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Friday, May 6, 2016

Manning pleased with Colts' coaching moves

Sunday, August 2, 2009


AP Sports Writer

TERRE HAUTE -- Offensive coordinator Tom Moore and offensive line coach Howard Mudd are back with the Indianapolis Colts, much to Peyton Manning's delight.

Moore and Mudd are the only coordinator and line coach the three-time MVP has had in the NFL.

When the two decided to retire in May, fearing they would lose money because of changes to the NFL's pension plan, Manning wished them well. When team officials discussed bringing them back as consultants over the next couple of weeks, Manning expressed his frustration over the confusion.

Indy's new coach, Jim Caldwell, said Friday that Moore and Mudd would keep their old jobs albeit with new titles -- senior offensive coordinator and senior offensive line coach. It is designed to help the two longtime assistants delegate some responsibilities to the coaches who were preparing to replace them -- assistant head coach Clyde Christensen and assistant line coach Pete Metzelaars.

The resolution has the Colts' franchise quarterback feeling better.

"Hopefully it just means good continuity," Manning said Sunday. "Obviously, the defense has a new system to learn and special teams have a new system to learn. It's a luxury offensively for us to be able to have the same system in, but we still need to go out and execute it."

Manning isn't the only player who liked the decision.

Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday, who makes the blocking calls at the line of scrimmage, also wanted both coaches to return and thinks the offensive line needs Mudd's brutal honesty to help them improve this year.

"I would miss him as a person, I don't know if I would miss his coaching critiques," Saturday said, drawing laughter. "He has a very interesting way of getting his point across, and to be very frank, I think we need it right now. We did not play well as an offensive line last year."

HOLD 'EM: Cornerback Marlin Jackson says he is healthy.

He just won't participate in full practices this week.

Jackson, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in October, said he's hoping to participate in team drills next week.

"I'll probably work on the side this week and try to jump into practice the second week or something," he said. "I'm ready, I'm ready to go."

Jackson could be joined on the sideline by kicker Adam Vinatieri, who had hip surgery in June.

Vinatieri was walking around Sunday at training camp and said he should be ready to go by the Sept. 13 season-opener against Jacksonville. His absence could be a bigger concern because the Colts need a new holder after losing Hunter Smith in free agency, and Vinatieri will need time to get the kinks worked out with whomever wins the job.

How important is that holding job?

"Just ask Tony Romo," Vinatieri said, referring to Romo's botched hold on a field goal attempt in January 2007. "I mention him only because that's the one that comes to mind, but I could probably name 15 others. I think they (those competing) understand how important it is. If they don't, trust me, they will when I'm done."

FRIENDLY FIRE: Manning apparently isn't just the Colts leader.

He's also a leading target of his teammates' jokes.

Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne arrived on a dump truck Sunday, sending a message that the Colts needed to get back to work. But when he was asked what job he'd give Manning, Wayne joked that he would be the janitor.

One of Manning's closest friends, Saturday, didn't make it any easier on the quarterback.

As Saturday talked about the offensive line taking the blame for Indy's poor ground game last season, he quipped: "It would be the same way if Peyton was getting sacked all the time. I wouldn't blame it on Peyton even though he may roll out, and he's as slow as they get. That doesn't' matter. Bottom line, it is our job to protect him, and it's our job to open holes."

GAMER GONE?: Dwight Freeney is widely considered the Colts' best video game player.

Now, Freeney may abdicate the title.

On Sunday, the former NFL sacks champion said he was retiring from gaming -- though he would consider a return if some trash-talking youngster challenges.

Who's the player most likely to beat Freeney at his best game, "Madden NFL"?

"The toughest competition used to be Dominic Rhodes, but he's gone," Freeney said. "I think I'm the reason he's gone."

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