Snaps Lost: Indianapolis Colts
The “Snaps Lost” series is a detailed look at the playing time void created by players that have left each team this offseason, whether they were traded, cut, left in free agency, or retired.
Because each unit plays a different number of snaps over the course of the year, we have created the “Full Time Equivalent” metric. FTE is the total number of missing snaps divided by the number of plays the team ran on that side of the ball. This is an equivalent measure of how many full time players (100% snap count) the team would need to add on to make up for their offseason losses, even though very few players actually play a full snap count.
For example, if a team had 1,100 snaps on offense and then lost seven players who combined to play 2,200 snaps, their FTE would be 2.0 (2,200/1,100). This ensures that a team who lost a high volume of players only has a high FTE if those players racked up some significant playing time. FTE can only fall between zero (no players left the team) and 11 (fire everyone!) for each side of the ball.
Each team will have a ranking following their FTE, with the first-ranked team in each category (offense, defense, and total) representing the team with the smallest portion of their playing time in need of replacement.
A few caveats before getting into the good stuff:
-Suspensions and injuries that may limit 2015 snap counts are not considered.
-Biggest Losses are purely in terms of snap count, not necessarily in terms of impact.
-All snap counts are Regular Season only.
Overall FTE Lost: 5.58, 18th
FTE Lost: 2.48, 14th
Biggest Losses: Reggie Wayne (881), Hakeem Nicks (602), Trent Richardson (495), A.Q. Shipley (440), Ahmad Bradshaw (392)
Summary – Wayne’s long and illustrious career may have come to an end this offseason as the Colts let him go and he remains unsigned. Nicks has generated just slightly more interest on the free agent market, signing with the Titans on a low cost one-year deal as memories of his 2011 season are firmly in the rear view. The team is no worse off for losing Richardson, but between him and Bradshaw, someone’s on the hook for replacing almost 900 snaps in 2015. Shipley improved dramatically on his poor 2013 season, but the journeyman lineman has moved on to Arizona this offseason.
Replacement Plan – The Colts took flak from some for taking a wide receiver in the first round, but with nearly 1500 snaps to replace they should see value from that pick right off the bat. Taken with the 29th pick, Phillip Dorsett should figure heavily in the offense, as should veteran signing Andre Johnson, and there’s even room for Donte Moncrief to increase his 421 snaps from last season. Despite losing plenty of time at halfback, the Colts should survive on more from Dan Herron, and while injury has robbed Vick Ballard of nearly two full seasons now, he’ll figure into the mix as well. Workhorse back Frank Gore was acquired this offseason to help carry the burden, though at 32 it will be interesting to see when age finally catches up with the reliable runner. Indy seems content to let Khaled Holmes ride it out at center, and Todd Herremans was brought in from Philadelphia to further shore up the interior line.
FTE Lost: 3.10, 21st
Biggest Losses: Cory Redding (757), Ricky Jean-Francois (647), Sergio Brown (539), LaRon Landry (417)
Summary – Losing both Redding and Jean-Francois leaves over 1400 snaps to fill and for a team that struggled to stop the run at times last year, that’s not a good omen. Jean-Francois took a three-year deal from Washington, while Redding took his talents to Arizona. Brown and Landry combined to fill the safety spot opposite Mike Adams, who re-signed for two more years . Landry is facing yet another suspension and will likely remained unsigned for quite some time, but Brown signed a three-year deal to become a member of the Jaguars.
Replacement Plan – They’re pretty thin along the defensive line, where both Josh Chapman and Arthur Jones (385 and 371 snaps last year, respectively) should see bigger roles in the defense. Henry Anderson was selected late in the third round and should see the field, as should free agent signing Kendall Langford, who will most likely start. Dwight Lowery played more snaps last year in Atlanta than Landry and Brown combined, earning a respectable (+1.1) grade in the process and will slot in aside Adams as an older but nonetheless effective safety pairing.