The situation in Indy seems to be getting a little tense right now between the Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning. How tense? Consider coach Jim Caldwell’s response to a fairly simple question regarding Manning’s status.
Asked whether Caldwell would like to see Manning practice this season, Caldwell didn’t say “yes” or “no” or even “maybe so.”
Said Caldwell: “I have no [opinion].”
“Here’s the thing, I think I’ve probably made it fairly clear, there has been no timetable set on him,” Caldwell added, via comments circulated by the team. “There’s never been a timetable set on him from a coaching standpoint or from a personnel standpoint. The medical people, the doctors and those that performed the surgery, handle all of that, and they have him on a prescribed sort of a regimen. All they’ve done as of late is say, ‘Hey, things look better, he’s felt really good about it and we’re all encouraged.’ They’ve just increased his rehab. Plain and simple. There has been nothing else added on to it, there is no timing of deadlines, no crucial points in time or anything of that nature. At some point in time they’ll let us know, but who knows when that’s going to be. That could be this season, it could be after the season, but I don’t know. No one does. So they’ll monitor him and then make that decision at some point. Whenever they make it I’ll adjust accordingly.”
It’s a fair answer, but it creates the impression of a coach who is tiptoeing on eggshells. Given the behind-the-scenes tug-o-war that apparently is playing out between Manning and Vice Chairman Bill Polian, Caldwell is doing the smart thing by keeping his head low and by saying nothing that could create an unwanted spark in the vicinity of the powder keg.
Meanwhile, Archie Manning tried to downplay during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show a comment from Tuesday that Peyton and Andrew Luck won’t want to be teammates. Manning said that Andrew Luck “doesn’t look like the type of quarterback to me who’s going to sit,” and that Archie and Peyton don’t talk about Peyton’s future.
Agreed on the first point. Baloney on the second.
Archie knows what Peyton wants. If Peyton is telling Archie that Peyton’s current rehab efforts amount to “sissy work,” Peyton surely is telling Archie what Peyton wants to do when Peyton is cleared to do more manly things.
Generally, Archie sounded like a guy who had been told by Peyton to zip it, at least for now. Still, given that Archie and Oliver Luck talked by phone the night before Archie expressed doubt that their two sons want to be on the same team, a plan surely exists. While it all may be contingent on Peyton being healthy enough to play, there’s a plan. And Archie gave us all a sneak peek of it on Tuesday.