In public, the Colts have been mostly tight lipped about Peyton Manning’s future since the season ended. Owner Jim Irsay initially insisted Manning would remain a Colt if healthy, though he’s gradually backed off that stance. Ultimately, Irsay has made no commitment either way while being as evasive about Manning’s 2012 whereabouts as humanly possible.
Newly hired offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was more forthcoming about Manning than Irsay has ever been in an item posted on the Colts’ website Wednesday. When reading Arians’ quotes, keep in mind that he was the Colts’ quarterbacks coach from 1998 through 2000 and is returning to the organization after 11 years away.
“It’s like deja vu like in 1998, starting off with a new general manager, a new head coach, and a new quarterback,” said Arians. “It was so exciting to watch that process grow into what it has become.”
Arians seems to be of the impression that the Colts are in a full, top-to-bottom rebuild. And that rebuild includes a quarterback change. Later in the Colts.com article, Arian backtracked a bit.
“Hopefully we have Peyton (Manning) back — I have my fingers crossed — but possibly starting with another young one, it’s really exciting,” Arians said.
It’s no secret by now that the Colts expect to move on from Manning. Arians knows it; he’s openly “excited” about it. According to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, new G.M. Ryan Grigson knew about it “weeks ago.”
Arians is just the only one who has come close to saying it.