In the next couple of weeks we will be hearing plenty of quarterback talk, but today it was a different quarterback. Not Brady, not New York's Eli Manning. No, Eli's older brother Peyton. Of course everyone is well aware by now that Manning missed the entire 2011 regular season and his Indianapolis Colts suffered dearly, finishing 2-14 after making the playoffs 11 times in the past 12 seasons.
Indianapolis' embarrassing season ended in clinching the first overall pick in the draft this April. There have been rumors spreading like wildfire in the social media world about a possibility of Indianapolis taking the coveted No. 1 ranked quarterback in this year's draft class–Andrew Luck out of Stanford.
There's that, a huge distraction in the back of Manning's mind as he continues his rehab over the offseason, and there's also the fact that team owner Jim Irsay cleaned out the house in the past couple weeks or so.
Irsay let go of head coach Jim Caldwell, Tony Dungy's successor, last Wednesday. The very next day he relieved eight more coaches of their duties, including Coaching Assistant Devin Fitzsimmons, Offensive Line Coach Pete Metzelaars, Special Assistant to the Defense Rod Perry, WR Coach Frank Reich, Defensive Assistant Bill Teerlinck, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Torine and QB coach Ron Turner.
President Bill Polian had already been fired before all of this went down, might I add in. And Defensive Coordinator Mike Murphy announced his retirement as well.
The magnitude of the changes in the staff were brought to the attention of the general public earlier today when Peyton revealed his feelings on the issue in a lengthy interview with Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. I will not discuss every little thing that was talked about, but here's a shortened quote of his on the atmosphere of the Indianapolis facilities:
"I'm not in a very good place for healing, let's say that. It's not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody's walking around on eggshells. I don't recognize our building right now. There's such complete and total change."He wasn't angry, according to Kravitz in his article, but Bob did say Peyton was sad and disappointed that Caldwell and numerous other coaches had been released of their jobs. But Peyton didn't stop there, he also said "it was tough" and "very emotional" seeing the guys he had been working with cleaning out their offices.
He added in that he would like to play in the same place his whole career, he loves the fans and the city, as well as the stadium. But at the same time, it's obvious that owner Jim Irsay is fully entering a rebuilding mode at this franchise's current position, and does the 35-year old Peyton really want to be in Indy for all that?"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?"
He's not ready to retire yet either, despite what actor Rob Lowe may have attempted to say on his Twitter page (supposedly he announced Manning was planning to retire).
Peyton will not be in Indy in 2012.
Come March, Peyton will hit the old age of 36, and if Indianapolis is starting over new why would they want a 36-year old leading a team of 24-year olds? It just wont work. And I understand Peyton loves it in Indy and would like to stay loyal to the team that took a chance on him in 1998. But he also understands the NFL is a business, and if Indianapolis is ready to move on without him and draft the young Luck in April, then that is their choice and I'm sure Peyton will accept that.
Someone will take a chance on the recovering Peyton in 2012, and it will not be Indianapolis. Mark my words.
Thank goodness, we can get over this whole Manning situation and stop watching his every move now that I have gotten my point across. Sorry, Colts fans, but I think it's time to move on for the better of both participating parties.
Peyton: Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Andrew Luck: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images