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QB Sam Ehlinger, IND (1 Viewer)

Faust

MVP
FMIA: ‘Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid’ — Aaron Rodgers Takes Zen Approach At Packers Training Camp

Excerpt:

Sam Ehlinger: Story of the Training Camp Trip

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Saw my favorite play from 13 training-camp practices so far here Thursday, executed by the 10th and final quarterback taken in the 2021 draft, throwing to the 32nd wide receiver picked in the 2021 draft. Colts sixth-round QB Sam Ehlinger to Colts seventh-round wideout Mike Strachan. In a feisty practice against the visiting Panthers, from inside the Carolina 5-yard line, Ehlinger looked at his first option, covered; looked at his second option, covered. Ehlinger came back to the back side of the play, where the 6-5, 225-pound Strachan was blanketed by two Panther DBs—both of whom had their hands on him as he trolled the back of the end zone.

“‘Draped’ doesn’t describe it correctly,” Colts coach Frank Reich told me a day later. “In fact, with words, I don’t know how to describe how well-covered Strachan was by those two Panthers. There was no way to get a ball to him.”

Ehlinger threw it anyway, a line drive to nowhere. “I know covered in the NFL is different than covered in college,” said Ehlinger, who played 46 games at Texas. Well, of course it is. This throw, though, just looked, well, not smart. But Ehlinger burned a fastball at Strachan, through various body parts of the two defenders, and the ball just velcroed onto Strachan. Touchdown. “That play is perfectly indicative of Sam’s camp,” Reich said. “He’s been really impressive.”

Normally I wouldn’t be writing about a depth quarterback on my training-camp trip. That changed two weeks ago, when Carson Wentz underwent foot surgery after a fluky camp injury, and the Colts said he would be out five weeks, minimum. Now it appears Wentz has a good chance to play the Colts’ opener Sept. 12 in Seattle; he was out at the practices I saw with no boot on the surgically repaired foot, with no limp. But it’s a mark of how impressive Ehlinger has been in camp that he is seriously challenging presumptive top backup Jacob Eason, and based on his decision-making quickness and how he’s led the offense, I give him good odds of playing the opener if Wentz isn’t ready. But that’s not a decision that has to be made now, and Eason’s preseason play could change that.

Ehlinger, in his debut playing with the twos and threes, led the Colts to a late TD and ran in a two-point conversion to tie the game, then led the Colts to the winning field goal with seven seconds left to lift Indy past Carolina 21-18 on Sunday.

So much to Ehlinger’s story beyond football. His father died of a heart condition competing in a triathlon when Sam was 14, and five days after Sam was drafted, on his first day inside the Colts’ facility, his younger brother died of undetermined causes back in Texas. Great story by The Athletic’s Zak Keefer on Ehlinger’s path.

Imagine the first time Ehlinger was in Colts’ headquarters being the day his brother, the closest person in the world to him, died with zero warning. Reich told me at that moment, he didn’t even know Ehlinger—they hadn’t drilled down hard on him before the draft—beyond surface-y hellos and welcome-to-the-team.

“So the first time I’m with Sam is the worst moment of his life,” Reich said. “He found out in the building, then he went out to our practice field, and he’s on his knees, wailing, crying, totally grief-stricken, heartbroken. It was the depth of despair that has a feel you can’t put into words. I don’t know Sam, but he is a brother in Christ, and the amazing thing about this moment is he was pounding his fist on the turf one minute, screaming, ‘Why Lord?’ And the next minute he’s quoting Scripture. I just put my hand on his shoulder and tried to be there for him.”

GM Chris Ballard and Colts director of player engagement David Thornton went to the funeral for Jake Ehlinger. To their surprise, Sam Ehlinger got up and gave an eloquent eight-minute eulogy for his brother, thoughtful and meaningful, fighting through whatever emotions one has when something this earth-moving happens. When it was over, Ballard said to Thornton: “I don’t know exactly what ‘it’ is, but whatever it is, Sam has it.”

That’s become a football cliché, and I thought a while before using it. It’s here because Ehlinger just radiates it, even in the short meeting I had with him.

“That’s an honor for people to say that,” Ehlinger said. “I think it’s just living in the present, really loving others and loving what you do and trying to be the best every single day and improving.

“It’s been very difficult for me. I’m not going to act like it’s easy. To get up there at the funeral and put together words was tough, but I wanted to provide hope for everyone and understanding what that situation was being his brother with the community, with the people we know. I wanted to provide some hope because I knew everybody was hurting. And then living on a daily basis with that is tough, for sure. It’s just important to let those emotions come, not suppress them and push them down, and it certainly comes. It’s not easy and some days are better than others, but continuing to press on, try to stay in the moment and remember the good times is kind of my motto.”

