Jake Arthur

Featured Analyst
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Jake Arthur last won the day on January 9

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About Jake Arthur

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    Assistant Director of NFL Content | Featured Analyst
  • Birthday 01/24/1990

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    Indianapolis Colts
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    -Member of the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA)
    -Assistant Director of NFL Content/AFC South Division Coordinator/Indianapolis Colts Team Manager/Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot
    (www.colts.profootballspot.com; @Spot_Colts)

    I'm just an avid sports fan trying to make a living doing what I know best.

    Follow me on Twitter: @JakeArthurPFS

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  1. The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced their All-NFL, All-AFC and All-NFC teams on Monday, and among the names on the All-AFC roster were Indianapolis Colts wide receiver TY Hilton and punter Pat McAfee. Hilton had a career year in 2016, finishing with career highs in catches (91) and yards (1,448) (15.9 avg), converting those into 6 touchdowns. His 156 targets were second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL, and his 66 first downs were first in the AFC, second in the NFL. In total, he had six 100-yard games, four of which he had at least 130 yards, and two of those he had at least 170 yards. McAfee also had a career year, punting 55 times for a league-leading 49.3 avg. His 42.7 net was best in the AFC, third in the NFL. He also had career-bests of just 17 returns allowed and 139 return yards allowed (8.2 avg). He was also 1-for-1 passing for 35 yards. Hilton and McAfee were also selected to the Pro Bowl this year.
  2. The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced their All-NFL, All-AFC and All-NFC teams on Monday, and among the names on the All-AFC roster were Indianapolis Colts wide receiver TY Hilton and punter Pat McAfee. Hilton had a career year in 2016, finishing with career highs in catches (91) and yards (1,448) (15.9 avg), converting those into 6 touchdowns. His 156 targets were second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL, and his 66 first downs were first in the AFC, second in the NFL. In total, he had six 100-yard games, four of which he had at least 130 yards, and two of those he had at least 170 yards. McAfee also had a career year, punting 55 times for a league-leading 49.3 avg. His 42.7 net was best in the AFC, third in the NFL. He also had career-bests of just 17 returns allowed and 139 return yards allowed (8.2 avg). He was also 1-for-1 passing for 35 yards. Hilton and McAfee were also selected to the Pro Bowl this year. View full NFL news story
  3. For those hoping to see Indianapolis Colts punter/kickoff specialist Pat "Boomstick" McAfee perform in the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl later this month, they will have to wait at least another year. According to McAfee himself, he has a knee injury that requires surgery, and he will not delay it until after the Pro Bowl, posting the following message on Twitter: McAfee was elected to his second Pro Bowl (2014) this year after leading the NFL in punt average with 49.3 yards per punt. Aside from McAfee, wide receiver TY Hilton will represent the Colts in Orlando, Hilton's third consecutive trip to the all-star game. He led the NFL in receiving yards this season with 1,448. The two were in the Pro Bowl together in 2014 as well. View full NFL news story
  4. For those hoping to see Indianapolis Colts punter/kickoff specialist Pat "Boomstick" McAfee perform in the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl later this month, they will have to wait at least another year. According to McAfee himself, he has a knee injury that requires surgery, and he will not delay it until after the Pro Bowl, posting the following message on Twitter: McAfee was elected to his second Pro Bowl (2014) this year after leading the NFL in punt average with 49.3 yards per punt. Aside from McAfee, wide receiver TY Hilton will represent the Colts in Orlando, Hilton's third consecutive trip to the all-star game. He led the NFL in receiving yards this season with 1,448. The two were in the Pro Bowl together in 2014 as well.
  5. The Indianapolis Colts have signed safety Lee Hightower to a reserve/future contract, their 11th such deal of the offseason. This is Hightower's (6'2", 200lbs, 23 years old) fifth stint with the Colts since last August, bouncing from the practice squad to the active roster since training camp. Hightower played collegiately at Houston after transferring from Boise State (BSU 2011-'12, UH 2014-'15), playing in 35 total games, starting 18. In his college career, he had 117 tackles (4.5 for loss), 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He had starting experience at both cornerback and safety. The other safeties on the Colts' roster are: Mike Adams, Clayton Geathers, Darius Butler, T.J. Green, Matthias Farley, Duke Williams, Stefan McClure and Andrew Williamson. View full NFL news story
  6. The Indianapolis Colts have signed safety Lee Hightower to a reserve/future contract, their 11th such deal of the offseason. This is Hightower's (6'2", 200lbs, 23 years old) fifth stint with the Colts since last August, bouncing from the practice squad to the active roster since training camp. Hightower played collegiately at Houston after transferring from Boise State (BSU 2011-'12, UH 2014-'15), playing in 35 total games, starting 18. In his college career, he had 117 tackles (4.5 for loss), 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He had starting experience at both cornerback and safety. The other safeties on the Colts' roster are: Mike Adams, Clayton Geathers, Darius Butler, T.J. Green, Matthias Farley, Duke Williams, Stefan McClure and Andrew Williamson.
  7. Oh, God, yeah. Their No. 1 need.
  8. The Indianapolis Colts have signed outside linebacker Alex Bazzie, formerly of the Canadian Football League's BC Lions, to a reserve/future contract. Bazzie (6'2", 240lbs, 26 years old) was a four-year player for Marshall collegiately but is now the latest player to migrate south to Indianapolis from the CFL. He has been with BC from 2014 through 2016, racking up 29.0 sacks in 50 career games. He also put together 83 tackles (13.0 for loss) and 2 forced fumbles. Bazzie became a full-time starter in 2016 and earned his first All-Star selection for the West division after getting 11.0 sacks. He led the Lions in sacks the last two years and became only the third player in franchsie history to have at least 10.0 sacks in his debut season. For what it is worth, while Bazzie was listed as 6'2", 240lbs in the Colts' press release, the CFL website has him listed at 6'1", 228lbs. The only other outside linebackers on the Colts' roster for 2017 are Akeem Ayers, Curt Maggit, Lavar Edwards and Deiontrez Mount. Remember that these are highlights and not game film, but Bazzie does have some impressive play. View full NFL news story
  9. Colts Sign CFL Sack Artist

