Tag:Jim Caldwell
Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:03 am
Edited on: September 26, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Peyton Manning will miss 2011 season ... maybe

Posted by Will Brinson

Peyton Manning will miss all of 2011 following the neck surgery that knocked him out thus far, Jim Irsay told Colts supporters at a Super Bowl breakfast on Monday morning.

We think -- Irsay hopped on Twitter shortly after the news surrounding his announcement and attempted to clarify the situation.

"I didn't say Peyton out 4season FOR SURE,keeping him on ActiveRoster n taking it month by month/Outside chance of return n December possible," Irsay tweeted Monday after the breakfast.

The news comes just a few hours after Pittsburgh put a painful dagger into Indianapolis' early season with a 23-20 win at the Colts Lucas Oil Field.

According to WISH-TV.com, Manning will not practice again until December of this season and "may not play again until 2012."

Heretofore, the Colts have declined to put Manning on Injured Reserve; they've said that they had no plans to do so until his full 2011 season was in jeopardy. And Irsay's tweet could be an indication that Indy will keep him off of IR for even longer, although it makes little-to-no sense to try and bring him back for what already appears to be a lost season.

This news is bad, of course, but it's also not that surprising -- the idea that Manning could come back and actually play again this season seemed far-fetched ever since the Colts confirmed his September surgery.

Recent reports that Manning traveled to Europe for stem-cell therapy before undergoing his September 8 neck procedure didn't help things and now we're right where we thought we'd be sans Manning: the Colts are struggling on a week-by-week basis to be competitive.

The good news, at least, is that they've admitted the need to monitor his health long term.

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Posted on: September 18, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Stem-cell therapy for Peyton, but no Colts game

Posted by Will Brinson


Peyton Manning continues to avoid the injured reserve list for the Colts, despite recent neck surgery that certainly puts his season in jeopardy.

He also will continue to avoid the public spotlight, as Manning won't be showing up for the Colts game on Sunday. Per Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Manning has "no plans to attend" the Colts home opener against Cleveland on Sunday, based on doctor's orders.

The medical experts believe that Peyton needs to "rest his body and mind" and sitting on the sidelines for Sunday's action against the Browns would absolutely be the opposite of that. Not only would Manning get harassed by the media, but he'd be the focus of roughly 5,463 camera shots during the game.

And, of course, he'd probably pop a vein in his neck just watching the Colts offense operate in poor fashion for the second-straight week. (Jim Irsay tweeted Saturday that everyone should "Eat drink and be merry ... 4 2morrow we die!!!!!" on Saturday -- a not-so-veiled reference to how much action Joseph Addai should see Sunday.)

Manning's Pain in the Neck
Manning did some "light therapy" recently but that's not nearly as interesting as some of the news that Fox Sports' Jay Glazer dropped Sunday morning.

"Manning, prior to surgery, actually flew to Europe for stem-cell therapy that's used overseas but not yet in the US," Glazer reported.

Think about that for a second: one of two things caused Manning to cruise across the pond and undergo a medical treatment that hasn't been cleared in America. It's either a) he was desperate to try and get ready for the season, or b) his condition is more serious than we thought.

The logical answer seems that he was hustling for the start of the season and a chance to be ready by Week 1, but it's also indicative of just how problematic Peyton's neck injury is for the Colts.

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Posted on: September 13, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: September 13, 2011 7:03 pm
 

Coach Killers, week 1: Haley takes the blame

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Todd Haley, Chiefs head coach. Week 1 of the regular season looked a lot like the previous four weeks of preseason football for Kansas City's offense. Which is to say: it existed in name only. And it's not like the Chiefs were facing the Patriots on the road. They had the Bills -- the Bills -- at Arrowhead Stadium. Instead of playing like the defending AFC West champs, Kansas City instead looked like the sad-sack outfit that won six games in the final two seasons of Herm Edwards' tenure.
Todd Haley wants you to know that he blames Todd Haley. (Getty Images)

Buffalo led 14-0 after a quarter, went up 34-7 after three quarters, and ended up winning 41-7. And the Chiefs are left to wonder where to go from here.

Yes, it's only one game -- the first game of a long season -- but Sunday's offense looked a lot like the one that got steamrolled by the Ravens in the AFC Divisional Game last January.

It's easy to blame quarterback Matt Cassel, especially after you take a gander at his stat line from Sunday: 22 of 36 for 116 yards. That works out to 3.2 yards per attempt, which means that if the Chiefs threw on every down, they'd go three-and-out every series (which isn't far from the truth). But Cassel isn't calling the plays or assembling the roster. The latter is Scott Pioli's job, but since he's pretty high up on the org chart, that leaves Todd Haley, who puts together the game plan (if you want to call it that).

