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Is it a smokescreen?Posted Sunday, August 21, 2011, at 8:28 PM
Recently, Merry and I were watching an interview with Peyton Manning.
During the interview, he basically said he was going to need all of the next two weeks to get healthy in order to be ready for the regular season.
Manning has had two neck surgeries in the past 10 months.
This recent interview coincided with Colts' owner Jim Irsay tweeting the team was looking at possibly bringing in a veteran quarterback to work with the squad.
That doesn't bode well for the current quarterbacks on the roster: Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Matt Hartline.
Since Manning has been out, Painter has taken most of the snaps with the first team. He also has the backing from the first team players.
But all those reps haven't worked out in game situations.
Painter's numbers so far in the preseason have been dreadful.
Orlovsky hasn't looked all that impressive either.
Through two preseason games, Painter is 8-for-16 for 95 yards and one interception.
In contrast, Orlovsky is 11-for-27 for 178 yards with one touchdown and three pics.
Hartline has attempted only two passes so far this preseason, both of which were incomplete.
After taking the Manning interview and Irsay tweet in, I started wondering if this was a smokescreen.
Was Manning hoping other teams might believe this year could be the beginning of the Colts' demise?
Was Irsay thinking the same?
Hard to say. Some teams have done things like this before.
But I'm beginning to think Manning may not be ready for the regular season.
A few years ago, he missed the entire preseason and started very slow.
He led the Colts that season to nine straight victories as the squad finished with 12 wins and another trip to the playoffs. In addition, Manning won the MVP award.
But one team in the AFC South has gotten better and has been biting at the Colts' heels for a couple of years.
The Houston Texans may be able to overtake the Colts' stronghold over the division this season.
But I'll believe it when I see it.
As good as the Texans look on paper, they haven't been able to carry it onto the field.
Whether Manning and Irsay are creating a smokescreen or not, one thing is for sure.
The Colts better start looking for a replacement for Manning. And the sooner, the better.
Manning is 35 heading into this season. While he's not showing signs of falling apart, realistically, he doesn't have a ton of years left. Since 1998, Colts' fans have seen the same quarterback trot out to the huddle at the start of each game.
His numbers? Among the top 10 quarterbacks in practically every statistical category in history.
And he's not done, yet. But he's not getting any younger.
So far, it appears neither Painter nor Orlovsky are the future.
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