Colts GM gives peek behind the curtain of team’s draft process

0 Comments

Peter King is on vacation until July 15, and he lined up some guest writers to fill his Monday spot on Football Morning in America. Today, it’s Chris Ballard, general manager of the Indianapolis Colts.

INDIANAPOLIS — I get asked all the time what it’s like to be the general manager of the Colts throughout the draft process, and what it’s like inside the room on draft night. The journey is a grind. It can be exhausting at times. But the hard work and dedication only confirms our confidence in the players we select during the draft.

No two teams in the NFL draft alike. No two teams scout the same way, or use exact traits and characteristics when they look for players. Working for three organizations—Chicago, Kansas City and Indianapolis—and working as an area scout, a pro scouting director, a player personnel director and a director of football operations before taking the GM job here, I’ve seen how all 32 teams evaluate and draft. In two decades in the scouting business, I’ve seen how mentors like former Bears GM Jerry Angelo did it, how my Chiefs bosses Andy Reid and John Dorsey do it, and how other friends and competitors at other teams do it.

You might be surprised in our process that there’s a former Green Beret involved; his unique interviewing techniques help us strip away the agent-speak and happy talk that surround so many players in the draft process. You might be surprised that we’ve borrowed something from the brain trust at Pixar called “The Room of Candor,” so honesty is the only policy in the draft discussions.

I never want to look back at any decision we’ve made and think we didn’t have the real, unvarnished facts on the table when we’ve made these important choices.

Scouting in the NFL

The real currency of the draft—and any player acquisition—is scouting, medical, character and analytical information. We meet with potential prospects, sometimes on multiple occasions, and conduct extensive research. We do this to make sure we are making smart picks that will be good fits for the Colts. Most importantly, we have to be more accurate than 31 other teams drafting that day.

When Frank Reich and I sat down for his coaching interview in February 2018, we spent a lot of time talking about what type of players we wanted in the locker room. We were in lock step in our philosophies on the makeup of the team. We define football character as a player’s work ethic, passion for the game, football intelligence, competitive nature, and teamness. If any of these areas are weak, the chances of the player busting and not fitting in our locker room becomes greater. An NFL season is long and hard. The character of each individual player and the entire team shows up, either good or bad, during the hard times. It is difficult to get through a rough stretch if your players don’t have mental toughness.

We go the extra mile to delve into players and see how they’ll fit. You are telling the locker room every time you draft a player, “this is what we stand for.” If you bring in someone with a poor work ethic, or someone who is selfish, or someone who is unwilling to put in the work, you’re telling the locker room that that’s OK. Jerry Angelo used to say all the time that the talent of a player will tell you his ceiling, but his football character determines his floor. It’s critical to get that right, so we know the floor.

Read more from Football Morning in America here

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

3 Comments

The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers vs Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 2 – Mike McDaniel’s ‘F— It’ Play Powers Dolphins’ Comeback and How 49ers Adjust Without Trey Lance

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – 49ers at Broncos

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

 RELATED: How to watch 49ers vs Broncos – Live stream, TV Channel, Game Preview


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 3 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: PFT’s Week 2 2022 NFL picks


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

0 Comments

It’s the San Francisco 49ers vs the Denver Broncos this Sunday, September 25 at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

Starting this week, Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: FMIA Week 2 – Mike McDaniel’s ‘F— It’ Play Powers Dolphins’ Comeback and How 49ers Adjust Without Trey Lance

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo made an extra $350,000 on Sunday, and it could happen more often

San Francisco 49ers

After falling 19-10 in their season opener against the Chicago Bears, The San Francisco 49ers (1-1) bounced back in week 2 with a dominant 27-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday afternoon. However, the team lost starting QB Trey Lance in the process. Lance, who went 3rd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, was carted off the field in the 1st quarter with a broken ankle that will require season-ending surgery. Jimmy Garoppolo is now back in the starting spot after the 49ers spent the majority of this offseason trying to trade him. San Francisco gave Garoppolo permission to seek a trade in July but ended up restructuring his contract with the intent of keeping him as the backup behind Lance.

RELATED: Trey Lance – I will be back better than ever

Garoppolo finished 13-of-21 for 154 passing yards with 1 passing touchdown and also rushed for a touchdown in Sunday’s win. While he was proud of his performance, Garappolo said the win was bittersweet.

“It felt good to be back out there. I feel terrible for Trey. I’ve been on that side of it. This league is tough.” Garoppolo told reporters at 49ersWebzone.com. “Everyone has their share of injuries but that sucks for him. I feel bad for him but he’s our brother and we’ll pick him up. . . . I’m comfortable here. The players, the scheme, all that stuff, the locker room, I’m comfortable. I’m familiar with it. I’m not saying I knew this was going to happen but I was ready for this in case it did happen and just want to take advantage of the opportunity.”

RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo – Return to 49ers offense just like riding a bike

Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos (1-1) picked up their first victory of the season last Sunday with an ugly 16-9 win over the Houston Texans. The Broncos’ offense struggled for most of the game and first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett once again received criticism and even boos from the crowd for some questionable plays. Hackett, the former offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers (2019-2021) under Matt LaFleur, told reporters after the game that he will work to make his playcalling more efficient.

“I think I just need to be sure I clean up exactly what I’m hearing, where I’m going with, and make sure I’m on the same page for Russ. I think that will make us more efficient. ”

RELATED: Nathaniel Hackett – I need to do better making faster and quicker decisions

Wilson finished 14-of-31 passes for 219 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and three sacks in Sunday’s win. The 9-time Pro-Bowler and 2014 Super Bowl Champion signed a 5-year, $245 million extension with the Broncos earlier this month making him the second highest paid player in the league in terms of average annual salary ($49M). The franchise is hoping the veteran QB can help lead the Broncos to their first playoff appearance since 2015.

RELATED: Russell Wilson – There will be tough times, all that matters is the win


How to watch the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos:

  • Where: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
  • When: Sunday, September 25
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!