Quick hit thoughts on the debacle on Friday night as well as Irsay's Twitter exploits:
- Jim Irsay's tweets today are down right bizarre. There are two distinct possibilities. The first is that Manning's status for the opener is in doubt. If so, the Colts front office has been seriously derelict in their duty. Curtis Painter is not and never has been a viable backup. You keep him if and only if there is no real chance he ever sees the field of play. There is no possible way that anyone could have ever thought he was going to be a legitimate backup quarterback. I've been adamant I thought he was the front runner for the #2 job, but not because he has any real ability. I just thought he was better than the other stiffs in camp. My opinion has been that worrying about the backup QB is a waste of time because Manning never misses a play.
So, on those grounds, if the Colts knew Manning might not really be ready and have been letting camp come and go without signing a viable backup, then everyone involved deserves the highest level of disdain. There's zero justification for it. Further more, Irsay's solicitation of fan ideas about veteran backups is downright crazy town.
If Irsay is serious, then I have no respect for the front office. They've all gone insane. Kuharsky has a bunch of cryptic quotes that certainly don't inspire confidence. The Colts didn't need two preseason games to know that Painter isn't a viable backup. Everyone has known that for two years. If they thought otherwise, then the only ones deluded were the Colts' front office and coaches.
The other possibility is that Irsay is messing with the fans. By asking them to name veteran backups, he's making a point: there's no one out there. I for one, do not believe there is any quarterback available as a free agent or by trade capable of winning even one game with the Colts. I hope and pray that Irsay's point is make fun of the hand-wringing crowd. The whole thing is so bizarre it has to be a joke.
If it isn't, then the hand-wringers are right: the sky really is falling.
It doesn't matter who the Colts sign. They will lose any game started by anyone other than Manning by at least 30 points.
- As for the game itself, the most important thing that happened was AV's 55 yard kick. He crushed it. It's good to know he still has that range in him.
- The Luke had maybe 40,000 people in it. I told a kid sitting in front of me that this is how it used to be in the regular season. Not just the attendance, but the quality of play. I know in my head the games are meaningless, but it's difficult to watch the team I love look so completely awful. Preseason games are torture.
- I spent most of my time watching Castonzo on offense and Hughes on defense. Castonzo looked impressive. There was a mix-up that lead to Don Brown getting nailed for a big loss. It was unclear who was supposed to block Orakpo, but I have to assume it was Castonzo who messed it up.
- Hughes was hard to gauge. He drew some double teams, had an outstanding pursuit on a play away from his side, but mostly other players played so poorly on defense that it made it hard to even evaluate him individually. Basically, I thought he looked ok. Nothing outstanding, but not terrible.
- I only watched the first series with Orlovsky, but he was every bit as horrid as Painter. Don't be fooled by a few little screens. He's every bit as terrible.
- Melvin Bullitt looked terrible in run support. He was regularly out of position. He looked like he had no idea what he was doing out there. He played the same way last year early. Troubling.
- Nevis made a play or two. That was good to see.