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So do I
We all remember the fiasco that occurred as soon as the lockout was over. Manning had neck surgery on May 23rd of this year and was expected to be able to rehab over the offseason. However, with the lockout, he did not have the same access to the rehabilitation facilities that he should have had. As a result, he was not ready for the season.
He then had to get a spinal fusion on September 8th, leaving the Colts without their fearless leader.
However, we have seen other teams overcome losing their starting quarterbacks. Heck, the Patriots just did it a couple of seasons ago. The general fan sentiment was that Colts wouldn't win the division, but they could still be competitive and win a couple of games.
No one expected the absolute chaos that would follow.
At first, Curtis Painter was expected to get the start. Then, owner Jim Irsay started tweeting that the team might be interested in signing Brett Favre, creating a controversy that was just unnecessary.
A few weeks later, the team announced the signing of Kerry Collins, the recently retired former Titan. This was completely out of left field, as the team—Caldwell included—had backed Painter as the next quarterback. Certain players, including receiver Reggie Wayne, were noticeably upset by the signing, but the coaching staff did nothing to stop the tension, and the team started the season on the shakiest feet it had in years.
A proficient coach may have continued to back the man he had supported for years, especially without Painter even having the chance to prove himself. But Collins came onto the team and got all first-team reps.
For a team that seemed to have a legitimate insurance policy at its most important position, the Colts instead appeared stunned to realize that Manning could ever be hurt. The team was a mess, and it was evident throughout the early portion of the season.
Once Collins suffered a concussion, he was put on the injured reserve list. Painter came in as the starter.
Now, Painter is bad. We all realize that. But Collins was worse. Plus, Caldwell seemed to think it possible that Collins could come in without a training camp and without multiple preseason games and perform at the highest level.
He did not and perhaps cost the team a couple of victories early on.
Dan Orlovsky, previously with the 0-16 Lions, is now the starter. He has actually not had a horrible season, as he has a QB rating of 85.9 at this point and has won the team their first game.
However, do we not think that, had things been handled differently, the Colts could have gotten a better quarterback, or saved the Collins money and stuck with the guys they had on the roster?
Had Caldwell backed his players or tried to get another quarterback earlier in the preseason, or even said anything that allowed the fans to know that he cared about the team, he could make a case for his job.
He did not, so he cannot.