Colts Putting Together an Impressive Ground Game

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“With the 27th pick of the NFL Draft…”—I was hoping for Evander Hood, a defensive tackle the Colts need deeply—”…the Indianapolis Colts select Donald Brown, running back from Connecticut.”

Yes! This was actually better than Evander Hood. But I never even thought of Donald Brown, the kid who led the college football world in rushing last year, going to the Colts! Thought they would get some running back like Chris Wells. But I know why they didn’t select “Beanie” Wells.

On Isaac Barrow’s Live Draft Blog on The Sports Guys, I was commenting that Donald Brown was a good pick. Then he replied, “Well the draft is about taking the best player available. They should have just taken Chris Wells.”

Then I thought…

No way! Remember when Joseph Addai was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2006 NFL Draft? There were so many better running backs available than him. But he fit with the Colts scheme. And guess what? He led all the rookies running backs in rushing yards, with 1,081. Now I won’t say Brown would have the same thing, but he will be close. Probably about 500 to 700 rushing yards at the least.

And that is why the Colts will have a very fearful rushing attack in 2009. Why? That is where I was just getting to, thank you very much.

The Colts had one of the best rushing attacks of Edgerrin James and Dominic Rhodes. It went on for a while, until after the 2005 NFL season, when James left to play for the Cardinals. Then it was just Dominic Rhodes and James Mungro, all by themselves. Rhodes can’t possibly do it by himself, although he did in 2001 when he filled in for Edgerrin James’ injury and ran for 1,000 rushing yards.

But who will help him? James Mungro? Hell no! They needed a much better one-two punch, and they selected Joseph Addai in the 2006 NFL Draft. Addai ran for 1,081 rushing yards, accompanied by Dominic Rhodes with his 641.

But then Rhodes was released in after the Colts Super Bowl win over the Bears. Why? Rhodes was arrested for DUI, two weeks after the Super Bowl. Now what were they going to do? Mungro retired with career-ending injury. All they had was…well, nobody.

Then the Colts acquired Kenton Keith, a stat from the Canadian Football League (otherwise known as the CFL), that year and he and Addai became a very good one-two punch. It went on greatly and the Colts finished with a record of 13-3 and was ranked 15th in rushing.

The Colts eventually lost to the Chargers in the playoffs, 28-24, with the solid trio of Darren Sproles and LaDainian Tomlinson. In the 2008 season, Keith went back to the CFL. He is currently the star running back for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Meanwhile, Rhodes returned with a new number: 38.

The Colts became horrible in rushing, ranked the second-worst in the NFL. Thank God the Cardinals were dead last because of their three thousand-yard receivers. The Colts ended the season with a 12-4 record and lost to the Chargers again, getting pined by the trio of LT and Sproles.

Now we are here. It is Joseph Addai, Lance Ball, Chad Simpson, and Mike Hart. Now we have selected Donald Brown, the tremendous running back from Connecticut. He may be short, but his burst and pounding makes it infectious.

Now the Colts can have a dominant run force: Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, Mike Hart, Chad Simpson, and Lance Ball. Now how will we use this handy-dandy trio? There will be a lot of “hoopla” but hey, it will be a fun thing to watch. They will have a dominant run force. Has their rushing attack finally formed. Yes!

How? Facts, do the job.

Joseph Addai

Everyone knows that Addai will be the leading man for the Colts in the rushing attack. He will mentor all of the four running backs that are behind him in the depth chart, most importantly, though, Donald Brown.

Gene Huey, the Colts running backs coach, will take a big part with all of these running backs. With all of his running backs he has coached, they have all ran for 1,000 rushing yards: Edgerrin James, Dominic Rhodes, Joseph Addai, and some others.

Addai will be the mentor, even though he will be turning 26 years old. He has rushed for 1,000 yards, twice (2006: 1,081, 2007: 1,072)! Although, he did have a disappointing year last year (544 rushing yards and a 3.5 yards per carry average), Addai will be much stronger because the o-line will get better and Addai has four backs behind his back.

Addai, you are the man.

Donald Brown

Ah, Donald Brown, the first ever player out of the University of Connecticut to ever be selected in the first round of the draft that is in the league called the National Football League, where dreams can really come true to an athlete.

