In the post, Wilson first clarifies that these comments are not a very big deal in themselves, meaning that Wayne sticking up for Painter isn't a knock on Collins and won't strain that relationship. I'd agree with that. In my post yesterday, I was just expressing my confusion on what Painter could have done to get Wayne's fierce loyalty.
Anyway, the main point of Phil B's article was what I wanted to get to. Here is a quote from Wayne that I didn't see yesterday, which Phil focuses on:
“Brett Favre … I feel the same way about Kerry Collins walking in this door, that’s going to push Peyton even more to want to play, you know what I’m saying? That’s just what it is. I got nothing against T.O. (Terrell Owens) or whatever receiver is out there, you bring them in here, I guarantee my game is going up some more.”
Phil B. reported that Wayne scoffed at the notion of signing Favre, and put Collins in that same category. That is, that the signing of either aging quarterback would push Manning, the ultimate competitor, to make sure that he was the one running his offense come September 11.
But then I had another thought, “I’ll bet Manning will push it, knowing him. He doesn’t want somebody else taking the reigns of this offense, his offense.” Then Wayne said basically the same thing a while later... But Wayne is a gamer. And he knows Manning is, too. If Manning has any possible shot at playing, the four-time NFL MVP is going to do it. He’ll convince the Colts he can.
Now, I don't think that the sole reason that Polian would sign Kerry Collins is to push Manning's competitive buttons, but this may be an underlying effect of the signing. We all know that Peyton hates to lose, he works harder than anybody else to make sure he doesn't. We know that he'd hate to see somebody else trying to replicate his offense, taking his role as signal caller for the Indianapolis Colts. I guarantee he's doing everything he possibly can to be ready by September 11.
Anyway, read Wilson's post. It's a good read, and it has some good food for thought. Also, it was reported last night by Chris Mortenson that the Colts had contacted Matt Hasselback about a month ago about signing as Manning's backup.
This brings a lot of context into the backup quarterback situation. Namely, it means that the Colts are not stupid. While it was speculated that the Colts had mishandled the Manning injury (which they still might have, I mean they still didn't sign Collins until Week Three of the preseason), it seems that the Colts did in fact know that Painter would not cut it if Manning couldn't start Week One.
While they didn't get results until now, an unfortunate end to be sure, it's important to know that the Colts were trying to improve the backup situation. That gives me much more confident that the Polians might actually (gasp!) know what they're doing. It sucks that they weren't able to get a solid backup such as Collins until now, but it's very likely that they've been looking for a suitable replacement for the last month.
It also is an optimistic sign regarding Manning's health, in my opinion. It means that there hasn't been a sudden setback that caused the management to run out and pick up a backup quarterback. This could put more stock in the fact that Collins is more of an insurance policy than a fill-in. I suppose we'll see on September 11th.