My First NFL Article

Andrew ArmstrongContributor ISeptember 4, 2008

Let me start by saying that there is nothing throughout the year that I look forward to more than Football season. I write this article just hours before the 2007 Kickoff game between the Redskins and the Giants. I have worked at my current job for less than two months and it took my co-workers less than 2 min to learn that my passion is football. I would like to use this article to express some thoughts about the upcoming season. As any expert will tell you, the Colts have a chance at a Super Bowl run anytime Peyton Manning is at the wheel of this offense. The Colts run the most sophisticated offense in the league and they do so in a way that would surprise most people who don't know much about football. In this era of Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning, the biggest struggle for the Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manager Bill Polian is salary cap. In recent years, Colts are always among the youngest team in the NFL. This is due to the high salary of key players such as Peyton Manning, Dwight Freeny (a recently announced Franchise player), Marvin Harrison, and Bob Sanders (last year’s Defensive player of the year). Because of this, the Colts must utilize younger "cheaper" football players. Tony Dungy is known for taking young players that weren't looked at a lot in the draft and sometimes undrafted free agents, and turning them into phenomenal football players. For example Jeff Saturday, Jason David (Saints), and Bob Sanders. Tony Dungy is a great teacher and does few things better than turning average football players and making them great athletes. This is a reason why the Colts gear they're defensive recruiting to smaller fast players who are thought to not be affective in today’s game. This provides for a potent Cover 2 Defense that when firing on all cylinders, can be deadly. I know the Colts are known for having a horrible defense. I agree that they have had some bad days...ok fine, bad seasons, but there are few defenses in the NFL that can turn a game around with the quickness of the Indianapolis Colts. This year I am not concentrating on the Colts proven highly powered passing game. This year I look for a strong running game. The 2006 Super Bowl Championship team employed both Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai. This year Rhodes is back and will be running as a back up to Joe. The colts used there 6th round pick to select Mike Hart (Michigan 202nd pick overall). The diversity that Hart brings to this backfield is overlooked by the whole league. Mark my words; the Colts will have a 3 back system as early as this year. 1...2...3. You heard me right. The two back system wasn't really used until just a few years ago. Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor are well known for there ability to run over a defense with ease. If Mike Hart develops and learns to fit into this system, it will be a deadly combination. This is the reason that I stayed away from Peyton Manning in this year’s fantasy draft. Peyton will be the leader on that field, but he will be delegating much of the success to the run game. More so than he did last year. I wouldn't look to see much of Mike Hart early, but as the season progresses and defenses begin to abandon the blitz against Manning and his proficient offensive line especially with a healthy receiving core. If Marvin Harrison stays healthy, there is no way that the opposition will be able to defend the pass while bringing a heavy blitz which is needed to get to Peyton Manning any way. The only thing that concerns me is the loss of Jeff Saturday. Everyone sees Peyton calling plays at the line of scrimmage but what you rarely see or hear is Saturday calling blocking schemes and assignments. The Indianapolisblocking schemes play a vital role in the success of the whole offense. Anyone would agree with that, but loosing a Pro-Bowl Center that was born for this system, is a very scary thought. Time will tell.  Against the Bears, I see Manning conducting an orchestra of offensive beauty. The last thing you will hear in the Post game is how his knee surgery hindered his playing. I see a repeat of last years NFL season opener. Colts win big.