Michael Irvin to Jim Irsay: Colts Franchise Was ‘Garbage’ Without Peyton Manning

The Peyton Manning situation in Indianapolis has gotten ugly over the past couple of weeks, and it will probably get worse before it gets better.  Manning is frustrated.  He does not seem to know what his standing is with the Colts. In addition to that, rumor has it he is struggling with his rehab.  When Manning expressed his displeasure with the way Jim Irsay and the Colts have conducted business since the season ended, Irsay responded by saying Manning should be careful about “painting the horseshoe in a negative light.”  Enter NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin, who said what many of us were thinking over the weekend.

“Whatever understanding we have of what Irsay called ‘the horseshoe’ is Peyton Manning,” Irvin said according to The Huddle. “The horseshoe is first? The horseshoe is nothing before Peyton got here. You could’ve taken that horseshoe, and you couldn’t have given it away. It wasn’t lucky, it was killing you. This horseshoe was garbage without Peyton — it was garbage when he got here and garbage when he left here this season.”

Irvin’s right.  This isn’t Randy Moss joining a Super Bowl-winning Patriots team that is giving him an opportunity to rescue his career.  Before the Colts drafted Manning, their last division title was in 1987.  With Manning calling the signals, they won eight division titles in 13 seasons. They went to two Super Bowls and won one of them.

If it is time for the Colts to move on from the Manning era, Irsay and company should watch what they say — not the other way around.  Indianapolis’ 2-14 record this year further proved how valuable Peyton has been to the franchise.  A Brett Favre-style exit is not in the best interest of the Colts franchise, especially if they want their fans to continue supporting them as they begin rebuilding.

Peyton Manning Reportedly Struggling to Get Healthy, Facing Retirement

People are so used to seeing Peyton Manning perform and perform well, it’s hard for them to grasp the idea that he may never be able to play quarterback again. But that’s the reality, because Peyton is recovering from neck surgery, not some minor procedure on his knee.

SI’s Peter King reported Sunday that Peyton Manning was struggling to get healthy. Also on Sunday, ESPN’s John Clayton told Amy Lawrence that Peyton Manning is likely headed for retirement. Gil Brandt of NFL.com says his gut tells him Peyton will retire. And anyone who is speculating where Peyton Manning will play next season is putting cart the cart before the horse, according to King.

So what’s the big takeaway here? Not only might Peyton be done in Indy, but Rob Lowe’s retirement prediction may turn out to be accurate. This may be shocking because it wasn’t long ago that Peyton was playing at an MVP level, but remember, neck injuries are major, not minor.

It Sounds Like Peyton Manning is Done in Indianapolis

With each passing day, the situation seems to become more uncomfortable.  At this point, we still don’t know if Peyton Manning will be healthy enough to play football in 2012.  Manning says he has been rehabbing his neck injury and working hard to get back on the field, but he has consistently stopped short of making any promises about playing next season.  What we can see, however, is that it is highly unlikely that he will be a Colt for much longer.

On Monday, Manning was critical of the way Jim Irsay and the Colts’ management have cleaned house within the organization, wondering if he would be the next person to be run out of town.  Irsay responded to those comments on Thursday.  Needless to say, he did not sound happy with his franchise quarterback.

“He’s a politician,” Irsay told the Indy Star. “When it comes to being competitive on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the highest, we’re both 11s. There have been plenty of eggshells scattered around this building by him (Manning) with his competitive desire to win.

“I don’t think it’s in the (best) interest to paint the Horseshoe in a negative light, I really don’t. … The horseshoe always comes first. One thing (Manning has) always known, and he’s been around it so long, you keep it in the family. If you’ve got a problem, talk to each other. It’s not about campaigning or anything like that.”

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Peyton Manning Not Planning to Retire, Critical of Colts Management

Peyton Manning is clearly very frustrated. Wouldn’t you be? In the span of a single year, he has gone from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time to wondering what his future holds. If Manning can get his neck right and it is safe for him to play next season, he isn’t even guaranteed a job with a team he has kept relevant for the past 13 years. In an extensive interview with the Indianapolis Star on Monday night, Manning sounded like his patience with the Colts is wearing thin.  He said he never expected his retirement to be announced by “Sodapop Curtis,” among many other things.

