Tag:Indianapolis Colts
Posted on: March 6, 2012 7:01 pm

Loyalty? No such thing in the NFL.

The NFL is a nasty business. There is no such thing as loyalty -- on either side.

I hate the word.

It doesn't apply.

See: Peyton Manning.

It doesn't matter what you have done, what stadiums you helped built, what Super Bowls you brought to a sleepy little city, if you're breaking down and the price is too high, you are expendable.

The Indianapolis Colts are parting ways Wednesday with Manning, a decision helped along by a $28-million roster bonus he is due and the uncertainty about his health after suffering a neck injury. 

Even so, it should be a message to the rest of the NFL players that there is no loyalty. If Peyton Manning can go, so can you.

Get what you can when you can. There is a "me" in team.

Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:07 am
Edited on: October 24, 2011 12:54 pm

Monday Musings: Slow down on blowing up the Colts

So it's time for the Colts to blow things up? Really? Are you kidding me? 

That's the perception around the league after the Saints beat the Colts 62-7 Sunday night in an embarrassing loss.

Those who think that do know that Peyton Manning isn't playing, right? I've said for years that Manning makes the Colts. Without him, they are awful.

That's why it's foolish to think it's time to blow out coach Jim Caldwell. The guy deserves a pass for this season.

There are those who say Bill Polian and son Chris Polian haven't done a good job either, that the roster is depleted.

I ask this: How many teams would take the Colts defensive ends, receivers Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon, tight end Dallas Clark and safety Antoine Bethea? How about all of them?

The Colts were so Manning-centric that this is the result of that. It's not bad coaching. It's not bad personnel.

It's not having Manning.

I'm not sitting here saying Caldwell is Tony Dungy. I think his game-management leaves something to be desired at times, but he gets a pass for this season.

What did people expect?

---There's a ton of talk coming out of Chicago and Minnesota about how the Bears need to pay running backs Matt Forte big money to keep him, much like the Vikings did with Adrian Peterson and the Titans did with Chris Johnson. One word: Don't.  All off-season we heard about how it was time for the Titans to pay Johnson. So far, it's been a major disaster. Johnson hasn't come close to a 100-yard game. He had 18 yards on 10 carries against the Titans Sunday and was booed by the home crowd. In evaluating Johnson's games, the interior of the line hasn't played very well. There is a lot of penetration. But he also doesn't seem to be playing with the same pop. Forte is having a great season, and he's a big part of the Bears offense -- getting 145 yards rushing against the Bucs -- but is he worth a long-term deal like the one the Titans gave to Johnson and the Vikings gave Peterson? I love Peterson, and I think the Vikings had to pay him, but here's a guess the end of that deal won't be good for the Vikings. Backs wear down. You can find replacements. It's not a tough position to play. Anybody want to pay Chris Johnson now?

---Raiders coach Hue Jackson should be mad at Chiefs coach Todd Haley. Why was Matt Cassel throwing late with a 28-0 lead? Why was he in there at all? Jackson waved his finger at Cassel after the game, and he should have. What if Cassel got hurt on that final drive? Coaches need to think a little more in those situations.

---Is Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh a dirty player? That's a bit harsh, but he plays hard and does push the envelope. Suh also isn't having a great year. He's getting doubled a lot, but even when he isn't he's an up-the-field tackle who has been trapped on a lot of big runs. Teams are using his aggressive approach against him. Suh is good, but he can be better.

---I like Dolphins coach Tony Sparano. Nice guy. But his time is coming to an end. It's never good when a coach starts blaming the media, which Sparano did Sunday, basically stating the media is trying to split his team. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross didn't meet with Sparano after the loss to the Broncos, but he usually doesn't after losses. Ross did talk with former Florida coach Urban Meyer before the game. Meyer was in town as part of the celebration to honor the 2008 Florida Gators national championship team. Could Meyer be the next coach of the Dolphins? If so, he better get a new offensive system. The one he had at Florida couldn't work.  The last time the Dolphins plucked an SEC coach who had won a national title from the college ranks, it was Nick Saban. How'd that work out?

