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  • And we are live!
    by SB Nation NFL on August 11, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports Welcome to Coral. Hello, all. Today, we’ve launched our new commenting platform, Coral, on this site. You can try it out below, or on any article here. As the pre-launch article said, we know it’s missing a few key pieces that might be important to you, and we’re continually evolving and improving it. Just like when we launched the previous platform, on day one it wasn’t perfect (in fact, almost everyone told us they hated it), and so we’re asking for a little patience as we grow. We’re launching here first to learn what matters most to you, to help us learn and develop the next set of features. We already have a bunch of improvements in the pipeline, which will be released before the season begins. And do keep tell using what you like and what you want to see more of (respectfully, please) – we’re here and we’re listening. There are a bunch of new things we think you’ll like: you can change the default sort across articles (Newest, Oldest, Most Recs, Most Replies), ignore annoying commenters (just click on their name), you can embed Twitter and YouTube really easily (just drop in the URL, no need to find the embed code), and we even allow you to Rec yourself (be sure to check yourself first.) Also, don’t panic: comments are only temporarily disabled on FanPosts – they’ll be back –and your old comments will return too, we’ve just archived them for now. This is all part of a big investment in SB Nation communities, and we will continue to evolve the platform over the coming months and years to support you, the best fan communities on the internet. We’ve written an FAQ to cover most of the common questions about how the system works, and we know you’ll let us know below what you think. Also, here’s an update on the features and improvements we’re already working on. This site is great because you are. Thank you for being here.

  • Afternoon Pancakes
    by Jared Malott on August 11, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images Season 2 Episode 1 This episode was recorded Sunday, August 9th using Audacity. Please let me know about the sound quality and follow the podcast on Twitter @podpancake. My name is Jared @likelyalien and normally I use Skype and then save/convert when I have a guest/cohost/Stephen Reed. Everyone Tweet @nicereedsteve and tell him you miss him. I aimed for a 1-hour show and I don’t mind sticking with that as long as that’s what you, the fan, wants. Want longer shows? Let me know. Here’s to NFL Football in 2020! Let’s go Colts!

  • Roster Update: Colts sign DB Tavon Wilson, activate CB Jackson Porter from reserve/COVID-19 list
    by Elliot Singh Denton on August 11, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images The Indianapolis Colts today announced the signing of free agent defensive back Tavon Wilson and activated cornerback Jackson Porter from the reserve/COVID-19 list to the active roster. We have signed S Tavon Wilson and activated CB Jackson Porter from the Reserve/COVID-19 List.— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 11, 2020 Wilson was drafted in the second round in the 2012 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and spent his first four years in New England before signing for the Detroit Lions in 2016. He played for the Lions through 2019. In 2019 Wilson produced 92 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 5 passes defensed, 2 fumble recoveries and 6 special teams stops. Wilson joins a relatively young safety group which consists of a former first round talent Malik Hooker, fourth round talent Khari Willis and third round rookie Julian Blackmon, who were all drafted by Colts GM Chris Ballard. Wilson’s signing should help provide depth and competition on the back end after Rolan Milligan decided to opt out of the 2020 season. Porter, was signed to the Colts on a reserve/future contract in December 2019. He was on the Colts practice squad after joining the team in November 2019. He went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft.

