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Colts Season Review

Indianapolis - The Colts started the 2023 season with a surge of passion for the game and a 2-1 record, including a win against the eventual Division champion, and #1 power ranked Jaguars. What followed was a mixture of success and, ultimately, a 5-11 record.

What worked well?
The offense played pretty well this season, earning first year starter QB Jose Giradeau a league Passing title, leading the league with 4402 yards, and third with 31 touchdowns. This didn't come without challenges, he did throw a league high 24 interceptions. The Colts played from behind a lot this season, which surely contributed to the passing success. Rookie WR Lawrence Ellis had an impressive rookie campaign, leading rookie receivers with 1318 yards and 9 touchdowns, while also only dropping 9 passes against 74 catches. He was a consistent deep threat for Giradeau. Veteran WR Scott Long contributed another 1379 yards and 8 touchdowns on the opposite side, hauling in just shy of 100 catches to keep the chains moving well. On the defensive side of the ball, the front four were able to create some pressure on opposing QB's and HB's, combining for 21 sacks and 27 tackles for loss across the defensive front. The offensive line protected Giradeau decently for a young, inexperienced signal caller. Highlights were Guard Jacob Bender and Tackle Rufus Davis. KR/HB LeBron Sicky was again able to contribute steadily in the return game, accounting for over 2200 yards and 3 touchdowns on kick returns. He also was able to be a factor in spots on offense. His best performances were in week 2 against the Steelers with 100 yards on the ground and a touchdown, and week 16 against the Panthers with 191 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. New offensive coordinator, Chris Simms, hopes to find a way to integrate Sicky into more of the passing game where he presents a significant deep threat out of the slot.
What didn't work so well?
The defense was horrible overall, especially the secondary. It's a good thing that the RZL has decided not to track catches allowed because the Colts' defensive backfield probably would have broken the league's database. It's little wonder that the Colts went full bore at revamping their secondary in the draft this season. They brokered a trade to move CB Joe Haden to New England in the offseason. Despite his above average awareness and hands, Haden was victimized over and over throughout the season. He dropped from 7 picks in 2022 to just 1 in 2023, and was never really impressive in coverage this season. Amari Spivey was similarly unimpressive, yet decided to hold out, prompting GM Ian Coyle to release 9 year veteran. One of the biggest issues with the Colts' secondary was their inability to match-up with some of the bigger receivers in the league. Coyle went after size in the draft this season, added four DB's that are 6'0" or taller with above average athleticism. The linebacker corps also struggled in 2023, with only MLB Daniel Rivera registering more than 51 tackles. Their inability to regularly contribute was most evident in the Colts defense surrendering over 120 ypg on the ground and allowing their opponent's to convert 38% of their third down chances. The Colts were third worst in the league in forcing turnovers, only forcing 17 all season long. This all contributed to the Colts allowing a league worst 30.7 points per game. Lastly, and maybe the most egregious was the kicking game. Rookie Bernard Clayton sucked. There's no suger coating his 52% FG percentage. He missed a ton of kicks, and will likely be out of a job before much longer. We can't say that he cost us the season as we were outscored by an average of about 7 points, but there were certainly two games that could have swung our way with a made field goal instead of a missed one.
Off-season moves:
CB Amari Spivey - pre-season holdout that has performed below his current salary level.
OG Jacob Bender - Salary cap move, saved us over $11 million in cap space.
OG Brian Stamper -Salary cap move, saved us over $11 million in cap space.
CB Joe Haden - traded to the Patriots for CB Alfonzo Dennard and 2.10
QB Landry Jones - traded to the Steelers for 2.11 and 4.17
CB Jesse Murphy - re-signed to a 5 year deal.
Declined to offer contracts:
CB Leland Woods
FS Normand Barstow
OLB Wm Bradford
WR Tayshaun Holmes
WR Juamorris Stewart
SS Sherrod Martin
HB Brandon James
Draft Day:
1.5 CB Justin Gilbert - We waffled back and forth between Gilbert and Blackmon, but ultimately we liked that Gilbert was slightly more polished. We needed a CB that could start immediately and contribute. We also needed to get bigger at DB, Gilbert gives us that size and excellent athleticism.
