Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Andrew Luck
Posted on: January 2, 2012 2:41 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 2:46 pm
 

Report: Colts 'clean house,' fire Polian family

The Colts shockingly fired Bill Polian on Monday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Colts allowed Jim Caldwell to conduct his normal press conference on Monday, but things took a turn for the crazy on Monday afternoon when the Colts announced a 5 p.m. ET press conference and reports emerged that owner Jim Irsay decided to "clean house" and fire Bill Polian and Chris Polian. There hasn't been confirmation of whether or not the team will also fire coach Jim Caldwell.

Black Monday

That news comes from the NFL Network and it means the Colts are admitting what became obvious this year: the entire Indianapolis roster just isn't very good. Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star confirms that the Polians have been fired, but there's still no word on Caldwell.

Peyton Manning shored up many problems for the Colts, but once he was injured, the team was exposed and limped its way to a two-win season and the No. 1 overall draft pick. Polian was hired in 1997 by the Colts and won NFL Executive of the Year a whopping six times. From 1997 to 2004, he hit a number of home runs in the draft, picking up Manning, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Dallas Clark in the first round.

From then til now? Not so good: Marlin Jackson, Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Donald Brown, Jerry Hughes and Anthony Castonzo over eight different drafts is a horrible misuse of first-round picks, even if they were near the bottom of the first round.

The Manning conundrum looms as the spiciest offseason storyline. The Polians gave Peyton his contract (and obviously drafted him) but Irsay is a tremendous supporter of his franchise quarterback. Cleaning house could mean moving onto a new era (one that will presumably feature Andrew Luck under center) ... or perhaps the Polians were prepared to move along without Manning and Irsay wasn't ready to do that.

Whatever, as Colts center Jeff Saturday told our Colts Rapid Reporter Tom James on Monday that Irsay promised him "there will be changes in the offseason." Saturday didn't know what kind of changes those would be.

They are, quite clearly, large changes. An entire overhaul of the Colts organization, in fact.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 4:11 pm
 

Colts wrap up the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft

D. Orlovsky and P. Manning (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

Congratulations to the Colts for sewing up the No. 1 draft pick. Now, they might have quite a conundrum on their hands.

With their 19-13 loss to the Jaguars today, Indianapolis overcomes a strong rally by the Rams in order to keep the No. 1 selection for next year’s draft.

That means either the Colts likely will select Andrew Luck with the top pick and put him behind Peyton Manning, assuming Manning is healthy, on the depth chart. Or the Colts could trade the No. 1 pick for what should be a slew of draft picks. Or they could simply move on from Manning and trade him away.

While there are plenty of other issues for the Colts to resolve -- including finding some semblance of a running game (56 yards on the day) -- Indianapolis also has to found a quarterback of the future.

We’ve seen this year just how important that position is to the Colts, and if Manning can continue his career, you have to wonder how many years he has left. If it’s three or less, it makes sense to grab Luck.

Asked after the game about Luck, Manning said (via the Indy Star), "That's something I haven't thought a whole lot about."

Either way, the next four months in Indianapolis’ front office should be rather interesting.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK




For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:34 pm
 

Colts well on their way to No. 1 draft pick

Indianapolis is struggling with Jacksonville (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

Despite their two-game winning streak, a stretch that likely saved coach Jim Caldwell’s job, the Colts today look like their well on their way to the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft. All they need to do is lose to the Jaguars, and so far, Indianapolis is doing exactly that, falling behind 10-3 to Jacksonville at halftime. 

Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who has looked decent enough in the past two games, is 9 of 16 for 75 yards and an interception, and the running game has gained a paltry 19 yards.

Blaine Gabbert has been oddly effective, completing 8 of 11 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown, but your future NFL rushing leader Maurice Jones-Drew has had a wonderful day, gaining 84 yards on 16 carries.

On the first possession of the game, the Colts made a nice goal-line stand, including a stuff of Jones-Drew on fourth and goal from the 1, and it looked like Indianapolis was primed to get itself out of the No. 1 spot for Andrew Luck.

It looks like the opposite of that at this point.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK




For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 11:07 am
Edited on: January 1, 2012 12:51 pm
 

Report: RG3 to enter Draft, Colts interested

RG3 says he'll decide on the draft "pretty soon." (AP)
By Will Brinson

Robert Griffin III, the second-rated quarterback on Rob Rang's big board, recently said he would make a decision about entering the NFL Draft "pretty soon." Many believed that was code for "already gone," and a report Sunday indicates that RG3 to the NFL is a done deal.