  • Film Room: T.Y. Hilton has been an underrated redzone weapon since 2018
    by Zach Hicks on August 11, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images Hilton has excelled in the redzone the last two seasons Despite the major drop-off in offensive production and efficiency from 2018 to 2019, the Colts remained among one of the league’s best teams in the redzone this past year. In 2018 the Colts scored a touchdown on 67% of their redzone trips (5th in the NFL) and that number only dropped to 64% in 2019 which was still good for 7th in the NFL. Looking just at their passing stats in the redzone, the Colts are elite in this area of the field. Over the past two years, Colts quarterbacks are 97-163 (60% comp) for 628 yards and 51 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. While there are many reasons why the Colts have been so successful in this area of the field, Eric Ebron’s insane production here and Frank Reich’s playcalling are two examples, I want to look at one player in particular today. T.Y. Hilton has been billed primarily as a deep threat in his NFL career but the last two years have seen him turn into a very reliable redzone threat. When targeting Hilton in the redzone since 2018, Colts quarterbacks are 14-22 for 90 yards and 10 touchdowns. Today we are going to look at all 10 of those touchdowns and see how Hilton wins in the redzone. Utilizing Hilton’s Quickness and Speed The common misconception among many football fans is that big receiver = great redzone target. That isn’t necessarily the case as teams are becoming better and better at utilizing their speedy playmakers in the short area of the field. The Colts at the beginning of Frank Reich’s tenure recognized that Hilton can be a mismatch in the redzone despite not being a pure jump ball receiver. This first clip is a great example of that. This is likely a two way go type of route where if the corner is pressed then Hilton runs a fade and if the corner is off the line then Hilton would run a slant, like he does here. Hilton is too quick off the line and the corner is unable to close on the quick pass for the score. I’m going to put two clips together here on this next one as they are the exact same play nearly a year apart from each other. The first clip is against the Buffalo Bills in 2018 as Hilton is lined up in the slot and able to beat his guy cleanly on the out route for the quick score. Against the Atlanta Falcons in 2019, the Colts ran the exact same play as Hilton is again able to beat his man one on one to the outside for the score. Big receivers are fun to have in the redzone but having the smaller and faster receivers can be useful too as they are able to separate quickly for scores in the short area of the field. Designed Screens for Hilton Another way the Colts got the ball to their playmaker in the redzone was to draw up certain plays for fairly easy scores. I typically don’t say easy scores too often but both of these examples are literal walk in touchdowns. The first one is a beautiful design by Frank Reich on the goal line against the Washington Football Team in 2018. Needing a touchdown late to put the game away, Reich draws up an impressive legal pick play that leads to a miscommunication in the defensive secondary. The result is Hilton being completely uncovered for the score. Jumping forward to 2019, the Colts drew up another pick play touchdown for Hilton. Hilton is lined up at the top of the screen and sells like he is firing off the ball only to loop back around for a screen pass. Tight end Eric Ebron is able to cleanly shield off the outside defender which allows Hilton to walk in for the score. Finding the soft spot in the Zone This may be the most underrated aspect of Hilton’s game and it is a true testament to his chemistry with Colts’ quarterbacks over the course of his career. Hilton is excellent at finding soft spots in zones and sitting down in space for quick passes that move the sticks. This ability does show up in the redzone as well as he is finds those small spaces in tight quarters for scores. He did it here against the Chargers in week one this past season. The Chargers are backed off in a soft zone on third down and Hilton takes advantage. He delays his route off the line and flashes in front of his defender for the score. Star Player just making plays Obviously it is great to talk about route running and play design (I could honestly do it all day). Sometimes though, your star players just need to make something happen in the NFL and no amount of scheme can truly account for it. Hilton has been a star in this league for a long time and he is simply a difference maker. Even on plays that seem small like this one against the Bills in 2018. He runs his pick play like he is supposed to but notices Andrew Luck rolling out of the pocket looking for a receiver. Hilton is able to go off script and work himself open for the score to bail out his quarterback. An even better example of this was against the Titans in week 11 in 2018. Hilton was dominant this game and toyed with Titans cornerback Adoree Jackson all day long. On this play, Hilton again runs his route but has to break it off as Luck buys time in the pocket. Luck drops a dime on the back shoulder for Hilton and he is able to make the catch with ease. After making the catch Hilton is able to turn up field, break the tackle by Jackson, and tip toe his way into the endzone for a score. Star player making a star play. Hilton also has an innate ability to make these plays in the biggest stages of the game. Last year against the Chargers, the Colts were down eight with very little time left in the game. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett dumped off a quick pass to Hilton in hopes of picking up a few yards. Hilton however had other plans as he is able to shed two tackles in space and turn the outside corner and dive into the endzone for the score. The Colts would eventually lose this one in overtime but Hilton made a superb play here to give the team a chance late. The final clip in this piece again comes in crunch time as the Colts needed a score late to beat the Titans in week two. After a big run by running back Jordan Wilkins, the Colts decide to ride the wave of momentum and throw a fade route to their best playmaker. While Hilton is undersized in this matchup, this doesn’t stop him from making the play in the corner of the endzone. Hilton is just a playmaker in every sense of the word and is a threat to defenses no matter where the offense is with the ball. Final Thoughts One of my favorite things about the NFL is seeing how players develop and change throughout their careers. Justin Houston is one of my favorite examples of this as he has gone from an athletic freak to one of the most powerful defensive ends in the league once he lost some of his quickness. While I don’t think Hilton has lost much in terms of athleticism, he has developed a good bit in terms of being a more complete receiver in recent years. He is not just a deep threat and hasn’t been for a few years now. His elite quickness, ability to find space in zones, and ability to just make plays for an offense makes him a weapon all over the field. While he did struggle with injuries this past season, I do expect a big bounce back from the veteran receiver and expect even better production in the redzone with Philip Rivers under center in 2020.

  • Announcement: We have a new commenting system coming today
    by SB Nation NFL on August 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports Coral will launch on Stampede Blue this afternoon. Today is a big day for Stampede Blue commenters: we’re going to be moving our comments to a brand new platform. This site is part of the first series of sites in the rollout. Yeah, we hate change too. Here’s why we’re doing it: we’ve been using the same commenting platform for more than a decade, and the tools from our earliest days aren’t built for the modern web. Making fixes and improvements to the original system gets tougher every year, and it’s not sustainable moving forward. And so we’re starting out with a new tool, called Coral. It’s not complete yet, but it does have many custom features that have been on many of our wish lists for years. We know it’ll take a bit of getting used to. We ask only that you give it a chance, try it on a few articles, and then tell us honestly what you think. This is a constant work in progress – we know it’s missing a few key pieces that might be important to you, and we’re continually evolving and improving it. Check out the latest about those coming improvements below. Just like when we launched the previous platform, ten years ago, on day one it wasn’t perfect, so we’re asking for a little patience as we grow. We’re going live now to learn what matters most to you, to help us learn and develop the next set of features. We already have a bunch of improvements in the pipeline. Tell us what you like and what you want to see (respectfully, please) – we’re here and we’re listening. This is part of a big investment in SB Nation communities, and we will continue to evolve the platform over the coming months and years to support you, the best fan communities on the internet. Some important information about the launch: Your old comment history won’t be migrated on day one, but we’ve kept it safe and will be bringing it back. We’ll be temporarily removing comments from FanPosts and FanShots, as well. We appreciate your patience through these changes. The new platform will be on all our articles on this site starting this afternoon, using the same login as always. Thanks as always for being here.


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