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Indianapolis Colts


On Jim Irsay On Peyton Manning On The Colts – Also Pagano Inspires My New Irrational Hatred of the Colts

I really thought that one day Chuck Pagano and Ed Reed's grey patch would be Eagles coaches. I hate the Colts now!

So I blogged earlier this week about Peyton Manning and his comments on the Colts. His comments were rather innocuous for someone who is contractually obligated to an organization that is firing folks left and right (and giving every signal that he’s next on the chopping block). Apparently Colts owner Jim Irsay didn’t like Manning’s comments and felt he should have kept any conversations about the team in-house. He also referred to Manning as a politician which, given the current political climate, is like accusing Manning of being a big old liar with no principles and no couth.

That’s beyond a low blow.

The first thing I thought when I heard Irsay’s comments was…I wonder if Jim Irsay thinks he can turn ANYONE ANYWHERE against Peyton Manning? If so…AHAHHAHAH HAHAHAHHA.

The second thing I thought is why would Irsay try to turn public opinion away from Manning when public opinion is already on the Colts’ side? People already understand that Manning got away with a a little bit of high way robbery being payed millions upon millions of dollars this year just to make Manningface on the sidelines. People also understand that though Manning is in a class of his own, he’s 36, has a wobbly neck and organizations have the right to move on. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re dealing with someone with the level of class and talent Manning has, but the public has been rational on this.

Further, a lot of athletes in Manning’s position would have been out there telling folks what the team needed to do during the season—especially someone who helped make the Colts as valuable as they are and especially in a time when the players played like crap. But Manning didn’t do that. In fact, not only did he not bash the Colts, he didn’t even seek the spotlight. Beyond an occasional interview on his medical progress, Manning has been largely silent and hasn’t drawn any unneeded attention to the Colts’ disastrous season.

I don’t know why Irsay was offended by Manning’s comments especially when he had a point of saying on twitter that he had no regrets about paying Manning to do nothing this year. If you’re over it, stay over it.

In an effort not to put together two fairly uninteresting posts on the Colts in a row, I’m combining this one with my thoughts on Pagano.

I’ve always wondered how people grow to irrationally hate a team, and now I know.



Peyton Manning On Colts: Everyone Is Being Evaluated And I’m No Different

Everyone, including me, is guessing about Manning's future and Colts owner Jim Irsay's intentions.

Monday night,  Peyton Manning sat down for a pretty candid interview with the Indy Star. In the interview he said quite a few things of note, including the fact that he doesn’t really have a relationship with the Colts new GM and that any decisions about his future and any communication with him about his future would come from owner Jim Irsay. But Irsay and Manning haven’t talked beyond Irsay offering to help Manning in his efforts to find rooms and other amenities for his family during Super Bowl.

Manning also discussed the different atmosphere in the Colts facilities. An atmosphere where folks are walking on “eggshells” and don’t know what will happen next. To catch up any who is late: The Colts are in the midst of cleaning house and starting over. And such is the atmosphere at places where lots of changes are being made and no one has real feel for the man in charge. The only thing that is clear at this point is that for all intents and purposes Manning is no different from any other player and he acknowledges this directly:


“I mean, it’s 20 degrees, it’s snowing, the building is absolutely empty except when you see coaches cleaning out their offices,” he said. “I guess it’s the reality of the football world, just not something I’ve had to deal with very often. But I’m in there every day, so I have to sit there and see it. Everybody’s being evaluated and I’m no different. It’s not the best environment.

“I just want to pay tribute to all those guys. It’s unfortunate because so many of them have been such a big part of so many big wins here, and this is so … sudden. Their keys didn’t work the next day. There’s no other way to do it? I don’t know. That’s hard to see, all these people leaving.

“And I may be behind them. Who knows?”

The question was posed: Given all the changes, the fact the Colts appear to be in a rebuilding mode, does Manning even want to come back to Indianapolis?

“I don’t want to get into some kind of fan campaign with the owner, but I think it’s well documented that I want to play in the same place my whole career,” Manning said. “It’s been a privilege to play here. I love the fans, the city, the transformation of the fans, how our place has become the toughest stadium to play in, the fact our fans wear more jerseys to games than anybody else. It’s been fun to be a part of that.

