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  1. #1
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    2013 Colts Offseason Has Been A Success

    In years past, the Washington Redskins would usually get the nod as the team who "won" the offseason, making free agent moves, trades, and entertaining draft selections that - despite their silliness in terms of logic and execution - would provide excitement-generating fodder for the ever-evolving NFL news cycle.

    This year, I think it's safe to say that the Indianapolis Colts are the winners of the 2013 offseason.

    No team signed more free agents in 2013 than Indianapolis has. 13 veterans were brought into the franchise via free agency or via trade. And that's not counting corner Darius Butler, who played for the Colts last year but was re-signed after the new league year began.

    Add in rookie free agents like Josh McNary, Sheldon Price, Dan Moore, and others, and the 2013 Colts are almost as unrecognizable from the 2012 version as the 2012 team was from the 2011 one.

    As many as nine new starters could emerge from the free agent additions, and if rookies Hugh Thornton or Khaled Holmes make an impact along the Colts offensive line during training camp and preseason, that number could grow to 11.

    11 new starters! That's nearly half the starting lineups for both offense and defense!

    However, just like last year, every decision that involved bringing in a new player was done with the mindset of getting the team better. Overall, I think it's safe to say that the goal was accomplished.

    From a talent standpoint, the 2013 Indianapolis Colts are much better than the 2012 version. In fact, you can make an argument that they are one of the more talented teams in the NFL. On paper, they rival the Broncos, Ravens, Patriots, and Texans.

    Note: If papers champions meant anything, the Redskins would have 20 Super Bowl trophies by now.

    Still, that's not meant to demean and diminish the great work second-year general manager Ryan Grigson and his front office have done this offseason.

    Real quick, take a look at this article I wrote back in January. I outlined five critical need positions heading into the offseason: Running back, offensive line, defensive end, outside linebacker, and safety. Using just free agency alone, Grigson upgraded each position grouping.

    Running back: Ahmad Bradshaw

    Offensive line: Gosder Cherilus, Donald Thomas

    Defensive end: Ricky Jean Francois

    Outside linebacker: Erik Walden

    Safety: LaRon Landry

    Then, during the 2013 NFL Draft, Grigson reinforced these positions:

    Running back: Kerwynn Williams (6th round)

    Offensive line: Hugh Thornton (3rd round), Khaled Holmes (4th round)

    Defensive end: Montori Hughes (5th round)

    Outside linebacker: Bjoern Werner (1st round)

    Safety: John Boyett (7th round)

    If that's not attacking your needs, I don't know what is!

    Grigson also addressed second tier need positions - such as corner, back-up quarterback, nose tackle, and wide receive - by inking free agents Greg Toler, Matt Hasselbeck, Aubrayo Franklin, and Darrius Heyward-Bey.

    Finally, he cut away the dead weight, shipping 2010 draft bust Jerry Hughes off to Buffalo in exchange for inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard. Per reports from minicamp, Sheppard has already begun to make an impact, working with the starting unit along with 2012 gem, Jerrell Freeman.

    In fact, when you step back and look at who was brought in to play this year, and who they are replacing from last year, it really is amazing just how much improved this 2013 roster is.
    Back-up Quarterback

    Last year: Drew Stanton

    This year: Matt Hasselbeck

    Analysis: Stanton is a quality veteran, but Hasselbeck is a former starter with significant experience running an NFL team. Significant upgrade.
    Running Back

    Last year: Donald Brown

    This year: Ahmad Bradshaw

    Analysis: Brown is one of the worst backs in football at pass blocking. Bradshaw is one of the best. Significant upgrade.
    Wide Receiver

    Last year: Donnie Avery

    This year: Darrius Heyward-Bey

    Analysis: Avery rejuvenated his career in Indianapolis last year, but Heyward-Bey is a bigger, faster, stronger player who can stretch the field more. Moderate upgrade.
    Offensive Line

    Last year: Seth Olsen and Winston Justice

    This year: Donald Thomas and Gosder Cherilus

    Analysis: Olsen was a truly terrible guard, and while Justice was quite good playing right tackle last season, he was injury prone (and he's been his whole career). Thomas has been a solid player his whole career, and Cherilus has started 71 of a possible 75 games over 5 seasons. SUPREME upgrade.
    Nose Tackle

    Last year: Antonio Johnson

    This year: Aubrayo Franklin

    Analysis: Mookie Johnson played like a warrior in 2012, but he isn't a true nose tackle in a 3-4. Franklin is a very good nose tackle who is familiar with the defensive scheme Chuck Pagano and Greg Manusky want to run. Significant upgrade.
    Defensive End