“I’m taking 100 percent responsibility for our team not being ready to go,” he said after the game. “OK? You can point the finger right at Todd Haley. OK? I’m taking 100 percent responsibility.”

Uh oh. Haley went Costanza on us and started referring to himself in the third person. Not a good sign.

And while it's swell that he's holding himself accountable, that won't do much to keep him gainfully employed. The Chiefs look completely lost without offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who left for the University of Florida before the Ravens playoff game. Maybe it's coincidence, or perhaps there's a correlation, but it's not like Haley didn't get the head-coaching gig because of his ability to -- and apologies in advance to Hank Stram -- matriculate the ball down the field.

Either way, if the Chiefs don't find a way to score points, Haley won't make it to Halloween.

Jim Caldwell, Colts head coach. It's simple, really. Caldwell, who took over for Tony Dungy after the 2008 season, is only as good as his quarterback. Yes, that holds for most coaches (most notably Bill Belichick and Tom Brady -- although Belichick went 11-5 with Cassel in '08), but Caldwell can't use that as an excuse when Bill Polian inevitably calls him into his office and asks why he shouldn't be fired.

Week 1 in Review

For the sake of discussion, let's say Manning shuts it down for the season, and Indy wins five or six games with some combination of Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, Brett Favre and/or David Garrard (joke!). Isn't Caldwell ultimately responsible? (Of course, Caldwell might point out that Polian should've found a competent backup QB long ago, but he can't very well say that out loud.) Put differently: if Caldwell's coaching skills are directly related to whether his Hall of Fame quarterback is on the field, he's not bringing much to the table. Belichick, with or without Brady, is worth , what, three wins a season all by himself? Same with Mike Tomlin or Mike McCarthy.

That said, we don't expect Caldwell to lose his job no matter how bad things turn out for Indy this season. The man did go 14-2 in his first season and take the Colts to the Super Bowl. And Indy was 10-6 a year ago. Then again, his detractors are quick to point out that Caldwell was 26-63 during his eight years as the Wake Forest head coach. That's not exactly something you put at the top of the resume.

Pete Carroll, Seahawks head coach. Carroll has talked about "the plan," presumably one that entails making the team better. But based on some of his offseason moves -- notably, signing Tarvaris Jackson a year after trading for Charlie Whitehurst and weeks after letting Matt Hasselbeck walk -- we're starting to think that this plan involves positioning the team for a run at Andrew Luck. (Which, technically, will make the team better, just not this season.) 

Seattle did win the NFC West last season, but they also went 7-9. That's like being the prettiest ugly girl or the skinniest fat dude. When people say, "They won the division by winning just seven games!" it's not a compliment. They're mocking you. So, no, it's not something to brag about, especially since this year's team somehow looks worse.

The Seahawks lost to the 49ers, 33-17, Sunday, but the game was out of reach well before that. San Francisco led 16-0, and Seattle appeared to be running some version of the Chiefs' offense. And things don't get any easier because the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh this week. We joked yesterday that the Steelers could play the same sloppy game they did against the Ravens and have little trouble beating this Seattle team. That's how bad it was. Maybe somebody should ask Carroll what his deal is.

Jack Del Rio is quite familiar with the hot seat in Jacksonville. (Getty Images)
Jack Del Rio, Jaguars head coach. The Jags dumped David Garrard just before the season opener and we can all agree that a) the move was probably long overdue and b) the organization has an awful sense of timing.

Whatever, life after Garrard got off to a good start: Jacksonville, with Luke McCown under center, outlasted the Titans, 16-14. But this is the NFL, where fortunes change weekly, and it's not a stretch to think that the Jags' success could be short-lived. Partly because they haven't had a winning season since 2007, but also because their quarterback of the future is currently a rookie sitting behind McCown on the depth chart.

Not only that, it's not like Del Rio hasn't been in the "you're almost certainly getting canned" crosshairs in previous seasons. And his dilemma in 2011 is that if McCown plays just well enough to keep the gig, the Jags might again finish 8-8. But if McCown stumbles and Blaine Gabbert gets the keys to the offense, then it's a rebuilding year. While not an official stat, we think Del Rio is all out of "rebuilding year" mulligans. As it stands, his job security rests with McCown's ability to play better than he has at any point in his NFL career. We wonder if Del Rio will get to keep that black leather jacket as a parting gift.