2012 NFL Draft

That's according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, who reports that Griffin's already made up his mind to take the leap to the pros and that's it's simply a matter of semantics before he's being moved around on 2012 NFL Mock Draft boards sans the little underclassman asterisk.

Mort apparently spoke to Griffin's father, Robert Junior, who told him that RG3's decision would be known "when Robert makes this official and selects the right agent to represent him."

So either RGJR (not as catchy, I know) was saying that his son is going pro or, more likely, he slipped up and was trying to say that RG3's going to make a decision and framed the part about the agent incorrectly.

Whatever, this just makes sense. RG3 won the Heisman, he's a coveted prospect, a hot name and easily the No. 2 quarterback on everyone's draft board. And, apparently, he's also highly coveted by the Colts.

Indy, it's been assumed, will just take Andrew Luck. But they could still beat the Jaguars and end up with the No. 2 pick in the draft. If that's the case, Mort reports the Colts are ready to make RG3 their quarterback of the future if they end up falling out of the top pick.

That's a nightmare scenario for the Browns, Dolphins, Redskins, and any other team who's quarterback needy, since the Rams will get to fire up a full-on bidding war for the top pick in the draft.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Draft needs

A. Luck should be a No. 1 selection in next year's draft. Who will select him, though (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

As we enter the final weekend of the season, a number of squads are just playing out the string, hoping to put a solid performance on film, ready to clean out their lockers and look ahead to next year. While only four games on this week’s schedule mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason, quite a few of those teams are just looking to play spoiler.

And looking to the 2012 draft, where they can begin to rebuild their team or shore up that one position that could put them over the hump for next season. That’s why we’re taking the 10-worst teams in the league this year and finding one major flaw that needs to be fixed from April 26-28 in New York City’s Radio Music Hall.

For these teams -- and their fans -- the time has come to salivate at the prospects of landing the exact right guy that could change their fortunes for years to come.

10. Bills: Defensive line -- I didn’t like the Ryan Fitzpatrick $59 million extension earlier this year, and I hate it now. But I think Buffalo has other concerns for the moment, and they come on defense. For one, Buffalo has a tough time stopping the run. First-round pick Marcell Dareus has been a bit inconsistent at the nose tackle, but he also has the ability to play like a monster. The 3-4  ends, though, need to be better. Injured tackle Kyle Williams obviously will help when he returns next season, but the ability to rush the passer once in a while also would help (Buffalo’s 25 sacks ranks 30th in the league).

9. Dolphins: Quarterback -- Look, the Dolphins have some talent. They proved that when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, and they started winning games. They proved it by nearly beating Tom Brady, and they proved it by nearly beating Tim Tebow (that last point was a joke). While Matt Moore has been much better than expected after taking over for Chad Henne, he’s a Band-Aid. I think most of us would agree that Henne isn’t the answer as the starter, and perhaps, he and Moore could have a battle to see who could back-up a legit starting quarterback. Reggie Bush established himself as a 1,000-yard rusher, and with a talented quarterback like Robert Griffin III (if he lasts that long in the draft), the Dolphins could begin pushing for AFC East crowns.

8. Browns: Pass rushers -- Cleveland got two defensive linemen early last year (tackle Phil Taylor in the first round and end Jabaal Sheard in the second), and they’ve done a nice job on the left side of the defensive line. But the defense ranks 25th in the league in sacks, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell hasn’t had a great season. Marcus Benard, coming off a solid rookie season last year, is on IR, and if the Browns could get one more high-end rusher in the draft, they’d have talent and depth.

7. Redskins: Quarterback -- It’s probably time for Mike Shanahan to come to the realization that his quarterback picks the past two years have been disastrous (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck). He said the other day that the rebuild of this franchise has taken more time than he thought, but a standout quarterback obviously would help that process along. Shanahan also said that there was no question in his mind that he’d be back next season, but unless he finds a way to invigorate his offense, that might be a different story this time next year.

6. Chiefs: Right tackle -- Looking across Kansas City’s depth chart, there’s not one position group that so obviously needs to be overhauled. The Chiefs have talent, even if some of those positions don’t have much depth. But right tackle Barry Richardson has badly struggled this season. According Pro Football Focus, Richardson is the worst-rated offensive tackle in the league (the decision to cut Jared Gaither near the end of the season was a bad one). Left tackle Branden Albert is solid, but the right side of the line needs to be reworked.

