In his time in Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz has written his fair share of stupid articles. Today, is his crowning achievement. For reasons known only to himself, he tries to run the greatest coach who will ever coach in Indianapolis out of town.
In fairness, we'll examine his arguments.
1. The Colts have gone as far as they can go with Dungy and his staff. Very true, Bob. They won the Super Bowl. They've won 12 games 6 years in a row. That's about as far as any team can go.
2. There's a nagging sense the Colts should have won more than one Super Bowl. I suppose this is technically correct. They did have the best team in 2005. Of course, you could argue they didn't in 2006 (when they won from the three seed) or 2007 (after Freeney went down) and they were a giant mirage in 2008 when Dungy's coaching, Manning's arm, and Freeney/Mathis willed them to several games they had no business winning. Really, given the injuries that occurred the last two years, the best the Colts could have hoped for was a second Super Bowl.
3. Right now, angry, frustrated Colts fans want a spittle-spewing, butt-chewing SOB who will inspire this team to play as well in the playoffs as it does in the regular season -- and I don't blame them. They don't want soft-spoken. They don't want even-keel. Oh, of course. They want Bill Cowher? The man who won...ONE SUPER BOWL? The man whose teams were famous for their post season collapses? Or do they want Mike Shanahan, the man who won one playoff game since Elway retired? It sounds to me like Kravitz is advocating Marty Schottenheimer. This is utter nonsense. The Colts did not come out flat on Saturday. They came out strong. They had the lead in the first quarter (for the second year in a row). Dungy's demeanor won them the game with New England in 06, and helped them overcome multiple 10 point deficits on the road. I've never seen a game where it cost them. Certainly not this week. There is no evidence for his point. Any Colts fan who is in a hurry to see Dungy go is a Colts fan in a hurry to return to the days of fiery ol' Jim Mora who raged about the playoffs despite never winning a single game when he got there.
4. What I would like to see, though, is for the coddling, enabling, everything-is-all-right culture to change in this organization, and that begins with Polian.
Oooooohh, now we get to Bob's real problem. Polian doesn't rip his players in the press. But, Bob wants the franchise to behave like petulant children and publicly rip players rather than handle things in-house. He's bitter because the Colts don't give him anything to write about. He says they coddled Harrison. He wants to see more Roy Hall (I think he's joking, but he's not smart enough to be sure).
This gets to the heart of the matter with the press. They think they are more important than they are. I have undying respect for Phil B. Wilson and Mike Chappel. I know they work hard and put in long hours. I know they hate the way the team skips over them and gives good interviews and scoops to the national media. Well, they should point their fingers at Kravitz if they want to know why the team eschews the Star.
What would have changed if Polian had ripped the line? Would that have made Mike Pollack not be a rookie? Would it have healed Jeff Saturday's injuries? Would it have magically brought Lilja off of IR? They couldn't cut Harrison in the middle of season. What would it have served to rip him in the papers?
Coaches and teams who use the media as tools to motivate their players are passive-aggressive disasters waiting to happen. There is only one franchise in football who has been more successful than the Colts this decade. One. The Patriots. How do they handle the press? Do you see Belichick selling out his players in the media to get them off his back. No, like Dungy he inspires fanatical loyalty out of his team by keeping things in house. Bob apparently wants the Dallas Cowboys. That would be great for his career, but terrible for the team.
There is no evidence that this ass-chewing, fiery, emotionally stunted, publicly critical coach that Kravitz dreams of would be any more successful than Dungy. In fact, other than the Mount Rushmore of coaches (Lombardi, Walsh, Gibbs, Belichick, Landry, Shula and Noll), there hasn't been a coach in history who has been better than Dungy. Other than Lombardi, I don't think any of those men fit the description that Kravitz lays out.
Since 2006, the Colts have undergone a destructive wave of injuries that have prevented them replacing their free agency losses. We've said it before, but that 2006 team had Charlie Johnson as its backup guard, not its starting guard. That team had MJax and Hayden as its 3rd and 4th corners. It had Booger McFarland at DT in the playoffs (the two best years for the Colts D came when they had a real DT in 2005 and 2006). This team wasn't nearly as good as that team, and it showed. We mentioned in Eyes and on MVN (read that one again, holy crap, I was almost prescient) that we were worried that the team couldn't win via the run like in Baltimore in 06. It happened exactly like we feared.
Kravitz set all this up with his train wreck on Friday, where he falsely led fans to think this team was a top contender. They were in a pick 'em game on the road. They lost a tough game in overtime because the opposing punter (one of the few players on the field you can't counter or control) had the greatest game in history. That's not underachieving. It's exactly what we should have expected. Had Kravitz been a better analyst, he wouldn't have to resort to nonsense like this.
Tony, I know you don't read this blog. If you did though, I would want you to know that we don't want you to go. I won't blame you if you do. But just know that we know how great you are. I'm sure you've prepared Jim Caldwell as well as you can, but we all know he can't and won't be you.
Don't go yet. Give us one more year.
Bob, I know you don't read well. If you did though, I would want you to know that we are tired of your act. From day one, you've tried to be use Indy as a spring board to the big time. It's time for you to go. If you do, know that we won't cry. I just want you to know, that we know what a clown you are.
Leave now. Don't give us even one more day.
Demond Sanders: We could go years, decades maybe, and not hear a take more wrong than the one Bob just gave us. In the immortal words of Homer, "Urge to kill... rising."
This is what happen when a reasonable bunch of thinking fans get together to watch the Colts/Chargers. As usual, the FO guys pay attention to what is ACTUALLY going on on the field.
Peter King makes a justifiably big deal out of field position. Late in the piece, he's wrong about Smith's line drive punt that went 63 yards, but left the Chargers with an easy return for 26.
Peyton had the 2nd best QBing day this weekend. Rivers had the 2nd worst. Too bad punting was so important. It also says that Gates killed us. Gasp. And to think that no one saw that coming!
Kuharsky weridly defends Manning. I'm sorry, which part of the game was his fault exactly? And why suddenly are people denegrating his long TD pass to Wayne? That was freaking brilliant. This is the fourth time after a Colts playoff loss, I said to myself, "Well, at least everyone can plainly see there is no way this was Manning's fault", and now once again, everyone is blaming him. It seriously boggles my mind.