A lot of Colts fans, like me, are in joy with the pick. Just ask Ryan Michael, his Bleacher Report account’s profile picture shows a picture of the fellow named Donald Brown.

Brown led the league in rushing, not the NFL but College Football, with his 2,083 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. Dazzling!

He left for the NFL Draft with 3,800 career rushing yards and 33 touchdowns. And don’t forget the 5.4 yards per carry average! Brown looks to be the Dominic Rhodes of 2006. Brown will be able to rush from 200-800 rushing yards this year.

Joseph Addai will mentor him the most and Brown will contribute to the running game. You’ll be seeing a lot of stuff from Donald Brown. Brown will be sharing carries with Joseph Addai. Addai having 1,000 yards and Brown probably having 600.

Isaac Barrow predicts 500-550 rushing yards. We’ll see as time passes by. Right now, the one-two punch has been built. But there is a key player in the mix.

Mike Hart

To me, Hart will be the key to the Colts rushing attack success. Why? I heard some rumors of him being the third-down and goal-line running game.

Here’s my perspective: he will only be a goal-line running back. This kid is exceptionally tough. He is a pound-for-pound running back that changes the whole course of the game when he scores.

He had an injury last year and he just has to battle those injuries if he wants to be a successful football player. And you never know, sometime in his career, he has to be an all-down running back. If the Colts are down at the one-yard-line, you know where to go.

Chad Simpson and Lance Ball

These two guys will be another key to the rushing attack in the pre-season and at the end of the season.

Remember who Chad Simpson did when Addai was out. He and Dominic Rhodes pounded out the Lions in the 31-21 victory.

But that was just the Lions, and overall, they sucked that year. Probably this year they are better with the additions of Matthew Stafford and Brandon Pettigrew. But skip that!

Simpson has been pretty dominant. Just a few more years and he can be a solid backup or a starter with a future team. I see him as fourth-string or third-string running back. He probably is the guy who will be getting the most carries at the end of the season.

Now to Lance Ball. This kid was just great. In College, he averaged 82 rushing yards per game. He was third in his conference in rushing. And by playing for Maryland, he played with the speedy Darrius Heyward-Bey, who, surprisingly, got drafted by the Oakland Raiders as the seventh overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Lance Ball only started one game last year with the Colts: the 23-0 flop over the Tennessee Titans. Ball had 83 rushing yards, including a stellar 6.4 yards per carry average. Ball might make the practice squad at best. Or, like Chad Simpson, he will be getting the carries at the end of the season.

Conclusion

Five running backs isn’t so bad. But one of these guys will be lost, and I really think it might be Chad Simpson. I think Lance Ball will perform well, do his thing, and can make it. Just wait and see. Just you wait and see.

But without Chad Simpson, the Colts rushing attack will still be rolling. So it wouldn’t really matter, not at all!

Here is your rushing attack:

Joseph Addai: The Mentor
Donald Brown: The Quickness
Mike Hart: The Pound-for-Pound
Chad Simpson: The End-of-the-Year Boost
Lance Ball: The Small But Mighty
Now Peyton Manning is like, “Finally, a rest!”

And that’s the best!


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3 Responses to “Colts Putting Together an Impressive Ground Game”

  1. "trio" means "three" says:

    -The word “trio” means “three! But I’m not sure that you understand this:

    “The Colts ended the season with a 12-4 record and lost to the Chargers again, getting pined by the trio of LT and Sproles.”

    -LT and Sproles are a “duo”, not a “trio”. There are only two, whom you spaek of. Get it yet? If not, here is yet another example:

    “Now the Colts can have a dominant run force: Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, Mike Hart, Chad Simpson, and Lance Ball. Now how will we use this handy-dandy trio?”

    -Uhh, five backs is NOT a trio. Probably more like quintuplets. Your stuff is pretty hard to read, but I’ll just keep to the basics, vocab.

    By the way, it seems that your editor has taken a luch break…

  2. Ah, Donald Brown, the first ever player out of the University of Connecticut to ever be selected in the first round of the draft that is in the league called the National Football League, where dreams can really come true to an athlete.

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