Going Gonzo

It’s been a big topic around here recently, so I figured I’d lump several articles about Anthony Gonzalez in to one front page post.  First comes an entry from Kuharksy’s mailbag.  A reader asked if the Colts have the slowest WRs around.  The answer from Scouts Inc’s Matt Williamson?  No!

“I wouldn’t say it is a weakness though at all. Collie is probably the slowest of the bunch and yes, I would say that Garcon is the fastest, but he is more of a build-up guy than Wayne and Gonzo, who go 0 to 60 quite abruptly. Don’t sleep on Gonzo’s flat out speed. He can really run. As can Wayne of course. I wouldn’t say that any of these guys has the blow-past-you-speed that Marvin Harrison did in his prime though. Still, not a weakness.”

“Also, Dallas Clark is as much WR as he is TE and is amongst the fastest TEs in the league.”

Now, I know that’s a Scouts Inc. answer, so take it with a grain of salt, but still.  Gonzo is lickity split.
Now we jump over to the SI preview where Peter King has the Colts going 10-6 and losing to the Pats in the playoffs.  He does a preview of the Colts and focuses on Gonzalez.

Either way, Gonzalez should be on the field for 50 snaps a game, which is why Manning felt a sense of urgency with him in the spring and summer. “Most people throw the route tree when they work out — one hitch, one slant, one out, one hook,” says Manning. “You hit ‘em all and you say, ‘Good workout.’ The way I think is, you master one route at a time — one route a day — and you throw the living stew out of it. I think I feel good about every route with Gonzalez now.”

What’s so hard about running a 15-yard comeback? Consider this: Because defenses are so diverse, a third-down pass play could bring two blitzers or it could bring bump coverage. Colts receivers must know how those schemes will affect the time Manning has to throw; they must have a clock in their heads plus the peripheral vision to know when to shorten a 15-yard route to 12.

Making those adjustments second nature will determine whether the Colts’ receivers succeed. “Those sessions helped a lot,” Gonzalez says. “Peyton’s such a perfectionist. At the end of my rookie camp I got the sense that I was not good enough. So I asked Peyton what he wanted out of me. I remember this vividly. He said, ‘I need to know every single play that you’re exactly where I need you to be.’ ”

Interesting stuff and a cool quote.  I think it puts what King wrote Monday in perspective.  He’s not paying close attention to the Colts right now, but knows that AG is on the spot. He sees one dropped pass, but probably didn’t see the interference penalty AG helped obtain earlier in the game.  He looks at the stats, sees 4 catches for a handful of yards, and concludes it isn’t going well with Manning.  I think that’s a huge overreach based on too little data, but knowing that he was sitting on this story angle, I can see why he jumped it.

Since it will save me time, here’s a couple of other quick links.  Dilfer puts Brady and Manning on their own tier.  They deserve to be there.

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis

Analysis: Ultimate coach on the field … processes and executes more information at a high level than anybody who has ever played the game … never has an offense functioned around one individual more than it has Manning … unbelievable durability, second only to Brett Favre … unrivaled combination of durability and dependability.

Don Brown is ranked as the second best rookie fantasy back, but I like what the author has to say about Addai too.

2. Donald Brown, Indianapolis- The Colts used a first-round choice to solidify the running game given Joseph Addai’s past injury issues. Brown is a dynamic runner with good speed to the outside who excels as a receiver in the flat (48 receptions last year). He proved remarkably durable in his final season for Connecticut, piling up an eye-popping total of 367 carries for 2,083 yards and 18 touchdowns. I still believe that Addai has the potential to push back toward 1,000 yards if he can stay healthy, but Brown will have immediate fantasy value, particularly in PPR leagues.

Finally, no word from Caldwell who is playing tomorrow night, but we can bet we see much if any 18.

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