    The Indianapolis Colts have signed outside linebacker Alex Bazzie, formerly of the Canadian Football League's BC Lions, to a reserve/future contract. Bazzie (6'2", 240lbs, 26 years old) was a four-year player for Marshall collegiately but is now the latest player to migrate south to Indianapolis from the CFL. He has been with BC from 2014 through 2016, racking up 29.0 sacks in 50 career games. He also put together 83 tackles (13.0 for loss) and 2 forced fumbles. Bazzie became a full-time starter in 2016 and earned his first All-Star selection for the West division after getting 11.0 sacks. He led the Lions in sacks the last two years and became only the third player in franchsie history to have at least 10.0 sacks in his debut season. For what it is worth, while Bazzie was listed as 6'2", 240lbs in the Colts' press release, the CFL website has him listed at 6'1", 228lbs. The only other outside linebackers on the Colts' roster for 2017 are Akeem Ayers, Curt Maggit, Lavar Edwards and Deiontrez Mount. Remember that these are highlights and not game film, but Bazzie does have some impressive play.
  10. Who are some Indianapolis Colts veterans that might be on the hot seat this offseason?
  11. It's no secret that the Indianapolis Colts' defense is long in the tooth. In fact, eight players on the defensive roster are at least 30 years old, four of them being at least 33. And all of them are either starters or on the second-team defense. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis' (35) retirement takes one "senior" off of the books, but the fact still remains that the Colts defense plays old and needs an injection of youth all over the place. Their 30th-ranked unit (382.9 YPG) is also the worst defense the team has had since moving to Indianapolis in 1984. According to OverTheCap.com, the Colts have approximately $50,799,095 in cap space heading into 2017, and they really only have a handful of their own free agents that they need to prioritize, so they are sitting in a good spot right now. However, if they really want to open up their cap space and get some serious free agents, there are a few cuts that they can make. The Colts could clear up approximately $24.85 million in cap space over the next two years by cutting starting inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, starting defensive end Kendall Langford and second-team defensive lineman Art Jones according to Spotrac.com. D'Qwell Jackson Jackson will be 34 during the 2017 season, but he already began losing a step when he joined the Colts in 2014. During his days with the Cleveland Browns, Jackson excelled in pass coverage but he has been unable to duplicate that success in Indianapolis. It has resulted in him becoming a two-down linebacker, leaving the field in some passing situations. Edwin Jackson (25) and Antonio Morrison (22) began receiving increased playing time this year, and they both played well at times, especially while filling in for D'Qwell Jackson during his suspension in December for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspension was not D'Qwell Jackson's only questionable offense, however. He had an incident in February 2015 where he punched a pizza delivery worker. He only has a dead cap hit of $250,000 for 2017 and would become a free agent after next season. Cutting D'Qwell Jackson this offseason would free up $5.5 million. Despite the Colts having some promising, young talent, inside linebacker is still a need for the defense, even with him on the roster. Kendall Langford Langford will be 31 during the 2017 season, and though he was excellent for the Colts in 2015, his 2016 was essentially ruined by a nagging knee injury that started in training camp and wound up landing him on season-ending Injured Reserve. As long as the Colts re-sign Zach Kerr, they'll have Kerr, Henry Anderson, Hassan Ridgeway and TY McGill to primarily carry the load at defensive end/tackle, and that's if they don't draft or sign a key rotational player in Langford's place. Of these three cuts, Langford would be the toughest call for me. Arguably the best season of his career was in 2015, and he would have potentially built on it this season if not for the knee. Can he get back to it in 2017? What this boils down to is letting the younger, quality players play. If Langford is starting, it means that a player like Ridgeway or Kerr is not. Langford only has a dead cap hit of $750,000 over the remainder of his contract, becoming a free agent in 2019. Cutting him this offseason would free up $7.95 million. Art Jones This would probably be many Colts fans' first choice. Jones will be 31 during the 2017 season, and he has ended all three of his seasons with the Colts on IR, not even seeing the field in 2015. This season was Jones' most productive with the Colts, starting all eight games he appeared in and totaling 30 tackles. Still, it was not enough to say that he should be kept on board. Aside from landing on IR for a groin injury, part of the reason Jones only appeared in eight games was because he was suspended for the first four for violating the NFL's PED policy. He has a hefty dead cap hit of $3.3 million until he becomes a free agent in 2019, but cutting him this offseason would free up $11.4 million. Like Langford, Jones being let go allows players like Anderson, Kerr, Ridgeway and McGill to get more playing time. View full article