It feels like saying Manning is done in Indy isn’t a bold prediction. Guessing where he ends up IS bold… unless you’re Rob Lowe or somebody. For Manning’s part he says he hasn’t decided to retire just yet. So get ready for at least another month and a half of writers writing ” should X team pursue Manning” or “X team IS interested in Manning.” By the time it’s said and done Manning’s Decision may be more painful for the public than Lebron’s.



There Is No Suck For Luck So Shut Up

The Luck Era at Standford comes to a close, next stop? INDIANAPOLIS COLTS.

When Stanford QB Andrew Luck was told about the whole “suck for luck” concept (i.e. the idea that teams might intentionally lose to get the first pick so that they can draft him) he said, and I quote, it was “stupid.” And last night, with the pitiful Colts beating the hobbled Houston Texans, the commentary got dumber. People were actually getting upset with the Colts for wanting to win.

To any competitor, there’s a simple answer for why the Colts didn’t give up: cause winning is good and losing is bad and no amount of hypothetical benefits to losing makes winning any less fun or desirable. It just doesn’t. There are many Colts who won’t even be on the team next year to play with Andrew Luck (Reggie Wayne? Hello?). Hell, they might not be on any team. But football records are kept forever and a team losing on purpose isn’t something that will be remembered fondly or remembered at all, for that matter. They will simply be remembered as losers…giver-uppers…folks with no heart.

I think one thing people can’t wrap their mind around is the Colts team actually being bad enough to lose as many games as they have without there being some intent behind it. That goes back to the whole “Peyton Manning should be MVP” poppycock that’s been bandied about with simple minded people arguing that the Colts are so bad without Manning and so good WITH him that OBVIOUSLY he’s the most valuable player ever in history.

My biggest issue with this, besides the fact that it’s just dumb to reward a player (and by association a team) for caring nothing about their backup QB situation, run protection or defense, but also that the Colts were, at best, WITH Manning, a 9 win team THIS YEAR. And 9 is thinking positive cause after all this is THE Peyton Manning.

The AFC just ain’t what it used to be. Playing teams like the Cincinnati Bengals or even the Houston Texans isn’t a guaranteed win right now. The Colts got lucky last night with their superfluously terrible second backup QB Orlovsky leading the kind of drive that his lack of pocket awareness and general issues with football sense wouldn’t indicate he could actually do in life ever. But this game could have easily gone the other way even with Manning playing had the Texans not been down to their 8th string QB.


Let’s look at the Colts schedule this year:

Week 1 – Texans

Week 2 – Browns

Week 3 – Steelers

Week 4 – Bucs

Week 5 –Chiefs

Week 6 – Bengals

Week 7 – Saints

Week 8 – Titans

Week 9 – Falcons

Week 10 – Jags

Week 11 – Bye

Week 12 –Panthers

Week 13 – Patriots

Week 14 – Ravens

Week 15 – Titans

Week 16 – Texans

Week 17 – Jaguars


The Colts’ only two wins have come in their last two games against the Titans and Texans. Realistically you could say that the Colts could have counted on beating the Bucs (even though the Bucs started the season well I’m going to give this one to the Colts), the Jags twice, Browns and probably the Panthers given their horrid defense. I’m being generous here !!

Let’s assume they split the four Texans and Titans games. That’s 7 wins at most on the weak end of the schedule which, as the Packers found out against the Chiefs, anything can happen against weak teams on a random football Sunday. But even with all those in their pocket, they would have still had to contend with the Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, Saints, Patriots, Falcons and a dangerous Chiefs team to make more than 7 wins.

Yesterday, Jim Irsay put a further damper on Suck for Luck by saying “if” Manning plays next year it will be for the Colts. We don’t know if Manning will play but it’s obvious he’s doing everything he can to make it back much to my amazement. I’ve kind of accepted that Manning WILL be back (after previously accepting that he definitely wouldn’t, cause I mean who would do that with kids at home?) so now my interest lies in whether Wayne returns next year and what other changes the Colts make to the team to make them competitive. Assuming they’re not still putting all their proverbial eggs in Manning’s basket.

