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In the Training Room: Colts’ QB Peyton Manning
This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series In the Training Room
Last off-season, Colts fans held their breath at news that their ever-durable QB Peyton Manning had neck surgery to address what was described as intermittent discomfort. After he proceeded to throw 761 times in the next 22 games (including pre-season, post-season and all 5 attempts in the Pro Bowl), it could easily be assumed that his neck was healthy and the issue resolved. But questions lingered – a rumor surfaced early in the season that Manning was still injured (or re-injured), eyebrows were raised when he wore compression sleeves on his elbows, and TV analysts commented that he didn’t look to have the same strength or precision as usual.
It appears that questions were answered a couple weeks ago when Manning announced that he had undergone a second neck surgery in as many years. The issue is… what were the right questions? Paul Kuharsky posted a great analysis pointing to what we should be asking. With answers to these questions, we’d understand better whether it was one particular disc that was a recurring issue, whether this is a broader issue with Peyton’s health, and whether his contract (whenever it comes) will represent a smart investment by the Colts. More >
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It has come to our attention that one of our colleagues in the Colts blogosphere has taken shots at Coltzilla regarding a lack of steady content recently. In fact, in the latest comment, it was suggested that Coltzilla is “dead.” As the site’s founder and editor I think it is worthwhile to address any of our readers’ concerns about the current and future health of Coltzilla.
Our readers should know that Coltzilla upholds a standard of reporting and analysis that we hope best serves Colts fans. We do not engage in long-winded or repetitive rants regarding rather mundane occurrences in the Colts front office, draft strategies, private practices, or minor surgeries to players. More >
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Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell’s Stamp on Coaching Staff Complete?
With the news that former Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore has left the team, it occurred to me that a great deal of turnover has taken place since Head Coach Jim Caldwell took over for Tony Dungy in 2009. Many considered the initial changes minor, as Caldwell has consistently stated his opinion that he was taking over a team and staff that was not broken, and a team philosophy that he promised to uphold, but the gradual transition from the Dungy coaching staff to the Caldwell coaching staff has been significant — and could be complete after Caldwell’s third off-season behind the wheel.
Since Caldwell took over the team he has:
Replaced former Special Teams Coordinator Russ Purnell with Ray Rychleski
Replaced former Defensive Coordinator Ron Meeks with Larry Coyer
Replaced former Offensive Line Coach Howard Mudd with Pete Metzelaars
Replaced former Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore with Clyde Christensen
Replaced former Running Backs Coach Gene Huey with David Walker
Added Ron Turner as Quarterbacks Coach
Moved former Quarterbacks Coach Frank Reich to Wide Receivers Coach More >
(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Colts Part Ways with Legendary Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore
Although no official word from the Colts franchise has confirmed it, Paul Kuharsky of ESPN’s AFC South blog has done some digging and found that legendary offensive coordinator Tom Moore has slipped out the back door. This is disheartening news for any long-time Colts fan as Moore had the great honor to introduce Peyton Manning to the NFL and collaborate with him to operate one of the greatest offenses in league history. Moore’s exit coincides with the off-season decision handed down by Jim Caldwell and the Colts front office to part ways with legendary running back coach Gene Huey. Farewell Tom and thank you for all of your contributions to the greatest run of success in Indianapolis Colts team history.
The bad news about Moore’s departure is — as Kuharsky’s story points out — that Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak nearly lured Moore away from the Colts to take over there as offensive coordinator (imagine him running the offense for a team in the AFC South) and that Moore met with the New York Jets to discuss red-zone scoring. This is certainly not good news for Colts fans, and while it hurts to know that both within the conference and division, Moore may be meeting with opponents who seek knowledge they would have previously not been able glean — as Moore has been the Colts Offensive Coordinator (or special assistant) since Manning entered the league in 1998.
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Colts Wide Receiver Austin Collie Feels Phenomenal
Tim Layden at Sports Illustrated wrote an in-depth story discussing Colts wide receiver Austin Collie’s experiences with concussions in 2010. The good news is that Collie is completely asymptomatic now, feels good, and has every intention of suiting up in 2011 to pick up where he left off as one of the Colts most effective offensive weapons. Layden’s story includes insights from Austin’s wife Brooke and Colts consulting neurosurgeon Henry Feuer. A few quotes are included below but be sure to read the three page story linked above.