2.5 CB Brent Zimmerman - Brent brings in another 'ready to play' CB that's big bodied and athletic. He will get some specialized training to improve his speed to keep up with some of the faster guys, but he will primarily be a CB, matched up against the possession receivers of the league. He also coming in with above average awareness for a rookie. Perhaps a little bit of a stretch to grab him here, as he probably would have been available at 2.10 or 2.11, but we didn't think he'd be here in the third either.
2.10 FS Brock Vereen - We were a bit surprised that Brock was still available here, and we had a couple teams calling trying to trade up to take him. Once again, we were interested in upgrading our secondary with both size and athleticism, Brock brings both. He's got CB coverage skills and will be an excellent addition to the backfield. He will likely start right away, but will need to wrestle the job away from incumbent, Jackie Smith.
2.11 OG Scott Workman - Workman brings some much-needed explosiveness to the interior of the line. No doubt there will be some growing pains on the interior of the line after the release of Bender and Stamper, two well tuned veterans, but the long term health of the team will be better for it.
3.5 CB Victor Burton - With Burton, we've added a big, tall CB to match-up with the big red zone threats around the league. He will get some targetted coaching and speed training over the first couple seasons to round out his skills, but we feel that he's got the tools to help against the biggest receivers in the league.
4.5 HB Al Dawkins - We liked Dawkins' quickness and baseline speed. Not thrilled with his body strength, but our running game has been horrible the past few seasons, we need to do something to keep our opponents from keying on the pass and killing Giradeau. If we're able to keep Alfred Morris healthy, Dawkins will provide a nice change of pace in the backfield. He's also got pretty decent hands and can be a threat on third down out of the backfield.
4.17 MLB Marcus White - White has some good all-around physical attributes. He will struggle for a couple seasons with his below average awareness and tackling though. He will mainly contribute on special teams and garbage time.
5.5 C Randall Douglas - Though drafted, we decided not to offer Douglas a contract.
6.5 QB John Carswell - We needed a back-up QB after trading away Landry Jones and opting not to re-sign Julio Torres. Carswell offered the best ability to step in when needed with his above average accuracy for a rookie. We're not thrilled with his tendency to scramble, but he's not a long term solution either.
7.5 DT Randall Adkins - Apparently we hate Randall's. We enjoy giving them false hope by drafting them and then declining to offer them a contract.
Pre-season Camps:
Justin Gilbert, Brent Zimmerman, and Victor Burton all showed up to camp early and were seen doing speed drills to help improved their coverage ability. They were seen chasing down deep balls thrown by QB Jose Giradeau, who is hoping to improve his already strong arm. Camp was dominated by battles among the new look defensive backfield that the Colts have put together this off-season. Early reports have Rookie safety Brock Vereen edging out veteran safety Jackie Smith. Second year strong safety Oliver Poole is trying to win back his spot after a strong start last season was derailed by an injury. Shad Ayala played well in his stead and it's his spot to lose. Ayala brings the size that GM Coyle craves, but Poole is more athletic. Not to be out-done, the offensive line unit has been hard at work trying to become a cohesive unit. Losing both Guards to salary cap hell will bring challenges as new faces step in and try to hold down the fort. Coyle swears that the moves actually improved the caliber of physical tools at each position, but will the loss of awareness and blocking skills hurt the team too much in the end? Time will tell.
2024 predictions:
History would say that the Colts are doomed to another sub-500 season. Things are changing in the AFC South though. The Jaguars have shown GM Matt Davis the door after a season in which they made an early play-off exit again. They have a talented team, but can new GM Justin Herr keep the train on it's rails? It's always tough to come in and keep the momentum that another GM had, good or bad. Not knowing the personnel and which playbooks work best, is a challenge. The Texans decided to go QB with 1.1 this season, so odds are they will have another rough season grooming a new face of the organization. The Titans were 8-8 last season and haven't really made any huge strides in getting better. All said, the Colts will likely end the season 8-8. This will be an improvement of course, but not what GM Coyle hopes for. It moves them out of the top 10 draft picks, but doesn't give them the benefit of playoff progression for their guys. The Jags are a tough team to beat, though Coyle is 2-1 against them in his tenure. The Colts also drew the NFC South and AFC North for inter-division games this season, both of whom have some very strong, well coached, teams.
Forum Discussion (by I_Coyle on 11/21/2014) Replies - 5 :: Views - 80
Colts steal one

