Tag:Melvin Bullitt
Posted on: July 4, 2011 9:47 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 9:52 pm

Colts might have plenty of free agents to sign

ManningPosted by Josh Katzowitz

The biggest worry for the Colts franchise when the lockout ends is the contract of QB Peyton Manning and whether the two sides will agree to a long-term extension. For now, Manning has been franchise-tagged for 2011, though his agent would like to get rid of that designation by dropping it in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But aside from Manning, Indianapolis has plenty of work to get done in order to secure the services of some of its most important free agents, especially if the new CBA allows unrestricted free agency after four years of service.

That means RB Joseph Addai, LB Clint Session, OT Charlie Johnson and S Melvin Bullitt would be eligible to leave.

"As far as me coming back or being gone, I don't know,” Johnson told the Indianapolis Star. “I will just take it as it happens. I'm working out, trying to get better and hoping a deal gets done. But I can't concern myself with 'what ifs' at this point."

Indy's offseason
But Bullitt, taking over Bob Sanders’ old position, definitely wants to return to the Colts.

"I'm probably the strongest I've been in two years," Bullitt said. "I want to play in Indy again. That's what I'm planning on. But the reality is I'm not signed with anyone … I want to finish my career in Indianapolis, but I will have to make a decision quickly."

Returning to Indianapolis seems like a no-brainer for many of these free agents, especially if they can get somewhere close to market value for their services. With Manning running that team, the Colts are always going to be in contention for a Super Bowl.

But if, for some reason, the Colts can’t re-sign Manning, they’ll be in a world of trouble. Not just because they’ll be letting go one of the top quarterbacks of all time, but because without him, it’ll be tougher to convince top-flight free agents to return to a team that would have Curtis Painter at the top of the depth chart.

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Posted on: March 23, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 12:20 pm

Hot Routes 3.23.11: Buddy Ryan has cancer

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Once again, former coaching standout Buddy Ryan has cancer, according to Jets coach Rex Ryan. But Rex is confident in his father. Said Rex: "He's 80 years old, but he's doing great. He's tougher than (s---). He's had other things in his life. He overcame encephalitis. He's overcome cancer twice. He's tough."
  • Sounds like the students at Assumption Catholic Church in St. Louis had a blast with Rams RB Steven Jackson. Even if this was a team-sponsored event (the Rams had to get special permission before Jackson could appear).

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Posted on: November 9, 2010 4:43 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 4:44 pm

Top Ten With a Twist: Delightfully average

Miami, despite what the sign says, has been delightfully average this season (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’re halfway through the season, which means we get plenty of first-half best-of lists from every corner of the Internet. Which, don’t get me wrong, is totally cool. In fact, here are two well-done lists – one from our own Pete Prisco and one from our own Clark Judge .

Or you can go snarky and talk about the worst of the worst through the first nine weeks of the season (Cowboys, Bills, Panthers, etc.) That’s fine too. I certainly don’t mind a worst-of list every now and again. As long as I’m not on it.

But I’ve decided to play to the middle: how about an award for the Most Delightfully Average (fill-in-the-blank)? I think this needs to happen, because, really, most of us in life are pretty average (present company excluded, of course. I’m talking about those other people that aren’t reading this article – which, by the way, is far above delightfully average).

There are a handful of us that are really, really good at what we do, and there are some of them who are absolutely terrible at their jobs. Yet, most of us fit somewhere in the middle. That said, here are the most delightfully average awards from the first half of the season.

10. Average offense – Bengals: They rank 15th in yards per game (345.0) and 17th in points per game (20.9), and despite the terrific addition of WR Terrell Owens (who would have guessed we’d be saying that a few months back?), the offense seems stuck in mud. Much of it rests on QB Carson Palmer’s arm, because he has plenty of weapons around him. He just hasn’t been very good.

9. Average defense – Colts: For a potential Super Bowl contender, this defense sure is mediocre. In order to go far in the playoffs, the Colts will have to improve on their 344.6 yards allowed average (20th in the NFL), their 21 points allowed (tied for 14th), and, in particular, the 140.9 rushing yards allowed (29th). Not having S Bob Sanders or his replacement, Melvin Bullitt, because of injury hurts the secondary, but the defensive line, even with Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, has just 17 sacks. Which ranks, you guessed it, 16th in the 32-team league.

8. Average quarterback – Jay Cutler, Bears: When you think of Cutler, you might rank him somewhere near the bottom of the quarterbacks list. Perhaps that’s because, whenever the Bears are playing on national TV, he always seems to be throwing four interceptions per game or taking a big-time pounding from the opposing linebackers. Plus, he has that sour look on his face that probably just makes you sad. But no, Cutler ranks 16th in passer rating, 18th in passing yards, 19th in touchdown passes, 12th in interceptions and 19th in completion percentage. So, he’s simply stuck in the middle.

7. Average running back – Brandon Jackson, Packers: After Ryan Grant was placed on the IR list following an ankle injury, it was left to Jackson and John Kuhn, the only two running backs remaining on the roster, to try to replace his production. Jackson has been fine, though unspectacular. He rushed for 115 yards in Week 5, but he averages 4.3 yards per carry for a Green Bay rushing game that ranks 20th in the league. QB Aaron Rodgers probably wouldn’t mind a little more assistance.

6. Average wide receiver – Michael Crabtree, 49ers: I’m sure this is what San Francisco expected when it took him with the 10th overall pick in 2009 and then waited as he embarked upon an extended hold-out. On the season, he ranks 32nd in the NFL with 31 catches, and he averages 12.4 yards per reception (just kind of meh). One silver lining to Crabtree’s game, though: 80 percent of his catches go for first downs.