I asked about the message in his eulogy.

“I think the biggest thing I wanted them to take away was obviously what Jake taught me, but giving them hope in eternity. I think that’s something that death makes you face; if you don’t have death in your life you don’t really think about that. But comprehending eternity and how short this life is compared to eternity, and my belief Jesus Christ sacrificing his life for us. But . . . just eternity and putting into perspective how short this life is compared to eternity.”

There is no logical segue to football after what Ehlinger has been through. But around the Colts, after the blows he has taken, they want him to succeed at this level. It’ll likely depend on his ability to make those line-drive NFL throws to spots—his arm is just average—but knowing Reich, he’ll be able to figure out a game plan with offensive coordinator Marcus Brady to win a game or two with Ehlinger if he has to. The smartest thing Ehlinger said to me is hackneyed, but if you believe it, and he does, it’s smart: “Doesn’t do me any good to think about that. I can’t control anything outside of myself.” Point is, just do the work, practice hard. The chips will fall.

Maybe he becomes a starting quarterback one day, if he can show enough arm. Maybe he becomes Chase Daniel, a career backup who can win the occasional game. No one knows. But he makes quick and smart decisions, probably the result of starting 42 games in the Big 12 at Texas. And he is 22 going on 42, and that’s a trait a quarterback coach cannot teach.
 
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Faust

MVP

Sam Ehlinger completed 5-of-7 passes for 65 yards, adding a 45-yard touchdown run, as the Colts defeated Tampa Bay 27-10 in their preseason finale.​

Ehlinger finishes the preseason 24-of-29 on his passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns. He also had a 87.5 PFF pass grade on his 47 dropbacks. Ehlinger is no threat to Matt Ryan, but with Nick Foles firmly the backup in Indianapolis, Ehlinger could draw some interest from other teams on cutdown day after a big preseason. "Hard to imagine somebody having a better preseason than he's had. ... He's done everything he needed to do," Frank Reich said on Sunday.
Aug 28, 2022, 1:49 PM ET
 

Faust

MVP

Colts QB Sam Ehlinger is expected to be active for Week 6 against Jacksonville.​

Ehlinger has passed Nick Foles on the depth chart for the backup role to Matt Ryan. The move "isn’t seen as a threat to Ryan’s status" but comes in the midst of a mistake-prone start to the season for Ryan, who leads the NFL with 10 turnovers. The Colts offense is averaging a league-worst 13.8 points per game under Ryan. Ehlinger was lights out in the preseason, completing 83% of his passes for 289 yards with four touchdowns and a 148 passer rating while rushing for a team-high 71 yards. Ehlinger's promotion suggests the Colts (2-2) could see what they have in the Ehlinger should the offense continue to struggle.
SOURCE: FOX59 Indy
Oct 15, 2022, 10:07 AM ET
 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
Anyone needing him on their fantasy team would have to be complete desperate IMO and a waste of FAAB $$
 

QuizGuy66

Footballguy

Colts QB Sam Ehlinger is expected to be active for Week 6 against Jacksonville.​

Ehlinger has passed Nick Foles on the depth chart for the backup role to Matt Ryan. The move "isn’t seen as a threat to Ryan’s status" but comes in the midst of a mistake-prone start to the season for Ryan, who leads the NFL with 10 turnovers.
SOURCE: FOX59 Indy
Oct 15, 2022, 10:07 AM ET

Life, fast, etc
-QG
 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
I hope this raises Michael Pittman's stats as well. Haven't even heard of this guy. Is he any good, Colt's fans?
Purely a placeholder. I suppose after drafting Peyton Manning and sucking for Luck (Andrew), the Colts probably deserve a few years of QB merry-go-round searching at the position.
The Bears have been doing it for 70 years.
I remember how much Bobby Douglass sucked in the early 70s. All he could do is run with the ball.
 