  12. Over the last several years, the Indianapolis Colts have had critical needs on the offensive line, unsuccessfully addressed with free agents and mid-to-late-round draft picks until the Colts finally went all in and drafted four linemen in the 2016 NFL Draft. Ryan Kelly was drafted in the first round, No. 18 overall and became the starter at center essentially as soon as he was drafted. Le'Raven Clark was drafted in the third round, No. 82 overall and was viewed as a project and eventual starter due to the type of offense that he played in at Texas Tech. Joe Haeg was drafted in the fifth round, No. 155 overall and displayed his versatility along the line immediately in the preseason. Last, Austin Blythe was drafted in the seventh round, No. 248 overall and was plugged in at center and guard multiple times during the preseason. Since quarterback Andrew Luck arrived in 2012, the Colts' line has never given up better than the fourth-most quarterback hits in the league, averaging 116 allowed per year. It is no secret that the Colts' franchise player, Luck, has dealt with a litany of injuries over the last two seasons. And though Luck was sacked 44 times and hit 128 this season, those four linemen showed growth, and three of them – Kelly, Clark and Haeg – became starters at some point. Unfortunately for the Colts, they had to deal with starting left guard Jack Mewhort landing on season-ending Injured Reserve in Week 14, but in the process, other players stepped up. Since that time, Luck was sacked zero times (but hit 10 times) in Weeks 15 and 16, but then in Week 17 was battered by the Jacksonville Jaguars, being sacked four times and hit 10. Some of those numbers stand out in a negative fashion, but there was plenty of positives to take away as well. For starters, Clark, starting a right tackle, did not look like the disaster that he was during the preseason. He had a rough go of it against the Oakland Raiders in Week 16, but Weeks 15 (Minnesota Vikings) and 17 were not so bad. All in all, he played 201 snaps according to Pro Football Focus, so that is ample, valuable time to build on heading into 2017. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo's play has been discouraging at times in the last two years, but just understand now that the Colts aren't replacing him anytime soon. Not when they're still on the hook with him for approximately $18 million (according to Spotrac.com). Kelly and Haeg were both dependable in 2016, Haeg struggling more than Kelly, however. Kelly allowed zero sacks this season while Haeg gave up his fair share of hurries, hits and sacks. But, Haeg did play all over the line, giving the Colts better options than they would have had otherwise. Denzelle Good and Joe Reitz were the one-time starters at right guard and right tackle respectively, but injuries hampered their availability during the season, allowing players like Haeg and Clark to get valuable in-game snaps. Did the Colts have their struggles yet again on the offensive line in 2016? Absolutely, but that is to be expected when many components are in their first or second year. Growing pains come with the territory. And for what it is worth, the Colts' line did perform better in run blocking than they did in pass protection, playing their part in finally getting a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time since 2007 (Frank Gore, 1,025 yards rushing). Moving into 2017, Castonzo (LT), Mewhort (LG), Kelly (C), Haeg (RG) and Clark (RT) makes for a compelling possible starting five. View full article
  13. After performing much better the last few weeks of the 2016 season than it did earlier in the season, the Indianapolis Colts' offensive line may have decided itself for 2017.