---Jets fans will take up raving about Plaxico Burress and his three touchdown catches. But all three came from inside 5 yards. That's what he can do. He's big and can make plays like that over smaller corners. But he can't run anymore. That's obvious.

---Big props to Matt Ryan for bouncing back from that ugly bend of his lower leg to lead the Falcons to a important victory at Detroit. Ryan is a tough guy. He made a huge throw on third down after coming back to the field following a trip to the locker room. I still think the Falcons play better when they go up-tempo. That's something that bears watching after their bye week.

---Dallas rookie running back DeMarco Murray: Proof you can always find good backs. Murray was the sixth back taken in the April draft. He ran for a team-record 253 yards against the Rams Sunday. He also had a 91-yard touchdown run. Murray looks like he will be a bigger part of the Cowboys offense moving forward.

---Does any team use the throw-back-across-the-filed pass better than the Texans? Teams might want to work on that when they get ready to play them. The Titans got hit by it twice Sunday.

---Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is now second on the all-time receptions list behind Jerry Rice. That's amazing. A tight end isn't supposed to catch that many passes. But Gonzalez now has 1,104 catches. Congrats to one of the game's greats.

---The Vikings have to be happy with what they saw from Christian Ponder in his first start Sunday against Green Bay. Yes, he made some mistakes. But he made some of those big-boy throws you want to see. I just have one question: What took so long?

---How much longer does Matt Hasselbeck have with the Titans? Could it soon be Jake Locker time?

---Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a passer rating of 146.5 against the Vikings. That means he's the first player in NFL history with a rating of 110 or more in each of his first seven starts to open a season. Can anybody stop the guy?

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 28, 2009 12:14 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2009 12:14 pm

Monday Musings

---I can't believe the outrage over the decision by Colts coach Jim Caldwell to sit down his starters against the Jets with a 15-10 lead in the second half. He didn't have to play them at all, but he did. I wouldn't have.  That's the right of the coach. All those fans of teams that the game impacted need to shut their mouths. If their teams had taken care of business along the way, they wouldn't have needed the help of the Colts. I keep hearing integrity of the game stuff, but that's absurd. We know the Colts have clinched the No. 1 seed. Caldwell could have started all backups, and nobody should have said a word. The Jets can now get into the playoffs with a victory against the Bengals. That's why the Steelers and Texans and Broncos might not be happy. Too bad. The Colts don't need to apologize to anybody. It's about winning the Super Bowl. Not going undefeated. And for those of you trying to throw fuel on the fire by implying that Peyton Manning wasn't happy about the decision, I don't think that's true. I talked to Manning after the Colts beat the Jaguars 10 days ago, and he was much more concerned about the playoffs than an unbeaten season. And he meant it. The Colts had the right to do what they did. It's happened before and it will happen again. What if the Patriots rest Tom Brady this week at Houston because they'd rather have the No. 4 seed than the No. 3 seed? Isn't that the same thing? You do what's best for your football team, the rest of the league and their fans be damned.

---The talk of Bill Cowher to Tampa Bay makes sense. The Glazer family loves going after big names. Remember the Bill Parcells pursuit? They traded away a bounty of draft picks to get Jon Gruden. And Raheem Morris hasn't exactly wowed them. But I have to say this: Why did you hire him if you're not going to give him a fair shot? The Bucs have won back-to-back road games, including beating the Saints Sunday. And they've played much of the season with a rookie quarterback. I'm not sure Morris is the next great coach, but I think he deserves another year.

---Never thought I'd say this, but I think Eric Mangini does as well. The Browns have won three consecutive games. They're playing better. And if Mike Holmgren's top option is to replace him with Marty Mornhinweg -- the league rumor -- I don't think that's any better.