“I’m not in a very good place for healing, let’s say that,” Manning said of the Colts’ facilities. “It’s not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody’s walking around on eggshells. I don’t recognize our building right now. There’s such complete and total change.”

A 2-14 season can do that to a team.  The Colts have a new general manager, Ryan Grigson.  The management system has changed drastically in Indianapolis and Jim Caldwell has been fired.  While he said he understands that football is a business, it sounds like Peyton is less than thrilled with the way the Colts have been cleaning house.

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Peyton Manning Really Proud of Brother Eli

There will be at least one Manning playing a meaningful football game in Indianapolis this season. Unexpectedly, it will be Eli.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was in San Francisco to watch his brother’s Giants beat the 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl. The older brother had positive thoughts for his little bro.

“I’m really proud. He played great and the team played great,” Peyton said after the win. “I’m just proud of the way he competed. He took a lot of hits as a quarterback. I have a great appreciation for the way he competed, for the way he got up. As his brother, I’m awfully proud as well.”

Peyton somewhat shrugged off the suggestion that the accomplishment of beating the 49ers to face the Patriots was amazing.

“It’s what I expected him to do, I guess what he expected to do. I think it’s pretty neat as a rematch. It’s an awesome job by him, an awesome job as a team.”

Well those are all answers you would probably expect to hear. Now if the reporters had some real minerals, they’d ask Peyton what he thinks of everyone questioning if Eli is the better clutch performer. I think little bro may be.

Rob Lowe Transitions from Actor to NFL Reporter, Claims Peyton Is Retiring

Rob Lowe created the perfect confluence of events Wednesday by tweeting some “inside info” on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

At 3:15pm ET Wednesday, Lowe tweeted “Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow.”

Lowe then told Rich Eisen “My people are saying Manning will retire today. What do you hear?”

“Colts fans, let’s hope my info is wrong. Don’t like being wrong, but this time… I’m hoping” he added a few minutes later.

Not that we really needed to check, but both Archie Manning and Peyton’s agent denied the claim.

With that in mind, I think what Steve DelVecchio said about the whole sequence of events is right: Lowe is a B-list actor looking for attention and getting what he wanted.

And I’m happy to provide it.

Lowe actually is friends with Colts owner Jim Irsay. Maybe he just got his parlance wrong and he intended to say Peyton wouldn’t be back with the Colts because of medical issues. That is a report I believe and don’t need Rob Lowe for. But keep in mind, Lowe (according to his character is Wayne’s World) speaks fluent Cantonese. His character in Thank You for Smoking played quarterback at UCLA. I don’t think we can doubt a person with such a versatile background, do you?

No matter how you slice it, Rob Lowe becoming the central figure in a major football report is a winning day in LBS history. This is the sort of unpredictability that gets me up each morning.

Nick Mangold on Peyton Manning Talk: I’ll Take Joe Montana or Dan Marino Too

Jets fans want to see some changes this offseason. After two seasons in which New York reached consecutive AFC Championship games, the Jets struggled mightily this year. Mark Sanchez did not take significant strides in his third full year as a starter and the Jets’ offense looked stale. As a result many fans, some anonymous teammates, and at least one former player want a change at quarterback.  One name that has been thrown around quite a bit is Peyton Manning, but who said he was for sale?  Jets center Nick Mangold alluded to that during an interview with The Michael Kay Show on Wednesday.

“I think if anybody could get a clean bill of health, shoot, I’ll take Joe Montana if he had a clean bill of health,” Mangold said sarcastically. “Dan Marino, I think, would be another great one. I think it’s all speculation, and I think that Mark Sanchez is my guy. Hes the one I want to go into battle with, and I wouldn’t be too keen to seeing that being changed.

“(Sanchez) puts in more work and more time, cares more about the team than I think anybody else in that locker room. And for somebody to come out and say (he’s lazy), and not put their name behind it, really bothered me.”

The “anonymous” Jets sources seem to feel the same way the fans feel, and despite Rex Ryan’s continuous support of Sanchez they are hoping to force some sort of move.  The only problem is star quarterbacks aren’t just sitting out there waiting to be plucked away from their current teams.  Everyone likes to talk about Manning being a potential target, but Colts ownership has insisted he isn’t going anywhere.  Andrew Luck should be the quarterback of the future, but it’s doubtful Indianapolis will risk trading a healthy Manning and handing the offense over to Luck next season.