Tony Romo, Cowboys quarterback. In general, this list will be populated with players who single-handedly torpedoed a team's chances or underachieving units (like the Chargers' special teams any week last season). So it's unusual that the first four names above are all coaches. But Haley, Caldwell, Carroll and Del Rio are as responsible for the fate that awaits them than any miscue their players might make that would ultimately reflect poorly on them.

And that brings us to Romo, who admitted after Sunday night's loss to the Jets, that the blame was his and his alone. That's not completely true, although a fumble at the Jets' goal line and that pass intended for a hobbled Dez Bryant that found Darrelle Revis on the next-to-last drive didn't help matters.

On Monday's Pick-6 Podcast, we talked about how the perception is that Romo's a choker, and Sunday night was the latest example. We don't actually believe that; if anything Romo's unlucky. Look no further than his counterpart in Week 1; Romo outplayed the Jets' Mark Sanchez but Sanchez has a knack for avoiding mistakes at critical junctures while Romo seems drawn to them. And it's not solely a function of his style of play or decision-making process. It genuinely seems like the gods of chance hate Romo. We think this has something to do with that whole Jessica Simpson thing.

But could his ill-timed miscuses be enough to cost Jason Garrett his job? Nah. Partly because we've seen what the Cowboys look like without Romo, but also because he's a top-10 quarterback. Does he take chances? Yeah, sure. Does he sometimes get burned? Yep. But he has the ability to put a ton of points on the board, and that overrides the occasional mistakes.

Now there's no doubt in our minds that Jerry Jones will some day fire Garrett. But it won't be because of Romo. In fact, Romo will probably end up saving Garrett's job a couple times before it's all said and done.

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Posted on: September 12, 2011 6:38 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 6:39 pm
 

Colts president Bill Polian scouts Andrew Luck

Is it too early for the Colts to start planning for life after Peyton? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


Nobody was eliminated from the playoffs after the first week of the NFL regular season, but it sure seemed that way for a handful of teams, including the Indianapolis Colts, who were Peyton-less for the first time since they drafted him in 1998.

Facing division rival Houston, the Colts looked like, well, a team without a quarterback, which was no fault of Kerry Collins' who, as recently as a month ago, was resting comfortably on his couch. Also not helping: Indy's defense and special teams.

The Colts trailed 17-0 after one quarter, and were down 34-0 (!) at the half before Texans coach Gary Kubiak took it easy on a team that is accustomed to being on the winning end of blowouts. It's a sudden change of fortune for an organization that has thrived with Manning under center. In fact, since Manning arrived in '98, the Colts have been to the playoffs every season but two (his rookie campaign and 2001), including a Super Bowl title in 2006.

While we don't want to overreact after one week, it's reasonable to think that this outfit won't sniff eight wins, and if Manning misses the season while recovering from neck surgery, they'll be lucky to go 4-12. And that would likely put them smack dab in the middle of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. (Yes, we know, such talk was unthinkable as recently as a week ago.)

ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith writes that, "It sounds crazy to suggest that the Colts could take a quarterback with the first pick in the draft nine months after giving Manning the biggest contract in NFL history. But it also sounds crazy to suggest that a team with a 36-year-old quarterback coming off a major injury would pass on a quarterback as talented as Luck."

But we're not just spit-balling here. Colts president Bill Polian watched Luck whip up on Duke last weekend.



Sports Illustrated's Peter King elaborates:

"This is what [Polian] does on almost every fall Saturday -- scout. And this year, in the wake of the possible season-ending surgery on Manning's neck, that takes on added importance," King wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

"Is there any way the Colts could be bad enough to be in the Andrew Luck derby on draft day? Very unlikely, but the team will do its due diligence. And is there any way they'd take a quarterback from the possible pool of well-regarded players -- such as USC's Matt Barkley, Oklahoma's Landry Jones or a still-to-emerge 2011 college star passer? That's more possible."

We agree: Polian is doing his due diligence. It's not out of the ordinary for him to take in a college football game, but we're less optimistic than King about the Colts' prospects in 2011. Unless things drastically change, there's every reason to think that they'll be in the conversation for the first-overall pick next April. While that doesn't do much for fans this season, Peyton's not going to play forever. And if you have to replace him, why not do it with one of the best college quarterback prospects we've seen in some time.

But perhaps we're too quick to bury this team. If you're looking for hope, coach Jim Caldwell offered it at his Monday press conference: “There is no question I believe it’s all correctable."

Feel better? Neither do we.