New York - The Colts got a steal in the first round when WR Lawrence Ellis fell into their laps at 1.8.

We were as surprised as anyone else that Ellis was still available once we were on the clock. We were approached about trading back and potentially picking up some additional draft picks, but felt that we couldn't give the proper attention to that possibility. Once we discovered our luck with Ellis, we jumped at the chance to draft him, especially since this was an overall weaker class for the league. Ellis brings a good size frame with excellent speed and quickness, and above average hands and smarts for a rookie. We're excited to have him!

As for how this talented receiver fell to 1.8, the Colts GM was unavailable for comment. Reports have surfaced that Cardinals GM Ben Harbinger was seen at Radio City Music hall sprinting to the bathroom shortly before they were on the clock. Afterwards there were rumors of explosive diarrhea and bouts of extreme nausea.

TMZ leaked the above surveillance photo to the press and have reported that this is indeed GM Ian Coyle's cousin, who works for the Radio City Music Hall's catering company. They supplied food to the Cardinals' box before the draft started. This may very well explain why Mr. Harbinger was unable to submit his draft cards in time to pick up some of his targets. Charges have not been announced in the case yet, but it will certainly provide plenty of media fodder over the next couple weeks.

Shortly before the draft, the Colts traded QB Matt Flynn to the Panthers for a 2nd and 3rd round pick. Flynn had become expendable after the Colts traded for QB Giradeau who they are hoping they can groom into their Quarterback of the future. The move also freed up about 15M in cap space this season which will help to bring in some help for the defense in free agency. With their second pick, they nabbed Oregon Guard Jermaine Walton

Walton brings good speed and base blocking ability to the team. He has above average quickness and feet and average strength. He will tutor under veteran Jacob Bender for at least a year while being groomed to take over in a season or two. The Colts plan to develop a training plan for Walton to build strength and quickness before handing him the reigns.

In the third, the Colts drafted Safety Oliver Poole

We needed a safety, and Poole is our guy. He's very quick and has a good understanding of route developments. He's good above average closing speed for a safety and is a solid tackler. At 5'11" and 200 lbs, he's got a pro frame for disrupting both the passing game and running attack.

Later in the third the Colts grabbed MLB Carson Lewis from Western Michigan

We are hoping the Lewis will end up skewing in the right direction as he's right on the brink of being either mediocre or excellent. He brings good all-around size, strength, speed, and quickness to the table. He's also an excellent tackler. He will develop behind Daniel Rivera this season and may see some play in 3-4 sets as a second MLB.

In the sixth and seventh rounds, the Colts just added some depth with
CB Jimmy Adams and
K Bernard Clayton

Next up the Colts will take another look at free agency to add some depth to needed positions, as they look to build on the momentum they have going since Coyle took over.
Forum Discussion (by I_Coyle on 04/07/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 34
Colts announce new GM

Indianapolis - The Colts made a surprise move, firing GM Erick Edwards after his second stint with the club resulted in a 16-40 record over the past 4 seasons. They hired GM Ian Coyle to come in and work on cultivating a culture of success in the locker room that has a lot of promising players. "There are a lot of cagey vets here and a few talented, but unfocused, youngsters. We will spend the off-season evaluating our roster, scouting the upcoming draft class, and taking a serious look at the Free Agent market. There are lots of things to love going on here in Indy, we just need to get a plan and execute it. The wins will come in time."