---Now that the Packers have solidified that offensive line, watch out for them in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers has been on fire. The Packers play a meaningless game at Arizona this week and might play there again the next week. Rodgers had had a great season, proving once again that the Packers made the right decision when they jettisoned the selfish old man last year. Rodgers is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 4,000 yards in his first two seasons as a starter. Not even the egomaniac old guy did that.

---For the past two seasons, the same problems have hurt the Jacksonville Jaguars. They can't pass the ball well enough and they can't rush the passer. You can't have that in a passing league. They have to get a new quarterback. And despite the public talk by the staff backing David Garrard last week, don't believe it. The Jaguars will draft a quarterback early if they can next spring. The organization made a mistake giving Garrard a big contract two years ago. He is due to make close to $10 million next season. If he doesn't take a pay cut, he will be gone. The Jaguars brass now knows it can't win a Super Bowl with him as their quarterback. The problem is they don't have a second-round pick, traded away last spring for the right to draft starting corner Derek Cox, who has played well as a rookie. That means they can't address their top two needs in the first two rounds. Quarterback or pass rusher? The quarterback cures more ills, but the Jaguars have 14 sacks in 15 games. I'd still go for the quarterback.

---You have to feel for Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis. He suffered a severe neck injury last spring when the Cowboys practice facility collapsed and then had an emergency appendectomy Sunday before the Cowboys game with the Redskins. DeCamillis is a good guy who has kept a good attitude through it all. When I saw him this summer during camp, he couldn't shake my hand because he still had issues from his neck surgery. Here's wishing one of the good guys a speedy recovery.

--The Bengals will have to play the rest of the way without Rey Maualuga, who suffered a broken ankle in Cincinnati's victory over the Chiefs Sunday. Maualuga has been playing well for the Bengals, and he will be missed. He's been a solid player against the run who had improved against the pass as the season went along.

---The Rams will pick first in the draft. Take a quarterback. Forget all the talk about Ndamukong Suh going first to the Rams. It's time to take a quarterback first -- if there is one they like.

---Speaking of quarterbacks in next year's draft, I still think Washington's Jake Locker will change his mind and enter the draft. He might be the first player picked. Why go back to school?

---I hate to say I told you so -- no, not really -- but I told you the Wildcat would be dead by the end of the season. Where is it? What has happened to it? It's like those Members Only jackets. Both came, looked good for a while, and then disappeared. The Wildcat is dead. Amen.

---I'm not sure the Dallas Cowboys aren't the best team in the NFC. One coach I talked to thinks the Cowboys are the best team, especially the way they're playing now.

----Still think Tony Romo is overrated? Didn't think so.

---Seattle has to replace Matt Hasselbeck. He looks old and washed up. He threw four picks in each of the past two games. They have to draft a quarterback. But who does the drafting now that Tim Ruskell is gone? If they're smart, they get a football man who came up through the scouting ranks. Somebody like Steve Keim of Arizona or Eric DeCosta of the Ravens.

----The Saints, like I've said many times, are flawed on defense. With so many good offenses in the NFC playoffs, that will hurt them in a big way. Charles Grant, one of their defensive ends, does nothing. The Bucs moved up and down the field on them Sunday. So did the Redskins a month ago, and they can't score on anybody. The Saints have three weeks to fix it. Would it shock you to see them lose next week at Carolina? If they do, the NFC Playoffs will probably go through Minnesota. Can you hear the media crying already? New Orleans or Minneapolis in January?

---I think Gary Kubiak has saved his job with the Texans. They have a lot of talent on that team. If they don't make the playoffs next season, he will be gone. That's a certainty. They do need to fix the secondary.

---Watching the Cardinals-Rams game, Arizona better hope their tackles play better in the playoffs. Jeremy Bridges and Levi Brown struggled against an injury-depleted Rams front.





Category: NFL
Posted on: August 3, 2009 10:55 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2009 10:58 pm

More NFL paranoia

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- They took my notebook.

The Indianapolis Colts made me put my notebook away during practices Monday. Why? Their new policy prohibits the media from having a notebook on the field during practice. You can't Twitter or text or blog either.