    Last year: Fili Moala

    This year: Ricky Jean Francois

    Analysis: Moala is another bust holdover from the Polian Regime. Though he played better in 2012, he isn't a quality starter. Jean Francois has experience working in Greg Manusky's system. Plus, Moala has started 39 games and only earned 40 tackles and 2 sacks. Jean Francois has started just 5 games, but has 33 tackles and 3 sacks. Significant upgrade.
    Outside Linebacker

    Last year: Dwight Freeney

    This year: Bjoern Werner

    Analysis: I think Werner will eventually earn the starting OLB spot over free agent acquisition Erik Walden. Freeney is one of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history. A potential Hall of Famer. However, he didn't fit Manusky's system. Werner does. Slight downgrade.
    Corner

    Last year: Darius Butler

    This year: Greg Toler

    Analysis: Butler proved he can play in this league, but he's best suited as a slot corner. Toler is a big, long-armed, physical corner who, when healthy, can be a playmaker. Moderate upgrade.
    Safety

    Last year: Tom Zbikowski

    This year: LaRon Landy

    Analysis: Tommy Z is a tough guy, but he isn't a particularly good safety. Landry game tape last year is striking. The man was a wrecking ball in the secondary for the Jets, and during minicamp this year for the Colts, he made a few "wow" plays. SUPREME upgrade.

    Again, outside of the loss of Freeney, if you look up and down this roster, you seen nothing but position upgrade after position upgrade.

    Based on this, let me make it plain and clear that I truly believe that the Colts front office did a fantastic job this offseason. In fact, please use this article as a reference should the Colts struggle in 2013. Outside of catastrophic injury, I don't see how they will struggle. Sure, things like team chemistry will factor into the team's success in 2013. One doesn't just plop 11 new players into a team mixture and expect them to know how to play together.

    However, that's why the coaches are paid the money they are paid. Let them figure that out.

    The bottom line is the team is better. Significantly better, and with a better team come higher expectations. All this spending wasn't done just so that Colts can maybe make the post-season. The playoffs are expected. Winning in the playoffs is now expected.

    Getting a ring is now the goal, and with the talent they now have, Indianapolis can achieve that in 2013.
    http://www.stampedeblue.com/2013/6/1...been-a-success

    Positivity from Brad Wells, which usually means that the Colts must have done something really amazing.

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    http://imgur.com/a/4UK1e <---- BEST 10-15 SECONDS EVER

  2. #2
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    Bottom line is if ur a Colts fan, there's a lot to be excited about!! Can't wait to see this team put it all together on the field!!

  3. #3
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    Former Dolphin Jason Taylor just said the Colts will win less than 11 games because we did not address our o-line. Um, what?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaShady View Post
    Former Dolphin Jason Taylor just said the Colts will win less than 11 games because we did not address our o-line. Um, what?
    HAHA has Taylor been checked for concussion like symptoms lately?

  5. #5
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    Wells is a joke! He *****ed and moaned about almost EVERY FA acquisition and Draft pick! He went as far as to say that Grigson should be fired for trading Shipley, yes Shipley!!!!!!!!!!! Now all of a sudden he is switching gears and everything is a success now?
    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyld1 View Post
    Wells is a joke! He *****ed and moaned about almost EVERY FA acquisition and Draft pick! He went as far as to say that Grigson should be fired for trading Shipley, yes Shipley!!!!!!!!!!! Now all of a sudden he is switching gears and everything is a success now?
    Yes. He realizes that the sum of the parts is greater than the individuals that were acquired.

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    http://imgur.com/a/4UK1e <---- BEST 10-15 SECONDS EVER

  7. #7
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    This kind of article is typical Wells though. He goes from us being the worst team in the league to the best almost play by play. Luck throws a complete pass and he is the greatest QB in the league...he misses on one and we would have been better off with RGIII or Wilson. When he wants to he can have good insight, but he is just so hot and cold it is really tough to read his stuff a lot of times.

    I'm sure he will get bored in the coming weeks and write a piece that contradicts every good thing he said about the team.
    Last edited by matthollabak; 06-20-2013 at 10:19 AM.

  8. #8
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    Brad Wells is a waste of sperm and egg.

  9. #9
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    SF while I applaud your youthful exuberance and positive outlook the cynic in me feels Wells has back tracked due to backlash from his contrarian viewpoint of all Colt's doings. Hell, Kuharsky even called him out on his blog on ESPN after the Shipley nonsense, as did scores of fans. If he had worked for a real website or periodical his butt would have been fired long ago

    Back to topic....I haven't been this stoked for a season in a loooooooooong time!
    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?

  10. #10
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    i'm going to continue posting Brad Wells articles because this is the dead period of the NFL. There's no offseason news except training camp in a month. Go Brad Wells!

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    http://imgur.com/a/4UK1e <---- BEST 10-15 SECONDS EVER

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