A team usually waits until the bye week to do a thorough self-scouting, but maybe the 0-2 Indianapolis Colts get started a little sooner this season given the state of their team. To help get them rolling, here are some questions they may want to ask themselves...
1. Is there a coaching problem that goes hand in hand with a perceived lack of talent?
Our Albert Breer tweeted this nugget on Tuesday morning suggesting a version of what many people believe in Indianapolis: They have been put in a bad situation personnel-wise and there is nothing they can do about it. But is there a different narrative to explore here, even though Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is certainly leaning in one direction? Pep Hamilton, the Colts' offensive coordinator, took a mammoth leap in responsibility when he entered the NFL as a play caller and has already seen a few very different incarnations of what his vision for Andrew Luck and this offense was supposed to be. There was absolutely no question he was out-coached by Todd Bowles last night and by Rex Ryan the week before.
Also, the Colts' offensive line, a tremendous source of their problems early on, is made up of a first-round pick (Anthony Castonzo), veteran Todd Herremans, a second-round pick (Jack Mewhort) and a center (Khaled Holmes) that some scouts compared to the talented Brian de la Puente. Isn't there enough talent here to make due? Is there a chance this is not about Ryan Grigson, a former offensive lineman himself, missing on players? Is there a chance the coaching staff might be struggling with their design of protections or the techniques they are teaching?
Andrew Luck was facing a designed blitz on 17 of his 37 drop backs on Monday night and that does not include the myriad pressures he faced as a simple result of the Jets' talented rush. That being said, none of his tight ends got a single target last night and Dorsett, who could be effective in short screen situations, had just one catch (for 25 yards!). This may be an extension of our previous question about Hamilton's preparedness, but could it speak to something larger? There was a third down in the second quarter last night where Coby Fleener ran a drag across the field and got matched up against Jets linebacker David Harris. But when he reached Harris, the route just stopped and the two remained jostled in the way two power forwards are underneath the basket for a rebound. How is this helping Luck out of a jam? Are there not more practical third-down options or good mid-level receivers that could help move the football?
3. Where is this team emotionally?
Without being in the locker room at halftime, it's difficult to gage the emotion of the team coming out of the tunnel, but they certainly seemed to come out flat to start the second half. The Jets almost anticipated this because they ran a no-respect corner blitz right off the bat and blasted Frank Gore in the backfield to keep their momentum rolling. Andrew Luck, like Peyton Manning, motivates by example but some players might need more than that. It reminded me a bit of last week when the Colts gave up a 22-yard reception to LeSean McCoy coming out of the half.