Good Morning Generation

Quick thoughts on the upcoming Peyton Manning decision:

Count me among the few who feel that the Colts have to keep him around the organization.  The only way I could actually go along with letting him leave this franchise would be if he really cannot physically play in the 2012.  If that’s the case I actually think you’ll see Peyton retire rather than slum it with some inferior team like Washington while he hopes to get healthy.  A player of his caliber is unlikely to let the sports world see him that weak and helpless.  He’d much rather take the high road and go out while he’s on top.

Under any other circumstances though, I think the Colts have got to keep him.  Beyond the whole organizational loyalty standpoint, my view is based more in the decision to hire former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano as the new head coach.  The goal moving forward is obviously to have Andrew Luck be the next great franchise quarterback and I totally get that.  With Pagano as head coach though, I think they’re setting Andrew Luck up for a difficult situation that they could completely avoid if Peyton is still in house next year.

Think about it.

Around the NFL there are a number of franchises and coaches who have become completely associated with being defensive-minded teams.  Teams like the Ravens and Jets come to mind in that regard.  What do those teams also have in common?  They tend to scapegoat their quarterbacks whenever things get tough.  Look no further than Mark Sanchez.

Do the Colts really want to set Luck up for a Sanchez situation whereby every time he loses in the next three years he gets blamed for the loss?  It’s obvious with this hire that they’re making a transition into being a team that has more of a focus on the defensive side of the ball.  Decisions like this often result in a ton of pride by said defense and a clear domination of the locker room by them as well. 

If the goal is to have Andrew Luck pan out as the next Peyton Manning, tell me how it makes any sense to send him into a situation where he’s always going to feel like he’s playing second fiddle to the guys on the other side of the ball?

The Rams may have forever ruined Sam Bradford because of a similar decision.  Sanchez will likely be unemployed after next year.  Joe Flacco…well, he’s Joe Flacco.  The only examples I can think of in NFL history where this ever worked out were for Ben Roethlisberger and Terry Bradshaw, which isn’t exactly a great success rate.  And even those two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks can’t escape the criticism.

It’s for this reason that if Peyton Manning has any chance whatsoever of playing this upcoming season, the Colts have to bring him back, $28 million signing bonus be damned.  They can’t run the risk of having Andrew Luck fail because he was placed in the worst possible situation.

The one constant in winning Super Bowls in this era of football is having a great quarterback.  Great defenses often come close to winning titles but are almost always undone by superior QBs.  As convenient as it is to have a great defense, you still take the great quarterback every time.  If Andrew Luck doesn’t work out because his own organization failed to take care of him properly, the Colts are headed down a dark and lonely road that most people refer to as being a Cleveland fan.

That’s why you keep Peyton around to keep some equilibrium between the offense and the defense in these transition years and then turn it over to Luck in two or three years a la the Packers with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre.

Generation Y, where a part of us dies every time Federer loses to Nadal.


Actor Rob Lowe Reports Peyton Manning Might Retire Today

What a world we live in.  From Rob Lowe’s Twitter account:

First this one: “Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow. #Colts”
And then this one: “@richeisen My people are saying Manning will retire today. What do you hear? #NFL
Say it ain’t so!
[Rob Lowe via Twitter]