Coyle recently shook the GZL community by making a controversial deal trading AJ Green to the GZL Jets, a deal that many lambasted. Will he make similar moves here? The off-season is coming, and time will tell.
Forum Discussion (by I_Coyle on 01/26/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 34
Colts open the RZL Season against the Packers

Written by: James Hunter
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana


Indianapolis, Indiana - The Indianapolis Colts will open the season facing the visiting Green Bay Packers in Week 1. Both teams had the top two picks in the recent draft with the Packers selecting CB Morris Claiborne and with the Colts trading away the second overall pick. This will be the fourth time these two franchises has faced each other with the Colts having a record of 2-1 against the Packers.

This past week, GM Erick Edwards made some releases and made more acquisitions to improve the offense of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts sent their second round pick to the Buccaneers and in return got QB Bobby Reid, who is a Super Bowl winning QB. Today in the pre-game post conference, Edwards made some comments on the move.

"Bobby (Reid) is a veteran quarterback who has had a whole lot of success in winning football games and also winning at the highest level. He is a guy that can get us to the next level. In my opinion, I believe we were one good QB away from making some noise in the division. With the acquisition of Reid, I believe we can start making noise in the division. In the pre-season, we had (Landry) Jones and (Julio) Torres battle to see who was going to be the starter this season and Jones won the battle as he was going to be the starter for the Packers game. With the acquisition of Reid, Jones will be second string and Torres will be demoted to third string."

- Edwards on acquiring QB Bobby Reid.

During the week, GM Erick Edwards cut back-up QB Horace Moon and RBs Shawnbrey McNeal and Andre Dixon. The Colts signed running backs Jonathan Dwyer, Stafon Johnson, and Keith Totson as well as RT Khalif Barnes all to contracts today. Here is what Edwards had to say.

"Andre and Shawnbrey are not the type of running backs that fits the system we are trying to implement. We need someone that is big, strong, and can take hits so we can continuously pound the rock and keep defenses honest with the run game. All three running backs are similar in size. If one gets injured, we can plug another one in and continue to do what we have been doing game plan wise. With Barnes, we just added a serviceable RT and a veteran to help out the young guys and also help us out in pass protection."

- GM Edwards on Week 1 Additions

The Colts are hoping that they can continue their success against the Packers as there are looking to improve to 1-0 for the season.
Forum Discussion (by E_Edwards on 04/05/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Indianapolis hires former GM

Written by: James Hunter
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana


Indianapolis, Indiana - Just days after their loss to the Jaguars, Jim Irsay formally announced the hiring of a former RZL GM to run the team and his name is none other than Erick Edwards.

GM Edwards has been in the RedZone League before. In the 2007, Irsay hired Edwards to take the Colts job after former GM Mike Baran retired after the Colts 2006 Super Bowl Win. In 2007, Edwards was relative new to the job and never had much GM experience. Everyone, including certain RZL GMs thought the hiring of Edwards was crazy. Before Baran retired the Colts were favored to win the title again the following season. As soon as Edwards was hired, the Colts were favored to miss the playoffs.

Edwards was hired in Week 7 of the 2007 during the Colts bye-week. Colts had a 4-2 record at the time. Edwards did the unthinkable and led the Colts to a 7-3 record and a trip back to the Super Bowl against the Chicago Bears. Unfortunately, the Colts lost the Super Bowl but what he done that season legitimize him as a competent GM. In the 2008 season, the Colts started where they left out by winning their first two games before being canned that season.

Through 14 games (including playoffs), Edwards has a 11-3 record (.785) with team with 1 Super Bowl appearance.