Minnesota's secondary has been a big concern this year (US Presswire).5. Buccaneers: Run defenders -- The Buccaneers tried to shore up their defensive end spots last draft, taking Adrian Clayborn in the first round and Da’Quan Bowers in the second round. Considering Tampa Bay ranks dead last in sacks, the experiment hasn’t paid off immediate dividends. But the Buccaneers are also terrible against the run, and even though tackle Albert Haynesworth has played better than most of us had a right to expect, there are still huge holes to fill in the lineup.

4. Vikings: Secondary -- The Vikings rank as the 31st-worst defense in the NFL, but in reality, their front seven has talent (for instance, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway). Minnesota lost Antoine Winfield (its best corner) early in the year, Chris Cook has legal troubles, safety Jamarca  Sanford has struggled badly and the rest of the safeties have been ravaged by injuries. It’s no  wonder opposing quarterbacks dominate the Vikings defensive backs. On the season, Minnesota has recorded seven interceptions, worst in the NFL. The Vikings need to find somebody who can force turnovers in order to improve this unit.

3. Jaguars: Receivers – Oh, how they need receivers. Yes, Blaine Gabbert has been, by far, the worst rookie quarterback to play this year, but Jacksonville, even with new ownership and a new coach, probably needs to give him more than a season to see if he’s a quarterback of the future. He also needs somebody who can catch his passes. Here are Jacksonville’s top-three receivers: Mike Thomas, Jarret Dillard, and yeah, nobody else. In fact, there’s a good chance running back Maurice Jones-Drew will end up as the team’s leading pass-catcher this season. Hard to blame Gabbert completely when his receiving corps is so bad.

2. Colts: Running backs -- Assuming Peyton Manning returns healthy next season -- admittedly, a huge assumption -- his receivers should continue to be fine (this, of course, depends on what happens with free agents Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon). But we’ve seen this year that without a running game, a Manning-less Colts squad has very little chance of doing anything (mostly because Manning makes up for SO many team deficiencies). Joseph Addai, who’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry and probably won’t get to 500 rushing yards on the season for the second year in a row, might be released into free agency, and Donald Brown, while improved, isn’t a legit No. 1 running back. The Colts obviously have a big decision to make regarding Manning and Andrew Luck, but taking a running back probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1.Rams: Offensive linemen -- There’s been talk that maybe the Rams should grab Luck if they end up with the No. 1 pick. Which, with Sam Bradford on the team, would be ludicrous. Instead, St. Louis should be focused on how to put together an offensive line that doesn’t lead the league in sacks allowed. The biggest problem, not including injuries to Jason Smith and Jacob Bell that have hurt the unit, has been the line’s interior. Linemen aren’t the sexiest position, but damn, St. Louis needs to find some that can stay healthy and keep Bradford and Steven Jackson out of danger.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: December 30, 2011 10:50 am
 

Robert Griffin III to make Draft decision 'soon'

RG3 says he'll decide on the draft "pretty soon." (AP)
By Will Brinson

Though he was technically outplayed Washington quarterback Keith Price on Thursday, Robert Griffin, III, still looked outstanding in a shootout for the ages at the Alamo Bowl.

2012 NFL Draft

Next up is the decision about whether RG3, a projected top-10 pick and the second-rated quarterback on Rob Rang's big board, will leave Baylor for the NFL. And the Heisman winner says a decision is coming 'soon.'

"Pretty soon," Griffin said when asked when he'd make his decision, though he didn't know what the decision would be. "I have no idea. I'm going to enjoy this right now with my teammates and we'll get to that later."

Griffin's stock probably couldn't get much higher than it is now and, unlike Matt Barkley at USC, Griffin won't be one of the favorites to win the BCS title in 2012. But he's pretty clearly a fan of the school that's given him a chance to shine on the national level.

"I want Baylor nation to enjoy this," Griffin said. "It's not about me. I've got about two weeks. I'll enjoy this the next day, and then the next day, and then I'll make it."

From a business perspective, Griffin would be wise to leave for the NFL. Teams are enamored with his skillset and there's a shortage of elite quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft -- only Stanford's Andrew Luck also ranks in the top 20 overall prospects.

If both the Browns and Redskins end up with top-10 picks, it would be an absolute epic upset to see RG3 drop past both of them.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:58 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

If Gruden leaves the booth for St. Louis would he want to move on from Bradford, the 2010 1st overall pick? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

It sounds like Jon Gruden could be back to coaching in 2012. After three years in ESPN's Monday Night Football booth, and months after signing a five-year extension to stay there, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee reported Monday night that signs point to Gruden returning to the NFL sidelines, possibly landing with the Rams.