5. Average fans – Bengals: There wasn’t much analysis with this one. I just went down the list of total attendance by percentage of seats sold, and at 98.0 percent, Cincinnati was No. 16 (No. 1 is Dallas at 108 percent?!? (Wade Phillips must have been REALLY popular in the Big D); No. 32 is Oakland at 71.6 percent).

4. Average saliva-tosser – Le’Ron McClain, Ravens: If you’re going to spit into somebody’s face, you either have to be discreet or you have to go all-out (think Roberto Alomar spitting into John Hirschbeck’s face (I can’t believe that I didn’t have to look up the umpire’s name to make that analogy)). McClain did neither. He wasn’t discreet, you see his face move forward forcefully toward Miami’s Channing Crowder in the video, and he didn’t just hawk the loogie like Alomar did. Really, just an average performance.

3. Average division – AFC South: If the NFC South (with three teams at 5-3 or better) is the best division in the NFL and if the NFC West (nobody better than .500) is the worst, the AFC South has to be the most average. The Colts and Texans are tied for first place at 5-3, while the Jaguars and Texans are tied for last with 4-4 records. All of these teams have shown major flaws during their quest to compete for a division crown. I don’t think the Jaguars have much of a chance, but of the other three, I really don’t have any idea who will make the postseason.

2. Average coach – Gary Kubiak, Texans: Three weeks ago, there’s no way Kubiak would have “won” this award. Behind Kubiak, the Texans surprised the Colts in the opener with a big victory, and despite losing to Dallas (who in the hell loses to the Cowboys, anyway?), Houston was 4-2. But the Texans have lost their last two, and for some reason, Kubiak forgets about RB Arian Foster at times while his defense plays horribly. Once again, the Texans might not make the playoffs, meaning Kubiak might be gone at the end of this season.

1. Average team – Dolphins: Miami has been a rather tough team to pin down this season. Sometimes, the Dolphins look very good, using a tough defense to beat the Vikings and Bengals, or being resilient enough to upend the Packers. Other teams, they look absolutely horrid (last week’s 26-10 loss to the Ravens, and the 41-14 debacle to the Patriots). It feels like Miami should be better, but in the end, the Dolphins are humbly – and delightfully – average.

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Posted on: October 5, 2010 1:19 pm

Colts lose safety Melvin Bullitt for the year

Posted by Will Brinson

The Indianapolis Colts' defense took another hit to the secondary on Tuesday when the news broke that safety Melvin Bullitt would miss the remainder of the year with a broken bone in his shoulder.

Bullitt will undergo surgery sometime in the next two weeks and then will be placed on injured reserve, according to his agent, Leonard Roth.

“Worst possible news," Roth said in an email to The Indianapolis Star . "He will be operated on in the next two weeks to repair it and get ready to go next year. He has worked very hard and (is) heartbroken over this development."

This is a pretty major blow to a Colts D that has struggled this year (24th overall in average yards allowed, 23rd in average points) with the early season loss of Bob Sanders (who Bullitt was actually replacing at safety).

DaJuan Morgan was signed earlier in the month for backup, and he's the likely guy to fill Bullitt's shoes in the secondary. Interestingly, Morgan was cut by the Chiefs earlier this season, and that's who the Colts play next.

So Morgan will at least be a little prepared for his first opponent as the starter -- but the Chiefs, who have been prepping for the Colts while on their bye week, will be especially prepared for part of the Colts' secondary, and you can guarantee that they'll look to exploit Morgan's inexperience as a starter this week.

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Posted on: September 15, 2010 9:55 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 11:11 pm

Colts are just fine without Bob Sanders

B. Sanders breaks up a pass before sustaining his injury (US Presswire). Posted by Andy Benoit

Bob Sanders underwent surgery for a torn biceps Wednesday. Colts president Bill Polian is hopeful the strong safety can get back on the field sometime this season. Biceps tears, however, are rarely a quick recovery.

We hear all the time that the Colts are a different defense with Bob Sanders. That’s true – the Colts defense is more explosive with Sanders. In 2006, when Sanders missed all but four regular season games, the Colts had the league’s worst run defense (by far). When Sanders returned for the postseason, that 32nd-ranked run defense came to life and stymied the Chiefs (in the height of the Larry Johnson era), Ravens (Jamal Lewis era), Patriots and Bears (granted, the Bears rushed for 111 yards in that Super Bowl, but Sanders had a huge interception and also forced a fumble that game).

So, yes, it’s true that the Colts are a better defense with Sanders. But what’s also true is that the Colts have shown they can win without Sanders. Case in point: last season. Indy was 12-0 in meaningful regular season games without Sanders, and they went all the way to the Super Bowl, where they slowed Drew Brees and the Saints offense for the better part of three quarters.

Because Sanders has actually missed more games than he’s played in his career, backup strong safety Melvin Bullitt has had an opportunity to develop into a quality starter. Bullitt, an undrafted fourth-year pro, is extremely quick in attacking the football (especially in space). And he understands the intricacies of Indy’s zone scheme. In other words, he’s a poor man’s Sanders – and that’s enough.
Part of the reason Bullitt thrives is because rangy free safety Antoine Bethea almost never makes a mistake. Bethea is one of the best open-field tacklers in the NFL, and he’s become more of a playmaker in each of his five seasons in the league. In fact, it’s fair to say that Bethea is actually Indy’s most valuable defensive back.

If you’re looking for a doomsday angle on the Colts D, don’t look at Sanders. Instead, look at Bethea and the defensive ends. The Colts would have trouble surviving without Bethea, and they’d almost certainly flounder without Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Take away the speed-rushers off the edge and the four-man pass-rush that propels Indy’s zone scheme would cease to exist. That’s something the Colts could not overcome. Bill Polian knows this – why do you think he spent over $100 million on Freeney’s and Mathis’ contracts in past years? And why do you think he invested a first-round pick in Jerry Hughes this past April?

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com