“Austin was unconscious for 30 to 45 seconds,” says Feuer. “In 40 years I’ve never had a guy out that long. But then he starts to wake up and sees all these people around him, and says, ‘I’m O.K. My neck is fine.’ But he was nauseous. He’s lying there, and he says, ‘Don’t sit me up, or I’ll throw up on you.’ So we kept him down.” . . .
On Jan. 8 Indy’s season ended in a playoff loss to the Jets, and two weeks after that Collie took a demanding three-hour version of the ImPACT test. “No evidence of head injury,” says Feuer. Collie’s stance is that the Jacksonville hit would have knocked him out if even if he had not been previously concussed. “Anybody would have,” he says. “I was just unlucky. Because the Eagles hit was made into such a big deal, and then I got another concussion, people want to say, ‘This kid is concussion-prone.’ Those were two separate hits, and anybody would have gotten concussions from them.” . . .
Collie has been training since February and says his symptoms are gone. “People are entitled to their opinions about me,” he says, “but they’re not the ones who’ve had the concussions. They’re not the ones who know how I’m feeling. I’ve got a family and a kid. I know there are more important things than football. If I get another [concussion], I’ll take into consideration what’s happened in the past. But every person is different, every body reacts differently. I’m ready to continue what I started in those first six weeks last year.”
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While this story has been floating around over a week now — initially reported by a Tennessee Volunteers blog — recent requests by the Manning family for the Indianapolis Star not to report on speculation created uncertainty surrounding reports of twins born to 4-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning and his wife, Ashley Manning. Without hard evidence or reputable sources to confirm this story, Coltzilla chose to respect the Manning family’s request for privacy and give them whatever time they desired to get comfortable in their new role as parents, or deal with any unknown issues or complications that may have been involved. That changed today, when the local Indianapolis Channel 6 News station obtained copies of a pair of birth certificates filed to the Marion County Health Department in which Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife Louisa “Ashley” Manning are named as parents. More >
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Today is a big day for the owners, players and fans of the NFL – the lawsuit levied by the NFL players to remove the lockout order will begin to be heard by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson. No matter the immediate outcome, most everyone is hopeful that today’s ruling (should it actually come out today) and any subsequent rulings will eventually lead to the owners and players returning to the bargaining table and hammering out some sort of agreement. (I won’t call it a CBA because as of now, there is no “collective” with which to bargain!) People are still hopeful that the season is not in jeopardy, neither in full nor even partially.
For now though, the owners and players remain cool at best, and angry/hurt at worst. It was inevitable that this fight got personal – football is the lifeblood for the owners and players, and for many, has been an integral part of their lives since their Pop Warner days. And it got personal torward the end of negotiations – players’ wives had labor induced early so as to ensure medical coverage, Carolina Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson openly and derisively questioned QB Peyton Manning’s ability to understand a simple profit and loss statement, and there was the to formal negotiations that precipitated the union decertification and owner lockout. More >
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In January, Bill Polian indicated that the Colts had developed strategies to address each of four possible outcomes pending the CBA negotiations: (1) a CBA is agreed before Friday; (2) a CBA is agreed after Friday, with a short work stoppage; (3) a CBA is agreed after Friday, but with a long work stoppage; and (4) a decision is made to operate under an undefined “set of rules.” By tomorrow night at midnight, we will know whether #1 is no longer a possible outcome. This series examines how the Colts strategies might have been laid out in each of the scenarios.
#1 – mostly business as usual. For the Colts, business as usual means a heavy emphasis on building from within, including drafting capable players and developing them to play in their scheme. It means re-signing their own free agents, looking for gems among the UDFA ranks, and maybe looking at those who were unceremoniously released from other teams. It usually means staying out of high-profile free agency – you won’t likely see the Colts chasing someone like Nnamdi Asomugha or DeAngelo Williams. More >
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