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Old 07-29-2020, 11:52 AM
AlwaysSunnyinIndy AlwaysSunnyinIndy is offline
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Default Ballard on COVID-19, NFL and Colts

Chris Ballard: “I can’t lie to you. It’s good to be back at work.”

Chris Ballard says that he's been in constant talks with fellow league GMs about how they're handling the start of the year — and teams are helping each other.

"We all wanna make this is a go," Ballard said. "We all wanna do this, because everybody’s saying we can’t do it."

Ballard: “I’ve always said that everybody in the organization plays a role in winning, and that’s never going to be more evident than it is this year.”

Ballard on the 5 critical things for this season:

1. Testing
2. Contact Tracing
3. Social Distancing
4. Sanitizing
5. Wearing a mask

Ballard: "Everybody needs to wear a mask. I don’t understand why that’s such a controversy in our country right now. Put a damn mask on. It’s not about you."

Without any preseason games, Colts are going to have 2 or 3 practices “where we really get after it”, Ballard says. “You’re going to see some more physical practices in spurts to get ready to go, and to evaluate.”

Ballard says no Colts have opted out at this point, and he hasn’t had any individual discussions with players yet.

Ballard on Colts players, staff, coaches: “We’re all going to have to make sacrifices” away from the building. “It’s like the ultimate test of discipline.”

Ballard has already cut off for the season any visitors coming to town to his place, the way he’s used to doing.

Colts will stick with the 90-man roster for right now. … Have to be at 80 by Aug. 16. That decision will be made in the next 5-10 days.

Ballard: “We cannot work guys out. We can bring guys in with the intent to sign them.”

That’s very different for Ballard, who loves to work out a lot of people to keep his lists ready in case of injury.

Ballard says the uncertainty of the salary cap negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA put extensions the Colts would normally do during the summer on hold.

Now that they have clarity, they can start putting together a future plan.

Life will change considerably for the scouts, obviously. … A lot of college scouts are grinding on pro tape right now since the Colts won’t have the preseason tape to evaluate people

“Scouts now become more important”

Ballard clearly intrigued by the 16-man practice squad and the way they can use them.

As much as everybody's talking about the lack of practice time for rookies, Ballard is interested to see how much the rookies will benefit from having some of the grind of the rookie year taken off of them.

Ballard says players should be fine without a preseason. "College football does it every year."

Chris Ballard on one of his favorite position groups: "We've got three tremendous linebackers — Darius, Walker and Okereke — and I think you can put them against anyone in the league. And they're young."

. . . . On the DL, he’s looking at how Buckner impacts everybody else. “I think he’s a pretty special player but also a special person.” . . . .

Ballard says there will be a kicking battle between Chase and Rodrigo Blankenship. ... No mention of Vinatieri.

Ballard: Place-kicker is . . . . an interesting . . . . position group . . . . to watch. Definitely an open position. They're going to have to create competitive situations in practice to simulate games since there is no preseason.

Ballard on Reich: "There's no panic in him. When your leader doesn't panic, everyone else feels that."

Colts GM Chris Ballard says one of his favorite parts of this strange offseason was watching his coaches find new, creative ways to teach the players on Zoom calls. None made excuses, he noted.

"Like we say around here — no bitching, no complaining."

Ballard on Philip Rivers: "Loves football. Wants to win. Tremendous internal drive to be a great teammate, to win. ... He's had to buy into some things we do here nutritionally and workout wise that we do here that he's never done before."

Last edited by AlwaysSunnyinIndy; 07-29-2020 at 12:56 PM.
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