On a separate note, does anyone care what kind of pressure this puts on Luck? Or better yet, the kind of expectations it puts on whatever team drafts him? Admittedly, I’ve only seen Luck play twice. But it’s hard for me to imagine him being heads and tails better than the Panthers’ Cam Newton or even the Bengals Andy Dalton for that matter. And let’s remember, last year around this time we were all supposed to think that Blaine Gabbert was the best of the QB bunch. I think people need to back off with this narrative and begin to let chips fall where they may.





5 NFL Things That Must Be Stopped-Romanticizing Peyton Manning and Premature Ejectulation (Vol 3)

Peyton, NFL fans are grateful for everything you brought to the game. Now go home and be with your family (and take Tony Dungy with you!)

I’m back again with 5 more NFL-related things that must be stopped. Let’s dive in!

1. Premature Ejectulation. I made “ejectulation” up because I needed a word to describe taking out a struggling QB when it’s too late to win the game or prove any discernible point. In general, I’m opposed to benching QBs during games UNLESS that QB is the franchise player. I know that sounds odd, but benching a franchise player is proving a point. It’s just a gesture to wake the guy up after a bad spate of games. It doesn’t shake the team’s confidence in what is going to happen next. Benching guys who are in jeopardy of not starting just causes confusion.

What would have been the harm if Mike Shanahan had have let Rex Grossman finish out his game against the Philadelphia Eagles and announced Beck as the starter before the next game after talking to the team? His decision to bench in dramatic fashion *two snaps* sends a jolt through the team. When you have players like Santana Moss, who barely speak at all and certainly isn’t one to cause controversy, tell the media that the team was behind Rex Grossman, you have a morale issue that isn’t helped by embarrassing the guy they support. No reason Shanahan had to announce via benching that Grossman’s starting days were over.

This weekend, there was other Premature Ejectulation by Raiders coach Hue Jackson First we all thought that Carson Palmer WOULD play (despite it being highly unlikely that he was in good enough shape). Then we find out that Kyle Boller would definitely start. Boller had a horrendous game, and not only deserves to be benched but to be banished from football forever. However, the Raiders were down 20-0 when Jackson pulls the plug on Boller and puts in Palmer who, also, performed in horrendous fashion.



Dungy: Peyton Manning’s Neck Injury Result of Illegal Hit by Phillip Daniels in 2006

Indianpolis Colts QB Peyton Manning recently underwent a cervical fusion

Indianpolis Colts QB Peyton Manning recently underwent a cervical fusion

Peyton Manning’s former Coach Tony Dungy provided a little background on what he thinks marked the beginning of Manning’s problems with his neck. According to Dungy, in a 2006 game against the Redskins Manning’s neck was twisted and his helmet pulled off by the Redskins Phillip Daniels during a high low hit by Daniels and Andre Carter. Manning finished the game that day with impressive numbers, but Dungy believes that it spelled the beginning of marked decline in the heralded quarterback.

“Then we sort of forgot about it at halftime, and Peyton seemed fine,” Dungy said. “He lit it up in the second half. He was on fire [throwing for 244 yards and three touchdowns]. But that’s the year we started cutting back on his throws at practice. I’m not putting two plus two together. I just figure he’s getting older and he needs some time off, he’s made enough throws. But now, as I look back on it, there’s no doubt in my mind that this was the start of his neck problems.”

Manning’s 2nd neck surgery, a cervical fusion, took place last week. And I’m still confused as to why he hasn’t retired. I just don’t see any reason for his career to proceed at this point. The NFL contains about as much parity as you can ask for in a professional sport. I know it’s only week 1, but if the Colts are this bad without Manning, it’s not likely that they would be good enough to win a Super Bowl with Manning against the high level teams that are competing right now. At 36 and with a fragile neck, I see no reason for Manning to continue unless a Superbowl win was imminent. And honestly, taking off my “fan of the sport” fitted cap and putting on my “caring woman” sequined fedora, superbowl or not I wouldn’t want my loved one out there.

