The standard of NFL excellence
With the NFL showdown of the year approaching, I asked some NFL executives which traits from the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots have other organizations tried to emulate. Here are some of the key ideas that have started to filter throughout the NFL.
The no-huddle has been used by other teams in the past, but not with the success or consistency exhibited by the Colts. With
The Patriots have placed a premium on acquiring players who have a history of playing other positions on defense --
The Colts won the Super Bowl title behind the unheralded tandem of
The success of the Colts'
Indianapolis has always taken advantage of the versatility of the tight end/H-back position. As one of the first teams in recent history to substitute the fullback with a second tight end/H-Back, the Colts have used the double tight end set to keep defenses on their heels. Starting with the combination of
Indy has done a phenomenal job of drafting and developing its own talent. Each of its 22 starters were drafted or signed as college free agents. The Colts' ability to groom them in their system has allowed them to effectively handle the loss of several starters during free agency in recent years.
The Patriots do an outstanding job of tailoring the scheme to the strengths of their roster. And their willingness to be flexible allows them to get maximum production out of all of their players. By having its players do things that are in line with their physical tools, New England gives them a great chance to succeed. This is why they are still able to get solid production from
New England's success dealing with malcontents (
Both teams have used this model to build top-ranked offensive lines. By focusing on chemistry and continuity, the Colts and Patriots have performed better than their individual talent would suggest. Between the two teams' offensive lines, only