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman had two sources confirm as much with the caveat that "…while Gruden is indeed leaning towards returning, it's not certain. … I'm told Gruden wants to see what positions he could possibly get before making a 100 percent final decision and that he hasn't officially made one yet because of the uncertainty."

(ESPN released a statment Tuesday that makes it sound like Gruden's staying in the booth: “Jon signed a multi-year extension with ESPN this fall. He remains committed to being a part of Monday Night Football for many years.”)

Let's assume for the moment that Gruden does end up in St. Louis. That means he would have quarterback Sam Bradford, the first-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft who had a forgettable 2011 season (mostly due to injuries -- to himself and just about every other starter on the roster), to build a team around.

But here's the thing: St. Louis heads into the final week of the regular season with two wins. If they lose to San Francisco on Sunday and the Colts, the league's only other two-win outfit, beat the Jaguars, the Rams would be the sole owners of the first-overall pick in April's draft.

That means Andrew Luck is there for the taking. Except that St. Louis already has Bradford, the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year, right? Not so fast. Conventional wisdom goes something like this: St. Louis would ransom that pick to a QB-needy team like the Browns or Redskins or Dolphins, and use the cornucopia of draft picks coming their way to give Bradford some help.

One thing: late in the Rams-Seahawks Monday Night Football telecast earlier this month, long after Seattle had taken a comfortable lead and with not much else to talk about, Gruden and boothmate Ron Jaworski turned the conversation to Bradford, the Rams, and the possibility of the organization taking another quarterback in the 2011 draft. Gruden suggested that Bradford had played so poorly this season that if he we making the decisions in St. Louis, he might take a long look at Baylor's Robert Griffin III. Presumably, that line of thinking holds for Luck, too.

It sounded ludicrous at the time -- and Jaws' reaction confirmed as much -- but if Gruden gets the Rams gig it could also become a reality this spring. St. Louis would be able to move Bradford for as much if not more than they would've gotten for Luck (or maybe they choose to trade down a few spots to grab RG3) and could still restock the roster, just with a "Gruden guy."

Remember: Gruden ain't afraid to fall in love. He coached the 2005 Senior Bowl, had a running back named Cadillac Williams on his roster and was so impressed that he ended up taking Williams with the fifth-overall pick. Williams rushed for 1,178 yards as a rookie but knee injuries haven't allowed him to crack 1,000 yards since. (It's another reason why teams shouldn't over-pay and/or overdraft running backs.) And now the two could be reunited in St. Louis.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 23, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 4:07 pm
 

Colts loss to Jaguars clinches No. 1 overall pick

Andrew Luck applauds the effort of teams trying to land the top pick. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Thursday night, the Colts theoretically -- as Gregg Doyel noted in his lose-lose column from the game -- shot themselves in the foot by beating Houston 19-16. After all, even though we play to win the games, you don't want to win so many games that you lose out on once-in-a-generation prospect Andrew Luck.

Fortunately, the Colts didn't totally sink their own battleship against the Texans -- the NFL confirmed on Friday, via Peter King of Sports Illustrated, that if the Colts lose to the Jaguars in Week 17, they will clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Currently, the Colts, Rams and Vikings all have two losses. The Colts have the "best" strength of schedule (read: they play a worse set of teams than St. Louis or Minnesota and yet are just as bad), so they'd likely win any tiebreaker for the top pick if all three two-win teams lose their remaining games.

If the Colts win, however, they won't just be working on a serious Hail Mary for Jim Caldwell's career as coach there; they'll also probably cough up a shot at Luck.

That presumes that the Vikings fall to the Redskins and Bears, of course. If they do, though, they'll hold the No. 1 overall pick and be faced with a fascinating decision.


If they're sure Christian Ponder, taken in the top 10 of the 2011 Draft, is the answer, they can move the top pick to a team that's desperate for a quarterback.

The Dolphins and Redskins would, by most accounts, be willing to give up an insane haul of draft picks in exchange for the rights to draft Luck.

Of course, the Colts could also trade the rights to Luck for a bevy of picks, but that would give Peyton Manning more leverage when it came to any attempted negotiations of the deadline for picking up his option than would missing out on the top pick. Plus, Indy has a need in the long term for a franchise quarterback, so seeing them deal the top pick in the draft is pretty unlikely.

Then again, a few weeks ago, so was the possibility of someone else landing it.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com