You can write down notes on your arm -- if you want to look tatted up.

Can you believe this stupidity?

This tops tops all else in the world of NFL paranoia. Even standing in Tom Coughlin's penalty box during practices wasn't this bad.
Doesn't a reporter need his notebook to do his job?

The Colts think that information will get out during practice if they allow notebooks and texting and stuff like that. Meanwhile, practice is open to the fans. Any fan can text or Twitter all they want.

Oh, they're behind thre ropes.

This smells of Bill Polian. He wants to control everything. But there are no secrets in the NFL and fans have a right to know. They pay the salaries of the players, the coaches and everybody else in the organization. Without them, it would be a far different league.

This isn't the days of newspapers waiting a day to report the news. We live in an immediate gratification world. We want it all now. The NFL has to understand this.

I want my notebook on the field.

That's like a football player without his helmet.

We're just trying to do our jobs, you know.

At least now, I'm tatted up. I have a real neat one on my arm that reads:

Colts are paranoid. It's in blue and white ink.

 I like that one.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 5, 2009 6:52 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2009 6:53 pm

Monday Musings

Here we go again. The outcry is loud against the NFL's overtime rules.
How can we decide a game with a coin flip? That's the question being pondered after the San Diego Chargers took the overtime kickoff in Saturday night's 23-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts and scored the game-winning touchdown.
Well, it wasn't decided by a coin flip. It was decided by bad defensive plays. On third-and-11 from the San Diego 24 in overtime, Philip Rivers flipped a pass to Darren Sproles who scampered 13 yards for a first down.
That lost the overtime.
Not the coin flip.
Like I say all the time, if defense wins championships it should be able to get a stop in overtime.
Don’t blame the coin flip for not getting Peyton Manning a chance in overtime. Blame the Colts defense.
The rule is fine the way it is.
Hush up, everybody.

Quick hits

---I love knee-jerk reactions in the NFL. The latest: Pay Darren Sproles big money.
He's a nice little player, and he had a wonderful game for the Chargers in their victory over the Colts night, but he's only 5-6 and he plays a position loaded with people who can get the job done.
Look at the rookie runners who starred this season. There were many.  And there will be next season as well.
Plus, who knows if Sproles can handle the pounding of carrying it 20 times for 16 games? And we know how return men fade faster than teen stars in Hollywood.
So let's just enjoy what he did against the Colts and remember it for a special playoff performance.
One game does not make a star -- even if many out there try to make it happen. He is an unrestricted free agent, but I don't think he'll be as hot a commodity as some are making it.


--During the broadcast of the Cardinals-Falcons playoff game Saturday, Cris Collinsworth said the NFL should do the right thing and put Pat Tillman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What? Tillman did a great thing giving up football and millions to become a Marine, and then lost his life doing so, but that doesn't mean he should be in the Hall. People forget it's about football, not life. That's why O.J. Simpson stays. That's why Lawrence Taylor is in. And it's why Pat Tillman shouldn't be. He was nice player, but he wasn't a Hall of Fame player. He was far from it. So let's slow down on the Tillman to the Hall talk.

---The punting in the NFL is better than it has ever been. We watched Mike Scifres have a great game for the Chargers Saturday night, but the entire season has been filled with great punting. Here's how good: In his best season, Ray Guy averaged 43.8 per punt. That would have ranked 19th this season among the league's starting punters. And for those who say his hang time made a difference, leading to a great net average consider this: His career net of 33.8 isn't close to the career net average of 37.9 of current Raiders punter Shane Lechler. Some insist Guy should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here's something to ponder: He isn't even the best Raiders punter of all-time. That goes to Lechler. You can look it up.

----Eagles corner Sheldon Brown had a better season than Asante Samuel. Yes, I said it. It's just that Samuel has a knack for gambling and making the big play.  He had another big one Sunday with a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Vikings. But Brown is the better player. He's steadier.

Category: NFL
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