Manning should be looking forward to the Hall of Fame. Not dodging sacks from 6’4, 260lbs ++ Outside linebackers like Mario Williams and Brian Orakpo. Besides, it puts guys in a difficult situation. With an injury like Mannings, should he return, nobody wants to be the guy that paralyzes Manning for the rest of his life. Again, why haven’t we wrapped this retirement thing up?

Manning should hang up the cleats and crip walk…wait…riverdance (is that racist?) into the Hall of Fame as a healthy and happy husband and father of twins.  He’s collected his roster bonus of $3 million dollars already and the Colts have the option not to pick him up going forward. Why draw this out?

As far as the current Colts, I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see it for Kerry Collins. Not sure how many weeks he can make it without injury. At the very least the Colts could use a better backup, can we toss up some things and add recently-and-unceremoniously-fired former Jacksonville Jaguars QB David Garrard to the equation? I will admit I have no idea what their current backup Curtis Painter is capable of, but the one bit of play action he saw that I witnessed wasn’t very good. Garrard can at least withstand some heat and is 6 years younger than Collins. And I doubt he would perform so well that it would put them out of contention for Andrew Luck…assuming the Colts are even thinking about that.








NFL Inches Closer to Canceling First Game of The Season

I know you probably have lockout fatigue-ME TOO. I’ve been trying to mix up the content around here to avoid lockout talk.

But now that we’ve officially hit summer time and the lockout legal battle is still raging, it has come time for the NFL, and I suppose us fans, to be realistic. You can’t wait until a week before the pre season would have started to cancel the first game of the season.  Because of the amount of planning involved with everything from personnel decisions to camps and culling playbooks, a decision has to be made soon.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that there is no specific date set that he’d make such a decision but that the time is drawing closer. Colts Owner Jim Irsay was a bit more candid:

From USAToday:


Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told the AP on Tuesday that he thinks a labor deal must by reached by July 4 to avoid putting the regular season in jeopardy. He also warned that even lost preseason games would have dire consequences in terms of lost revenue to the league.

“If you miss those preseason games, or a game or two (of the regular schedule), or start late,” Irsay told the AP, “you have lost significant money, in excess of $1 billion.”

I find it interesting that this entire time the owners have been obsessed with additional revenue via a new agreement (rather than through improved product) and now they are in danger of losing exactly that. And further, player health is one of the big debates that spurred the lockout and without OTAs and mini camps that will be in jeopardy too.


FOX’s Jason Whitlock Recommends the NFL Distinguish Flagrant Hits from Incidental Ones

Fox Columnist Jason Whitlock who I’ve agreed with more in the past couple months than I care to admit, advocates in his column for the NFL to make a distinction between flagrant and incidental hits. If you saw the Eagles/Colts game yesterday you understand why:

On Sunday, Quintin Mikell and Kurt Coleman executed the perfect defensive secondary play, sandwiching Colts receiver Austin Collie just as he reeled in a Peyton Manning pass and took a second step running upfield. Collie fumbled. The Eagles recovered. The hit knocked Collie out cold.

A ref threw a flag, penalizing Mikell for unnecessary roughness. The ref ruled Collie’s catch an incomplete pass and flagged Mikell for a helmet-to-helmet hit. The Colts went on to score a touchdown on the drive.

In the fourth quarter of the same game, with the Colts trailing by nine points, Philly’s Trent Cole beat Indy’s left tackle and executed the perfect tomahawk-chop sack/strip on fourth-and-18. Game over.

Not quite.

A ref flagged Cole for unnecessary roughness. Cole’s hand hit the back of Manning’s helmet as he chopped down on the cocked football. The penalty gave Indy a first down. The Colts scored a touchdown, cutting Philly’s lead to 26-24.

Beyond the speculation that the NFL tried to “fix” the game for Peyton Manning, it’s obvious that this is one of those situations in which players are being (and will continue to be) punished unfairly. Whitlock’s call for a distinction to be made between an intentional hit on a defenseless player and one simply caused by momentum (or in the case of Collie, partly or wholly caused by the offensive player lowering his own head) is great in theory but getting the NFL to consider it might be difficult.


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