"I would like to thank the Colts Organization for re-hiring back to this great franchise. Back in 2007 I did what nobody said I could do and that is take the Colts back to the Promise Land. Since I've been out of the league a few years, some GMs may think I've lost my touch and that I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm going to prove them wrong and we are going back to the Super Bowl. Before we can get to where we want to go as an organization, we have to go through a process. We have a very young team and we are especially young at QB. He needs to develop as well as the rest of the team in order for us to do what we need to do. I rather build a winner and a contender for years instead of going into a "win now" attitude. "

- GM Erick Edwards

Colts Owner Jim Irsay has received some questions from fans and including people in the Colts front office about the hiring of Erick Edwards. Edwards, a former GM in this league, has had confrontations and disagreements with the League Office in the past before being fired and removed by the RZL League office two games into the 2008 season.

Colts Owner Jim Irsay was asked about this hire earlier this afternoon.

"With the former GM now gone from the team, I needed to bring fire and passion back to the franchise. I wanted someone to ignite the fan base and get them trusting us again and proving to them they we are serious about improving our football team and we are very serious about bringing another trophy to Indianapolis. Edwards fit that mold. I can say he's experience now. I couldn't say that when I first hired him. Erick is very passionate about what he is doing and I admit sometimes he is too passionate and that could rub people the wrong way but I will admit that he is good at what he does. He is very good at people pissing people off and he is good at being people friends and being very friendly."

"When I heard that he was interested in coming back to football again, I called him up and we had a long and intensive conversation. I voice my opinions, concerns and what I wanted to see the team headed this season and he did likewise. I believed a few years away from football altogether has done Erick good."

- Colts Owner (Pictured to the Left)

Edwards in his press conference admits that during his earlier years he was a bit childish and immature and even admitted that during his tenure here that he liked being controversial and like causing stirs and both times it cost him his job and his GM Career until being recently hired by the Colts.

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to back in this league and to be a GM. When I first started out, I admit that I like causing stirs and that is what ultimately led to me being released and fired. I also admit that I was childish. There is a saying that says this: When I was a child I spoke like a child, I played like a child, and acted like a child but when I became a man I put away childish things. I'm not saying that the Colts are going to get a watered down version of me but what I am trying to say is that I've matured. I will always be myself because that is what makes me me. I'm grateful for my past because it made me into the person I am today. I'm not here revisit the past, but I am here to deal with present and develop a team that can compete in the future."

- GM Erick Edwards during his press conference

Word is now that Erick Edwards has sign a one year deal due to his previous actions (terms of the deal was not disclosed) with a multi-year contract deal in the off-season if Edwards proves his worth as the General Manager.
Forum Discussion (by E_Edwards on 01/10/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

GM I_Coyle
Head Coach Andy Reid
Offensive Coordinator C.Simms
Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan
Special Teams Mark Micheals
Salary $166.7M
Cap Penalty $19.75M
Cap Room $12.88M

Colts Brock Vereen FS 78 Out for season
Colts Lawrence Ellis WR 89 Doubtful

AFC South
#2 Titans Titans 12-4-0 0.75 5-1
#9 Jaguars Jaguars 11-5-0 0.69 4-2
#17 Texans Texans 8-8-0 0.50 3-3
#31 Colts Colts 3-13-0 0.19 0-6

1 Sun vs Jets Jets #12
Lost 14-24
2 Sun vs Raiders Raiders #29
Lost 17-34
3 Sun vs Lions Lions #18
Lost 20-28
4 Sun at Jaguars Jaguars #9
Lost 45-48
5 Sun at Bengals Bengals #14
Lost 21-27
6 Sun at Packers Packers #32
Lost 17-31
8 Sun vs Bills Bills #21
Won 27-23
9 Sun at Patriots Patriots #23
Lost 23-31
10 Mon vs Titans Titans #2
Lost 28-34
11 Sun vs Jaguars Jaguars #9
Lost 28-38
12 Sun at Texans Texans #17
Lost 21-31
13 Sun at Vikings Vikings #3
Lost 7-12
14 Mon at Dolphins Dolphins #26
Won 44-17
15 Sat vs Texans Texans #17
Lost 17-27
16 Sat vs Bears Bears #20
Won 22-17
17 Sun at Titans Titans #2
Lost 14-17

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