Tag:Colts
Posted on: February 23, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 4:11 pm
 

Peyton Manning's giant shadow hasn't left Indy

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning remains everywhere. The coach of the Colts at a press conference here was asked about him. The Arizona Cardinals wouldn't rule out Manning coming to their team. Jets coach Rex Ryan wouldn't rule out Manning coming to his team. That should be Manning's nickname: Won't Rule Out.

Manning is associated with seemingly every team that needs a quarterback or has a quarterback that stinks. In Florida, fans are putting up billboards in a desperate attempt to lure him there.

So as Manning overshadowed the Super Bowl he does the same at the combine. He remains the biggest topic here. At the Super Bowl, he dwarfed Tom Brady and his brother Eli. Now, he minimizes Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin.

The Colts coach and general manager both said they had no new news on Manning and neither had seen him throw. He remains the hottest topic in football despite there being nothing original to report.

Manning and Irsay are talking but there isn't any clear indication a resolution is near. This could go down to the final day. The question is why? Everyone, including Manning and Jim Irsay, knows this relationship is over.

So everyone waits and while everyone does Manning remains the biggest story in football...still.


Category: NFL
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:46 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 2:47 pm
 

Manning long-term prognosis continues to be bleak

The propoganda that continues to emerge from certain corners of the media universe is this: Peyton Manning is getting better. Peyton Manning will be fine. Peyton Manning is throwing with more zip. It all sounds pretty good but increasingly the more I hear from around the NFL, the more I doubt the accuracy of those statements.

Then there's the latest from Sports Illustrated which says that Manning has actually had four neck surgeries (not three as previously believed), has bone spurs in his neck and may have some sort of genetic neck issue.

People across the NFL continue to have doubts that Manning will throw a football effectively ever again and this new medical information only boosts that belief. Maybe Manning is a miraculous healer but four surgeries? Four? In two years? On the neck? And we're supposed to just believe he's doing well? Manning isn't from Krypton, last I checked.

This increasingly looks very bad for Manning despite so many leaks about positive outlooks and a flowery prognosis. This also explains the more aggressive stance the owner of the Colts recently took regarding Manning's contract. He knows all of this. He knows the major risk it is to sign Manning.

No, despite what you hear from some media corners, this is not good.

And the doubts that he'll ever play at a high level again remain high.
 
Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning
 
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:32 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 9:33 am
 

Manning and Irsay to meet this week?

I can't remember the last time an upcoming meeting between an owner and player drew so much attention but the anticipated gathering between quarterback Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay has the NFL, and in some ways all of sports, slightly holding its breath.

One league source said the two might finally have a sit-down this week to talk. That's not definite but it seems likely. One thing that's become clear is the two men don't want another circus. Both sides don't want to meet, I'm told, the week of the combine and thus have Manning news dominate the way it did Super Bowl week.

It remains possible the two men wait until after the combine but the feeling seems to be they want to get the meeting over with sooner than later. It's highly likely they meet in secret and no one finds out until afterwards.

Irsay wrote on his Twitter account Friday, speaking of last week: "Things r quiet this week n weekend, getting ready for NFL Combine, completing coaching staff, analyzing roster. There's no news on Peyton."

My guess -- everyone in football's guess -- is that the two men will basically say their goodbyes. No one, and I mean no one, expects Manning back. Stranger things have happened but it appears almost certain the meeting is the first step in the departure of Manning from the Colts. 

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning
 
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:31 am
 

Manning and Irsay to meet this week?

I can't remember the last time an upcoming meeting between an owner and player drew so much attention but the anticipated gathering between quarterback Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay has the NFL, and in some ways all of sports, slightly holding its breath.

One league source said the two might finally have a sit-down this week to talk. That's not definite but it seems likely. One thing that's become clear is the two men don't want another circus. Both sides don't want to meet, I'm told, the week of the combine and thus have Manning news dominate the way it did Super Bowl week.

It remains possible the two men wait until after the combine but thye feeling seems to be they want to get the meeting over with sooner than later.

Irsay wrote on his Twitter account Friday, speaking of last week: "Things r quiet this week n weekend, getting ready for NFL Combine, completing coaching staff, analyzing roster. There's no news on Peyton."

My guess -- everyone in football's guess -- is that the two men will basically say their goodbyes. No one, and I mean no one, expects Manning back. Stranger things have happened but it appears almost certain the meeting is the first step in the departure of Manning from the Colts. 

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning
 
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:35 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 11:11 pm
 

The Eugene Robinson danger zone

INDIANAPOLIS: This is the time. This is it. Late Friday night into early Sunday morning. This is what one player once told me he called The Eugene Robinson Danger Zone.

It's the most dangerous time to a player because just about all of the Super Bowl preparation is complete and now boredom sets in and when boredom sets in there is the greatest danger a player will make a critical off the field mistake like, say, soliciting a prostitute the night before a Super Bowl.

The player called it the Eugene Robinson Danger Zone, or ERDZ for short, because it was Robinson who had one of the most humiliating moments in Super Bowl history. He was busted, the night before Super Bowl XXXIII, for soliciting a female police officer for oral sex. Robinson offered the officer $40. This came on the same day he received an award from a Christian group for his outstanding character.

Hey, I'm not judging, just making an observation. Yes, the ERDZ is in full effect. Whoop! Whoop! Red alert.

