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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Collinsworth: Peyton Manning Is a Player-Coach for Colts

I’m sure many of us have thought to ourselves that coaching Peyton Manning is the sweetest gig in the world. The guy calls his own plays, makes audibles at the line, and is practically the team’s offensive coordinator. With Peyton doing everything, what the heck does a coach need to do?

Obviously people have a lot of respect for Tony Dungy. We saw the way he coached up Tampa Bay’s defense and later Indy’s D, so he’s earned our respect. But how many of you have wondered how good Jim Caldwell really is and what he really does? The guy had a career .292 winning percentage in eight years at Wake Forest. Jim Grobe has been a .575 coach since taking over for Caldwell. With those stats in mind, it’s not a stretch to think that Peyton Manning is running the Indianapolis show.

Count NBC broadcaster Cris Collinsworth as one who believes that is the case. To make things clear, Collinsworth was simply praising Manning on Sunday Night Football rather than bashing Caldwell, but after hearing his description of Peyton as a coach on the field, it does make you wonder who is the brains behind the Colts’ operation. Here’s what Collinsworth had to say:

“It was amazing going out and watching practice the other day and watching Peyton Manning run this show. There is nobody else talking on the field. He has the play sheets tucked down in his pants, pulls it out and he coaches everybody before they snap the ball. They run the play — he coaches everybody afterward. I’ve just never seen anything like it. Maybe Bill Russell in basketball is the closest thing I can come up with. He was the player-coach, maybe Gretzky was like that, I have no idea — Magic. He is the man in charge from beginning to end when they hit the practice field. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Well, I’m no longer wondering who the real coach of the Colts is — we know it’s Peyton. Obviously there needs to be a figure head and someone who oversees everything, lays down the discipline, and works on the gameplans, and that’s what Caldwell does. But Caldwell is smart enough to know he has a good thing going and not to mess with it. The only worry is getting into a situation like Eric Mangini with Brett Favre where Mangini was too scared to say anything to the legend. Caldwell has to be able to tell Peyton what’s up, but it’s definitely been confirmed — Peyton Manning is a player-coach for the Colts.



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