The Colts need a miracle at quarterback:
The first interception
threw was more on Sam Giguere
than Painter, but he quickly
unraveled after that, looking frazzled, feeling pressure that wasn't there, and
making bad decision after bad decision.
Painter was less than impressive in his 2010 debut
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Indianapolis then overcompensated
by trying to simplify the offense, calling mostly slants, screens, and hitches,
which played directly into San Francisco's hands, since they were pressing the
receivers in man coverage anyway. The fact that Painter looked dreadful
playing mostly against the second team defense of the 49ers and that Tom Brandstater didn't look much better is very disconcerting.
There are three possible miracles that the Colts could experience: 1) Peyton Manning starts every game this year and doesn't get hurt at any point, 2)
Painter suddenly puts everything together, or 3) Brandstater makes a quantum
leap in his development. The most likely miracle is No. 1, but you never like
to count on miracles.
Once again, there is a lot of youth and talent at linebacker:
The two stars of the night were rookies Pat Angerer — two sacks, eight tackles,
one tackle for loss, two quarterback hits — and Kavell Conner, who had six
tackles and one tackle for loss. There was a lot of speed, energy,
enthusiasm, and playmaking going on with these two youngsters and Cody
Glenn also looked sharp.
The veterans on the team need to teach these rookies
how to tackle — especially Conner, who whiffed twice in one play on Anthony Dixon in the backfield — but it looks as though Bill Polian has not lost his
knack for finding active, talented players at the position.
Ryan Diem's job is safe: It's only one game, but Adam Terry
certainly looked sluggish in his backpedal and flat footed in the running game.
Donald Brown didn't look great, either, but one of the reasons he lost four
yards on five carries is that he primarily ran to Terry's side.
speculation throughout the offseason — a lot of it by yours truly — that Terry
would push Diem at right tackle during camp and the preseason and possibly win
that job. There's still time, but Terry is not off to a good start.
Diem, on the other hand, was solid but unspectacular. If Terry keeps up
this level of play, that should be more than enough for Diem to keep his job.
Jerraud Powers looks good: It was against a 49ers passing attack
that has had its struggles and his interception did come from a tipped pass, but
Powers covered his side of the field quite well.
He was in on most plays,
played his zone assignments perfectly, and was physical in both the running game
and the passing game. He looks like Marlin Jackson with a little more
speed, a little more awareness, and a lot more pop. At this point, it
looks like the Colts made the right move by sticking with the younger player.
Donald Brown looks hesitant: Again, it's only one game and one
preseason game at that, but Brown looks slow to the hole, he looks like he's
fighting his blocks, and he seems to be running a little too high and a little
too patient. The blocking in front of him was not spectacular to be sure,
but Brown needs to start flashing some of that cut-back ability and
explosiveness that he displayed last year.
Joseph Addai looks comfortable
and is attacking the line of scrimmage. He's also getting all of the
touches inside the ten-yard line. Right now, I'd say his stock with
Indianapolis — and with fantasy owners — is quite high. He could end the
season with a career high in carries and a career high in touchdowns, so he's
well worth a third-round pick. Especially if Brown continues to flounder
and Addai continues to produce.
It's too early to start carving the busts for Fili Moala and Jerry Hughes: Both players made some plays and both guys got after the quarterback, which
is something that's refreshing to see from someone other than Dwight Freeney and
Robert Mathis. But, Moala still needs to show more and Hughes is still
They are off to strong starts this preseason, but the hype
should be kept to a low roar until they really show what they can do in games
two and four of the preseason.
At least the first-team offense did well: Bearing in mind that
the starters will (hopefully) be in there throughout the regular season, it's
not such a bad thing that the first-team Colts beat the first-team 49ers 10-0
even if the second- and third-team guys lost 37-7. After struggling in the
red zone early, they put together a smooth, efficient touchdown drive on their
second possession and they were done for the night. It will be interesting
to see what they do with extended action in the third game, but it looks like
business as usual on offense.
Let's hope the defense Larry Coyer ran with the second team is what he
runs with the first team when the season starts: The blitzes, mixed
coverages, zone blitzes, and exotic looks — exotic by Indianapolis standards
anyway — were exciting to see. Unfortunately, most of that was run by the
second- and third-team defense. For the most part, it was very effective
and was definitely fun to watch. It would be nice if some of those
wrinkles make it into the regular season playbook.
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