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Posted on: September 9, 2011 2:53 pm
 

Colts can get out of Manning deal after one year?

Posted by Will Brinson

Peyton Manning is going to miss at least eight weeks. It sure seems like it'll be longer and it's hard to imagine that the Colts bring him back for part of season -- thereby risking serious long-term injury -- if they're not in serious contention come November or December.

But what about longer than that? Turns out, the Colts built a little safeguard of sorts into the five-year, $95 million deal that Manning signed at the end of July. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Colts incorporated a team option for a $28 million bonus that must be picked up five days before the start of the 2012 league year beginning.

In other words, Manning will get his full salary this season -- $23 million -- but the Colts could conceivably allow him to become an unrestricted free agent following this season if they decided not to pick up his option.

There's only one real scenario where this might happen, and that's if Peyton's recovery goes so poorly that he's on the verge of retiring because of potential life-threatening damage to his neck and/or spine should he continue to play football.

If Manning returns for the 2012 season -- as most doctors, both real and the unlicensed variety, ahem, believe he will -- you can bet that the Colts will be keeping him on the roster.

But it certainly warrants mentioning that they won't necessarily have to pay Peyton the full $95 million if he doesn't take another snap in his career.

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Posted on: September 8, 2011 3:07 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 5:52 am
 

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

Posted by Will Brinson

Peyton Manning underwent a neck surgery known as cervical fusion on Thursday and will miss two to three months while he recovers. If that reported timeline is accurate, it's lines up perfectly, as we predicted earlier, with Mike Freeman's report that the Colts were prepping to lose Manning for half a season.

Of course, "two to three months" is all relative.

If it's two, that's half a season and you can see why Freeman's sources were concerned with that number. If it's three months, well, that's three-fourths of the season and any sort of delay in the recovery process would almost certainly put Manning out for the season.

However, though this is Manning's third surgery in the past 19 months, the team will keep him on the active roster, the Colts said.

Don't anticipate Indy confirming any timeline for Peyton's return, though. In fact, they confirmed that they will not be confirming that, although the team did acknowledge the surgery.

"As previously stated on Monday, Sept. 5th, Peyton Manning has undergone further testing and consultation with several specialists regarding his rehabilitation. The results of these tests and the consensus of the consultations was that further surgery was warranted," the Colts said in a statement released by the team. "Peyton has undergone this surgery today by having a single level anterior fusion. The surgery was un-eventful.

"This procedure is performed regularly throughout the country on persons from all walks of life, including professional football players. Two former Colts players had this same procedure last winter and have fully resumed their careers. Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process. Therefore, there will be no estimation of a return date at this time. We will keep Peyton on the active roster until we have a clearer picture of his recovery process."


The Manning surgery was originally reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who adds that "there is no word whether he'll be put on [injured reserve]." Mortensen also spoke with Archie Manning, the Colts quarterback's father.

"I think he's OK, probably because there's a little finality to this deal in terms of playing," Archie said. "He's been on the clock since May. He didn't make it. Obviously, it's a big letdown, but he can relax a little bit compared to the intensity of everything he has done trying to rehab."

Peyton's Progress

Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated paints an even bleaker picture, noting that "if reports of cervical fusion are correct, this is potentially career ending." Carroll also notes that "two to three months is unbelievably aggressive for [this] procedure."

For those wondering why the timeline for Manning has been so vague this week, Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network reports that Peyton "has traveled all over the U.S. trying to find a solution for his cervical problem, the latest recommendation resulted in surgery today."

If that's the case, it certainly makes sense that, as we said earlier today, no one with the Colts actually knew what the deal with Manning was, because he was out there trying to find out what -- if any -- options were available for him from other medical professionals.

The secrecy that's surrounded this entire process has been baffling, almost to the point where it's hard to fathom how we got here. So private, in fact, that even Peyton's older brother Cooper wasn't aware of what was going on with the quarterback's injury.

"[Peyton] values his privacy even within a very tight family like we have," Cooper told ESPN. "We've exchanged some short texts and I've given him his space. He's had a lot going on."

Cooper's not the only one who has sounded out of the know when it comes to Peyton's surgery -- Jim Caldwell didn't have much of an answer on Thursday when reporters inquired about a status update on Manning, shortly before news broke of the surgery.

Of course, Caldwell now has a much bigger concern: can the Colts win without Peyton. Our own Pete Prisco would tell you the Colts are "done" and he has a valid point about Peyton's ability to cover up other problems on the roster. Mike Freeman argues that we shouldn't "kill the Colts yet" because Kerry Collins is at least "not horrible."

