Dust Beginning to Settle For Colts?

Don FishCorrespondent IAugust 2, 2009

Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts holds his helmet during a pre-season game against the St. Louis Rams at the Memorial Stadium of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois.

As Colts players are packing up and heading into training camp, the organization has plenty of story lines to talk about. Marvin Harrison, Dominic Rhodes, and Hunter Smith are the key player losses for the team. Tony Dungy, Howard Mudd, Tom Moore, and Ron Meeks are the significant coaching losses (more on Mudd & Moore below).

Peyton Manning doesn’t seem to have much of an idea of what’s going on inside the organization saying, “I can’t tell you what’s going on. I will say I don’t think it’s been the most properly communicated scenario around here. “

And there are plenty of significant injuries to talk about as well; anyone interested in knowing about Adam Vinatieri or Bob Sanders?

Just two days before training camp, new head coach Jim Caldwell held a pre-training camp press conference to address some of these issues and while not all of them are yet cleared up, the dust for the Colts may just be about to settle.

In Jim Caldwell’s press conference, there were three key issues he touched on that all Colts fans (and Colts nemeses) should have dialed into.

1)  Returning Coaching Consultants Mudd and Moore will return to their old positions

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After a crazy offseason in which Mudd and Moore were forced into retirement, to ensure that they keep their retirement benefit package that the NFL was changing, Owner Jim Irsay quickly arranged to hire them both back onto the team organization as consultants. 

Several months after signing them both on as consultants, and driving everyone crazy with what that really meant and what their respective roles would be with the team, the NFL released information saying that there were no limitations to what a “consultant’s” duties could entail. 

A couple of days later (in Caldwell’s press conference), Mudd and Moore were named the Senior Offensive Line Coach and Senior Offensive Coordinator respectively. 

This move pushes Metzlaars (recently promoted to Head Offensive Line Coach) and Christesen (recently promoted to Offensive Coordinator) back into their original roles of Assistant Offensive Line Coach and Wide Receivers/Assistant Offensive Coordinator jobs respectively.

So after a long season of drama and many unknowns concerning the coaching staff and how the players will handle the situation, it seems as though nothing (at least on the offensive side of the ball) will be changing anytime soon.

Breathe a big sigh of relief Colts fans. While I’m certain that most fans thought that the offense would run like the well oiled machine it has been for the past decade, there’s no need to test it is there?

By the way, with Tavaris Jackson going down, wouldn’t this be a great time to sign Brett Farve on as a Senior Quarterbacks Consultant? 

2)  Adam Vinatieri had yet another procedure in addition to his hip surgery.

As I’ve written in past articles about Vinatieri, his stats have continued to plummet since the magical 2006 season. He’s getting up there in age (36), and hip surgery alone is no insignificant or minor event for a kicker to go through.   

The reality of the situation is that it is very likely that Adam Vinatieri could return from hip surgery, have a long rehabilitation process, suffer complications and setbacks, and then re-injure or aggravate the injury during the course of the season.

Add to it that the Colts have a long history of not revealing the entire truth about player injuries (i.e. Peyton Manning ‘s recent knee surgeries and Marvin Harrison’s knee).

Add to it that the only other kicker currently on the roster is a rookie from Murray State, Shane Andrus,.

Add to it that the Colts have never had great success, even with the league’s most accurate kicker Mike Vanderjagt, until Mr. Clutch Adam Vinatieri donned a Colts uniform.

Not concerned yet Colts fans?

How about the statement by Caldwell during his recent pre-training camp press conference that Vinatieri underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in addition to his hip surgery?

I’m sure that the Colts organization will tell you that since they were doing the hip surgery, the doctors advised him to go ahead and clean out his knee since it would not add any rehabilitation time. He might as well get everything in his knee taken care of so he is 100 percent when the season starts.

That’s exactly what we were told about Harrison’s and Manning’s knees as well. Harrison never recovered (to true form anyway) and it took Manning an additional surgery and about eight weeks into the NFL season before he truly looked back to normal.

Ring… Ring… Ring….

Hello… Mike?  How’s our favorite “idiot kicker” doing? I think we could use your help…

I’d love to hear how that telephone call would go.

3)  Multiple key players will enter training camp on the PUP list.

In addition to Vinatieri entering training camp on the physically unable to play (PUP) list, names like Bob Sanders and Marlin Jackson reappeared like they were etched in stone years ago. 

Jackson and Sanders are key guys that the defense desperately needs to have on the field for success, yet they are often injured and in Sanders case for the majority of the year.

Everyone saw what Sanders being on the field can do. In the 2006 season, the Colts went from being one of the worst defenses in the league to being the best.

I’ve again written in past articles that if the Colts can step onto the field with all of its guys healthy that they are the best defense in the league. The problem is that they are rarely healthy.

So heading into training camp, things are sure to be interesting for the Colts. The dust over the coaching situation is beginning the settle, and perhaps Vinatieri’s hip and Sanders… well everything, will get healthy and allow them some playing time in training camp and even the regular season.

Perhaps things are starting to go the right way after a long and drama filled offseason for the Colts. 

I’m not convinced just yet, but we won’t have to wait much longer. Tomorrow’s another day. Tomorrow is Colts Training camp.

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