The Indianapolis Colts have been ruined by Chris Ballard, not by drafting Alec Pierce

Chris Ballard

Chris Ballard
photograph: Getty photos

all by the Colts’ Monday press convention asserting former All-professional center Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach, GM Chris Ballard expressed dissatisfaction with a quantity of elements of the staff, notably the offensive line.

the predominant half of that assertion is what i would like to take a have a look at.

“Y’all have been kicking the shit out of me for years for not drafting wideouts and unexpectedly now, I lookup and we’re underperforming on the offensive line.” That’s what Ballard mentioned.

anyone who can put two and two collectively most likely realizes what Ballard is saying. The Colts, and notably Ballard, have been ridiculed for years for not taking broad receivers. They’ve been skinny in that division ever since T.Y. Hilton missed virtually half of the 2019 season and by no means recovered. So, after a lot outcry from the complete public, the Colts used their first assortment of the 2022 draft to take Cincinnati receiver Alec Pierce. The Colts may’ve taken Abraham Lucas (i do know they want extra assist at left deal with than proper, however as quickly as they wished to bolster their offensive line so badly, he would’ve been a superb piece) or Nicholas Petit-Frere (identical situation) however as a substitute they drafted Pierce. Now that the Colts’ offensive line is underperforming, Ballard wants he may take again that different.

whereas Ballard isn’t upset with how Pierce is having fun with, he believes that if he drafted an offensive lineman as a substitute of Pierce, the staff could be greater off than it presently is. That is most likely true, nonetheless it wouldn’t remedy the factors plaguing this staff. no particular person inside the 2022 draft would’ve saved this staff from the treadmill of mediocrity they’re presently driving. Why? as a end result of 2022 is an amalgamation of a quantity of factors that had been piling up as a end result of the prime of the 2020 season, all due to Mr. Ballard.

Let’s converse about that offensive line. The left deal with place has been in shambles ever since 10-12 months vet Anthony Castonzo retired following an damage-marred 2020 advertising campaign. Did the Colts draft a deal with to interchange him? No. They handed on elite prospect Christian Darrisaw and took Kwity Paye. At this level, the one left deal with on the Colts’ roster was Julie’n Davenport, who was, and nonetheless is, thought to be one in all many worst tackles inside the NFL. Paye, in the meantime, was meant to interchange Denico Autry, who walked in free agency earlier inside the offseason. Why did he stroll? as a end result of the Colts low-balled him. He even threw shade on the Colts for not giving him what he was worth after signing with division rival, Tennessee.

Paye has been a effective participant, however when the Colts had manned up and given Autry what he deserved, they would possibly’ve been in a place to draft Darrisaw. additionally, Autry wouldn’t be decimating their battered offensive line twice a 12 months like he is now. That’s effective although. The Colts bought their left deal with substitute in free agency, signing former Kansas metropolis Chief No. 1 complete choose Eric Fisher to a one-12 months deal. That sounds good, proper? properly, Fisher was simply coming off an ACL damage, therefore why he couldn’t play inside the super Bowl in opposition to Tampa Bay. primarily, the Colts did not pay one in all their greater move rushers, tried to interchange him inside the draft, thus neglecting their offensive line, and tried to restore the offensive line with a 30-12 months-previous up up to now off an ACL tear, whereas their backup was one in all many worst tackles inside the league. That checks out.

Fisher wasn’t a nasty run blocker final 12 months. nonetheless, in move safety, you presumably can inform that he wasn’t what he was. He’d misplaced a step, and surrendered seven sacks and eleven quarterback hits, each tied for the most of his profession since 2014. His strain cost had elevated over three p.c from 2020 (eight.37 p.c in 2021; 4.eighty 4 p.c in 2020) and it was clear he wasn’t their prolonged-time period reply. Lo and behold, he’s not on the staff in 2022.

in the meantime, Darrisaw is killing it as a end result of the left deal with in Minnesota. by eight video games, he’s permitting simply a little a quantity of strain per recreation. He’s presently bought an eighty 4.6 move blocking grade from PFF. That’s absurd. The Colts could have had him, nonetheless the various to let Autry stroll clouded their judgment. They wished to discover a substitute move-rusher ASAP. So, if anyone was neglecting the offensive line in Indy, it was Ballard earlier to the 2021 offseason.

Now Ballard wishes to sit down on his extreme horse and say “Neener, neener! I instructed you all! I didn’t want to draft a massive receiver, however you all pressured my hand!” sure, presumably the staff could be greater off with a rookie deal with as a substitute of Alec Pierce, however let’s not faux that the strikes that led up to now have been all perpetrated by Ballard as properly.

The pure awfulness of these strikes solely get amplified everytime you understand that the Colts uncared for their left deal with place simply earlier than buying and promoting for Carson Wentz. Wentz is likely one in all many worst quarterbacks inside the league beneath strain. You’d suppose buying a youthful, extremely-touted left deal with would fall simply a little greater on the Colts’ to-do guidelines with that choice.

furthermore, it’s not like Ballard was pressured into drafting pretty a pair of wideouts. He drafted one…singular…on this latest draft. One broad receiver, however that’s the various that ruined all the pieces? Man, what form of backwards assertion was Ballard making an try to make?

Clearly, Ballard is simply upset by the implications of his personal actions. fortunately, by having fun with solely a bit recreation of set off-and-affect, we will see proper by his facade. The Colts are a nasty staff, not as a end result of he drafted Alec Pierce, however as a end result of he made pretty a pair of horrible personnel decisions following the 2020 season. That’s the underside line.


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