And Collins isn't horrible. But he's not Peyton Manning. Which is the harsh reality the Colts will face -- for the first time since 1998 -- come Sunday.

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Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 2:46 pm
 

Caldwell on Irsay tweet: 'Obviously accurate'

Posted by Will Brinson

It continues to remain very odd that NFL-related conversation is about Peyton Manning missing time (and Jim Irsay tweeting) but that's today's world. And Peyton is going to miss time -- at least the first week of the season and, according to Irsay, he could be out 'awhile.'

Coach Jim Caldwell was asked about Irsay's slippery thumbs on Thursday and he confirmed the accuracy of said tweets.

"It’s obviously accurate or he wouldn’t have tweeted it," Caldwell said, per Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star. "But nevertheless, just in terms of what kind of time frame we’re talking about, I think [Irsay] also stated he’s not quite certain of the time frame. None of us really know at this point in time. It’s a little bit in flux this week. But I do think we’re going to have maybe a little bit more clarity here shortly."

Shortly? Awhile? Ah, the NFL must be back if personnel men are speaking in the vaguest of terms about injuries. But, seriously coach, when are we going to find out? Like, perhaps by the end of the week?

"Hopefully yeah, I would anticipate that yes sir," Caldwell said. "As soon as we get [the news about Peyton], if that's this afternoon or if that's this evening or if it's tomorrow, we'll get it out immediately."

All of that -- ahem -- excitement over the possibility of getting news perhaps maybe some time in the near future doesn't really help. In fact, it only lends more credence to CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman's earlier report today that he's heard the Colts are preparing to deal with Manning missing either a half a season and that Manning didn't undergo a recent surgery as was rumored.


The Colts don't know he'll miss the year, one has to assume, because he's not on injured reserve. And maybe they really don't know anything -- Jay Glazer of FOXSports reported earlier that Manning could have additional surgery later this week.

"While I'm hearing Manning hasn't had surgery yet, I wouldn't be surprised if he has it before the weekend!" Glazer tweeted on Thursday. In a follow-up question from one of his followers about whether said hypothetical surgery would put Manning out for the season, Glazer wrote that he is "not hearing it will."

Let's take all of these factors and put them together: the owner of the Colts is preparing his fans for a long(ish) amount of time without Manning. The team's president ruled Manning out by midweek in a major rivalry game. The coach of the team does not have a clue about when he'll find out if Manning can play. And Manning could have more surgery soon but probably won't miss the entire season.

So, the lesson, as always: no one knows anything. Oh, and also: Peyton will be back in Week 9, win six games down the stretch and take the Colts to the playoffs.

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 7:38 pm
 

Shouldn't Tressel face a suspension as well?

PryorPosted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (7:37 p.m. ET): CBSSports.com's Clark Judge reports that the league is "looking into" the report that Jim Tressel has been hired by Indianapolis.

"We just became aware of the report," a league spokesman told Judge, "and will look into it to determine the facts."

----------

It was awfully predictable that disgraced Ohio State coach Jim Tressel would land a job in the NFL. Somehow, some way, it seemed obvious to predict that Tressel, through the coaching network, would find something to do (other than count all the money he made at Ohio State before the Buckeyes axed him for looking the other way when his team was violating NCAA rules and then lying about it).

Today, the Colts and coach Jim Caldwell did exactly that, hiring Tressel as a gameday consultant. That means his main job will be to consult on replays, which means the other coaches on the Indianapolis staff won’t have to worry about it as they go about their business.

But there’s also one interesting aspect in all this predictability. What will Roger Goodell think about this? And most importantly, will he slap Tressel with a suspension for his part in the Ohio State controversy that ensnared now-Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor? You’ll recall that Goodell had no problem suspending Pryor for his college transgressions.

In fact, this is what he said when he announced that Pryor was eligible for the supplemental draft but would have to take an immediate five-game vacation.

“Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft,” Goodell said. “Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules, which resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football.

"Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs."

So, what will Goodell say about Tressel? He can’t, in good conscience, let Tressel work without some kind of punishment, can he?

I don’t know, but I can guarantee you one thing: the players will be paying attention – they certainly were when Goodell was deciding to suspend Ben Roethlisberger – and I’m sure the NFLPA will be doing the same (need proof? This is what NFLA spokesman George Atallah tweeted: "The NFLPA will be watching the Jim Tressell situation with interest.") If Goodell lets Tressel off with no punishment, the outcry will be loud and it will be angry. And rightfully so.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com