Preparing for a Manning-less Colts Team – What Would You Do?


The Sky is falling!!! Peyton Manning may actually miss the entire 2011 season!  Jim Irsay is stressing out and needs to water the grass…  to calm down!  Fans are going crazy and cussing at each other and even at Manning.

Again, nobody knows what is happening with Peyton Manning’s recovery after the May 23 neck surgery. The team and front office are in CIA mode. With all the rumors and the non-denying of rumors, we worry the worst – Manning may not be available for an extended period of time, if not for the whole season of 17 weeks. Sadly, now my crush on Gonzo seems pointless….

So, what has the team done to prepare for a Manning-less season? Below are just some observations, from the draft onwards. Please feel free to comment and let us know what you think about the Colts front office moves. Have they done enough to prepare for life withough Manning?

The Colts have …

  1. … shored up the offensive line via the draft (Anthony Castonzo in the 1st round and Ben Ijalana in the 2nd round);
  2. … promoted stronger, bigger tackles and guards (Joe Reitz, Mike Pollak).
  3. … used stronger, tougher running backs for short yardage situations (Delone Carter, 4th round draft pick), Darren Evans, and Chad Spann (now on IR), are all bruisers who can make something out of nothing.
  4. … bolstered the defense by signing several former first-round draft picks at the veteran’s minimum. Unfortunately, Tommie Harris was released.
  5. … signed 17-year veteran and two-time Pro-Bowl  QB Kerry Collins, since, ugh, original backup QB Curtis Painter is just not a viable option , to put it mildly.
  6. … recently claimed Chris Gronkowski, a fomer FB for the Dallas Cowboys, who famously missed a block on Michael Boley that led to Tony Romo’s fractured left clavicle and shortened 2010 season.

Other than signing Collins and adding Gronkowski, all the other moves would have been made even if Manning was healthy and ready to go. Recently claiming (one day after 53-roster is required) a FB seems to be an attempt to shore up the running game further, matching an offensive scheme in which Kerry Collins used to play. It looks like the Colts brass really IS preparing for life without Manning.

Bill Polian’s “not know anything” usually means something bad. If Archie Manning, Peyton’s father, denies comments, that is even worse.    A collection of recent Tweets from owner Jim Irsay, as gathered by, is not a good omen, either, and may sum up the situation as we know it.

So, what do you think?   If Manning is gone for the season, what then? Will you watch Kerry Collins-led Colts?

How many games do you think Colts will win with Collins at QB?

Then again, how many games you think Painter will win if, God forbid, he is at QB?

Let us all hope these ugly rumblings are all but a bad dream. Tomorrow, tomorrow will be another day!

If not,  what would you do to prepare for a “Peyton Manning-less” season?