  14. The Indianapolis Colts entered the 2016 NFL Draft needing pass rushers and youth all over the defense. They failed to really address the pass rush, but they did get some quality players in all levels of the defense. DRAFT PICKS Round 2, Pick 57 T.J. Green | Safety | Clemson Though the Colts' earliest pick on defense in the draft, Green was supposed to be a project who didn't garner a significant role until later down the road. Due to injuries, that all changed. Starting safety Clayton Geathers entered training camp on the injured list with a foot issue, so Green filled in and he actually caught on quicker than many thought he would. Green dealt with his own minor injuries intermittently but wound up starting four games throughout the season and appearing in 15 of the 16 games. On the season, he had 43 tackles and 2 passes defended, seeing time on special teams, starting at safety whenever Geathers or Mike Adams were out with injury and even being put into packages with Geathers and Adams already on the field. Green showed plenty to indicate that he can be an impactful player but arguably his most evident trait is that he plays with reckless abandon, as he was flagged seven times, five of which were accepted penalties by the opponents. He had two unnecessary roughness penalties (30 yards), two running into the kicker penalties (10 yards), one defensive pass interference penalty (27 yards), and his two declined penalties were a defensive holding and another running into the kicker. If Green can be coached up to show some more discipline, he could become a pretty dependable asset to the Colts defense and someone the coaching staff can feel good about starting in 2017. Round 4, Pick 116 Hassan Ridgeway | Defensive Lineman | Texas You could make an argument that Ridgeway was the Colts' best defensive rookie and you might not catch much opposition for it. Ridgeway started five of the 16 games, totaling 21 tackles (2.0 for loss), 1.5 sacks, 1 pass breakup and 1 blocked kick. Though much of the reason he started was due to injuries to Henry Anderson, Art Jones and Kendall Langford, Ridgeway's play was what made the decision to give him the playing time so easy for the coaches. The Colts' run defense wasn't all that great (25th overall, 120.4 YPG), but Ridgeway was consistently able to shed his blocks and push his way to the ball carrier, affecting their path if not ending the play altogether. But run defense wasn't the only area of the defense that Ridgeway was able to make his impact felt, as his 1.5 sacks went along with 5 QB hits and 7 QB hurries. Round 4, Pick 125 Antonio Morrison | Inside Linebacker | Florida Morrison was one of the Colts' most interesting rookies coming into the season, and he remains so now as we look forward to next season. For starters, his biggest 'plus' was in run support, as he attacked ball carriers and made them feel it in the process. He missed some tackles but he looked good overall. He was a disaster in pass coverage at times, however, primarily early in the season. Whether the Colts adjusted his responsibilities as the season went on to not feature as much man coverage or he just got better in his recognition, Morrison didn't have the blatant blown coverages later in the season like he did earlier. Overall, Morrison started four of the16 games and had 52 tackles (3.0 for loss). If the Colts elect to part ways with starting inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson this offseason and don't find a no-doubt replacement, Morrison may wind up as a full-time starter in 2017. Round 7, Pick 239 Trevor Bates | Edge Defender | Maine There was some real optimism surrounding Bates when he was drafted, up through training camp and the preseason. He had shown a nice ability to put heat on the quarterback but once the 53-man roster was announced and Bates wasn't on it, he fell into no man's land. He made the practice squad and was called up for one game, but then the Colts waived him and he was not brought back. In the one appearance, he played only on special teams, recording no defensive snaps. Considering the Colts had a huge need at outside linebacker and elected not to draft one until the seventh round, the fact that Bates did not pan out in Indianapolis is very disappointing. UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS Matthias Farley | Safety | Notre Dame – Farley played very well for the Arizona Cardinals in the preseason before the Colts scooped him up, and he played an important part on the Colts' special teams all season. He appeared in all 16 games, playing just 69 snaps on defense, and totaled 11 tackles. Curt Maggitt | Edge Defender | Tennessee – Maggitt, like Bates, was another hopeful at outside linebacker, but Maggitt actually stuck to the roster. He was fairly unproductive on both defense and special teams, though, totaling 7 tackles. He displayed a ferociousness off the line and while engaged with blockers during the preseason that just wasn't seen from him during the season. Maggitt's season was cut short by a knee injury after nine games. Christopher Milton | Cornerback | Georgia Tech – Milton was escalated to the active roster from the practice squad in Week 11, and due to injuries, he stuck to it. He made one start out of his six games and totaled 9 tackles and 2 pass breakups. He was dependable in coverage in limited opportunities. Colts 2016 Rookie Season in Review: Offense View full article
  15. With the 2016 NFL season in the books, we will evaluate how the Indianapolis Colts rookie class performed.