garbage. Trent RICHARDSON!!!! How about an offensive line to protect our franchises most valuable asset? “NAH LET’S GET GRANDPA ANDRE JOHNSON ON THE SQUAD!” Decisions like these are what made Andrew Luck hate football enough to quit.

It honestly feels like Chris Ballard may have overcorrected on the situation, seems like we’ve spent years addressing everything but the most essential piece to a franchise’s success. We need to learn from the past, but come on. We need a freaking quarterback!!!

Listen, before you think I’m being overreactive or quick to can a General Manager, I’d like to express that I truly believe the current state of the NFL hiring process is absolutely detrimental to a team’s success. Teams like the Dolphins, so quick to fire a coach, are absolute idiots to me. How is anyone supposed to change a program into a winner when they aren’t given the time to do so? Just can’t be done. I’m all for stability, but I’d like for that stability to land on a Super Bowl contender, not a team consistently finding themselves in the last seed or as the last one out of the playoffs.

-Burke

Rams win Super Bowl 56. quarter by quarter thoughts and recap

Heading into the game the media made had made the past two weeks The Joe Burrow show on every major news outlet. And rightfully so. He’s been proving that he’s the Big Game Kid!

I know I spew a lot of trash about the burning hell hole that is Los Angeles, but what an awesome stadium. SoFi is truly a site to see that I would risk a trip to Los Angeles for. But without further ado. To the game!

First quarter

Odell Beckham Jr. Grabs the TD from Matthew Stafford to get the score to 7-0. While the Los Angeles offense was kicking off with Matthew Stafford connecting on his first handful of passes in the game.

The Bengals have not been able to piece anything together. At the kick of this game Joe Burrow is running for his life, looking to get it to receivers who’ve barely ran through their routes. Not looking great until Joe was able to piecemeal a drive together painfully culminating in the Evan McPherson kick and bringing the score to 7-3.

Ending score of first quarter: Bengals 3 – Rams 7

BOOOOOOOO!!! OBJ BOO!

2nd Quarter

Big starting grab by Odell Beckham Jr. Leads to a drive resulting in a Cooper Kupp touchdown. Following that is a missed PAT and what appears to be a stubbed toe for LA Rams. Bringing that score to 13-3.

While the Bengals are started less than stellar they have begun to piece together a resistance. During the second half the Bengals run the HB pass and that’ll be 6 points for the Bengals! Score was now 10-13 in favor of the Rams.

Ending score 2nd quarter: Bengals 10-Rams 13.

At halftime it appeared that we had a real contest on our hands. A true battle was taking place much to the surprise of many LA supporters. But not to the surprise of Joe Burrow’s apostles. Second half was looking to be an absolute battle to decide the 2021-2022 NFL season!

Come the opening drive of the 3rd quarter Joe Burrow delivers Higgens a 75 yard strike giving the Rams a 17 to 13 lead. Then following up with a McPherson field goal their next drive it began to look like it was now Bengals game to lose. Then the Rams hit a field goal to bring it to Bengals 20 Rams 16.

End of 3rd quarter score:Bengals 20-Rams 16

4th Quarter

After a back and forth 4th quarter the LA Rams realized they should probably return to what has worked for them all season and Stafford connected with Cooper Kupp to take the lead 23-20 with 1:25 left to play. The magic surrounding Joe Burrow had to persevere for one more drive…..

And it didn’t.

Credit: Rams Twitter

So good for LA. La-di-freaking dah. It’s a wrap! LA wins another championship good for them!

I hate sports.

(Really though props to Aaron Donald. He can’t help he was drafted by them. He is a monster that deserves this. Just wish it was with someone else).

Oh well on to 2022-2023. Go Colts

-Burke

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