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JoeJoe88

Footballguy
Anyone needing him on their fantasy team would have to be complete desperate IMO and a waste of FAAB $$

Depends on the league. I’m in two SF leagues and Ryan was my QB2 in both. There are no starting QB’s on the wire. I’ll be putting in bids for Ehlinger in both. Outside of Ryan’s one blowup week, I’m not sure he can be worse.
 

joffer

Footballguy
You never know. Guy comes off the bench mid-season and catches lightning in a bottle. Unlikely but not impossible.
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
Kewl. So my QBs at the start of the year in super flex - Brady, Lance, Tannehill, Trubisky, Watson. Looks like I’ll be hoping to grab Ehlinger or Rypien off the wire.
 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
You never know. Guy comes off the bench mid-season and catches lightning in a bottle. Unlikely but not impossible.
Kurt Warner :) I know he started week 1 because of a preseason injury to Trent Green, just saying perhaps there is another one out there.
 
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Craig_MiamiFL

Footballguy
Definitely brings mobile element to the position. Need to get back to what they were doing last year. Pound JT & use Deon Jackson if want to give him more breathers.

Better arm than Ryan at this stage. I'd downgrade all Colts receivers. I expect lots of running and ball control.
 
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JohnnyU

Footballguy
Well that escalated quickly
😳

IMO the OL is a bigger problem than Matt Ryan.

Will be interesting to see if Ehlinger fares any better.
As a Colts fan, who watches every game, I can tell you with 100% certainty that the problem lies with three areas, the OL not being able to block, Matt Ryan holding onto the ball too long, resulting in sacks and fumbles and his bad decision making resulting in INTs and Frank Reich. Reich has never won the first game of the season ever at Indy and the Colts haven't scored a point all year in the first quarter. He also puts the team at 2nd and 10 or 2nd and 8 in almost every series because teams know he's going to run the ball, or try that quick out to a RB. He's a terrible play caller. The only thing I like about the Colts right now is their defense and it has a couple key players out (Leonard and Paye). I like Ballard, but he isn't without fault obviously, bringing in Wentz and Ryan. Perhaps they need to think about getting a mobile QB? At least Ehlinger is more mobile than Ryan.
 
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Phil Elliott

Footballguy
I have always been impressed with Ehlinger. Definitely knows the game at a higher level than most and will eventually probably be a great coach. He has both passing and running capabilities. Very smart and I believe got his MBA while still playing at Texas. Not sure he will have significant FF value this year but worth a sleeper waiver pick up. Glad to see this opportunity for him.
 

-OZ-

Footballguy

Evilhomer3k

Footballguy
I'm in a 2 qb league with Mahommes on a bye. With Wentz out I need someone to go with Geno. Between Heinecke and Ehlinger I'm going with Ehlinger because of the higher upside. Hoping he goes off and I can flip him. The Colts are in second place, one game back from the Titans. They wouldn't throw Ehlinger in over Foles unless he gives them a better chance of winning. I just don't see them tossing their season when they still have a very good chance of winning the division.
 

Sam Quentin

Footballguy
Definitely brings mobile element to the position. Need to get back to what they were doing last year. Pound JT & use Deon Jackson if want to give him more breathers.

Better arm than Ryan at this stage. I'd downgrade all Colts receivers. I expect lots of running and ball control.
The D is solid….conservative football might be the way
 

Faust

MVP

The Athletic's Zak Keefer believes Sam Ehlinger's "scrambling ability might prove to be a spark this offense desperately needs."​

Keefer said the Colts offense had grown "stagnant" with the immobile Matt Ryan under center. Colts opponents have been able to disrupt everything the team tries to do on offense because Indy's offensive line is one of the league's worst and Ryan has been utterly unable to avoid oncoming rushers. He's taken a league-high 80 hits through seven games. Ehlinger comes with some rushing appeal: He had 503 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns in his final season at Texas and regularly showed an ability to evade defenders and make throws from outside the pocket. In three preseason games last August, Ehlinger completed 83 percent of his attempts at 10 yards per attempt. He threw four touchdowns and no interceptions on 29 passes, and rushed three times for 71 yards and a score. Ehlinger is in a good spot this week against a middling Washington pass defense allowing nearly seven yards per attempt (19th).
SOURCE: The Athletic
Oct 25, 2022, 11:55 AM ET
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
I'm in a 2 qb league with Mahommes on a bye. With Wentz out I need someone to go with Geno. Between Heinecke and Ehlinger I'm going with Ehlinger because of the higher upside. Hoping he goes off and I can flip him. The Colts are in second place, one game back from the Titans. They wouldn't throw Ehlinger in over Foles unless he gives them a better chance of winning. I just don't see them tossing their season when they still have a very good chance of winning the division.
Any idea what he’s worth in FAAB in these leagues?
I’m currently starting Tannehill along with Dalton, Brady or Zappe (depending how that goes) in a league where not many FAs do a whole lot for us.
 

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