Robinson isn't alone. Stanley Wilson went on a cocaine binge the night before Cincinnati's Super Bowl and Oakland's Barrett Robbins disappeared for much of the day before the Raiders Super Bowl and was left off the roster. Yet it's Robinson who has become the greatest symbol of ERDZ.

One of my longtime player sources named this time period after Robinson because since then Robinson has become one of the great cautionary tales. Many teams that since reached the Super Bowl use Robinson as a an example of what not to do.

So fingers crossed no player enters the ERDZ this year.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:11 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 9:57 am
 

Super Bowl Shoutout: Manipulative Manning

OPENING HIT-- I've always said that Peyton Manning is the most cutthroat player in the NFL. Many times that's a good thing. You want that aspect on the field. You want a quarterback to go for the kill. Manning does that, but off the field he's the same way. The jovial Manning you see in commercials isn't really that guy. He's thrown teammates under the bus publicly, and now in an attempt to win the PR battle with fans is overshadowing his little brother during Super Bowl week.

These leaks about Manning being cleared to play are carefully plotted, well designed and unquestionably coming from Manning's camp. They're manipulative and designed as a preemptive PR strike to head off Jim Irsay likely saying sometime soon they have to release Manning because of his health. This is a Brett Favre-like ploy to put pressure on Irsay and the Colts. No question about it.

Peyton Favre.

Which is why Irsay reacted so strongly on Twitter to the Manning news early this morning. Irsay knows what Manning is doing and Irsay isn't going to let him get away with it. Good for Irsay. It's one thing for Manning to use the media to push his agenda; it's another for Irsay to sit back and let Manning do it without a fight.

I respect Irsay for this. He's putting his name to his side of the fight, which is more than Manning and his agent are doing.

I've been saying for some time the probable departure of Manning from the Colts is going to get ugly and it's starting now. Both sides want to blame the other for Manning's likely exit from Indy when there is actually no one to blame. It's just the circumstances. It's football. And it's Manning being Manning.




Category: NFL
Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:06 pm
 

Reggie Wayne on Peyton Manning: 50-50 chance

INDIANAPOLIS: Everyone seems to have an opinion on if Peyton Manning will be able to physically recover from his neck injury and return to football. Manning teammate, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, is no different.

"I think his chances of returning to football are 50-50," said Wayne. "He had some pretty serious surgeries so I'm just not so certain. The one thing about Peyton though is if anyone can come back from this, he can. He works so hard at everything and this is no different. He's a tough guy but we're talking about the neck and that's why I'm not so certain but again if anyone can, he can. He's almost superhuman."

Wayne quickly added, "Now, where he might play, I don't know. That's the question. I hope it works out where he stays with the Colts but even with a great player like Peyton it's a business. Even Peyton isn't immune from the business part of football so it wouldn't shock any of us on the team that if he did play next year, it was somewhere else, because that's the nature of football."

Wayne gave an interesting glimpse in what it's like to be a Colts player these days in a football nation obsessed with Manning’s health.

"Everywhere I go people say to me, 'Please keep Peyton," said Wayne, who is working with Xbox Kinect this week. "I'm not Jim Irsay. It's not my team. Everyone wants Peyton to stay but like I said, it's a business."

"The only good thing about last season was that we never quit. I hated to see our coaching staff get fired. I was close to a lot of those guys and sometimes the media portrayed it as Peyton threw the ball to himself, caught it, snapped the ball, did everything and the rest of us were just nobodies. But we fought. I was proud that we never quit."

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:49 pm
 

Jim Tressel and the Colts

There are now reports the Colts will not hire Jim Tressel as head coach. This after a round of reports that Tressel had received two interviews and was in serious contention for the job. As a team source told me weeks ago there is no way in hell the Colts will hire Tressel to coach the team. That mostly stands. I've also been told Tressel never received two interviews for the job as previously reported and the one "interview" he received was very casual and more courtesy than anything else.

"Jim is well liked by Irsay," said a team source speaking of the Colts owner, "but not that well liked."

We'll see. Maybe Irsay does like taking huge, risky gambles with the future of his franchise.

League sources say the Colts have interviewed numerous candidates and aren't done. They're scheduled to speak with Baltimore defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. Foxsports.com reported 49ers special teams coach Brad Seely is now on the Colts radar. I was able to confirm that is indeed the case. Seely is viewed as a good potential head coach by people around football.

The Tressel-as-coach phenomenon got renewed life when Tony Dungy this week said he believed Irsay had focused on Tressel as head coach. That certainly opened my eyes but I continue to be told Tressel isn't getting the position.

Is it possible Irsay has become Jerry Jones and now rebuffs any notion of conventional wisdom? Possible. Irsay, again, is very different. He could hire Tressel as a giant (expletive) you to the league. Yes, that's possible, but no one on the Colts or in the league believes this will happen. They think Irsay's inner pragmatism will take over.

Irsay, I'm told, wants to hire an NFL assistant; some new coaching blood to go along with his theme of remaking the franchise almost entirely. This is the safer route and why Tressel doesn't make sense. The NFL is littered with the bodies of great college coaches who failed in the NFL from Steve Spurrier to Nick Saban and dozens of men between.

Do NFL assistants fail? Yes. But the failure rate for college coaches making the try is astronomical.

Again, Irsay is very different, and he could shock the NFL world with a Tressel hire.

But I think the team is heading in the direction of a hire like Pagano.

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, NFL
 
 
 
 
 
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