Troy Aikman went from being someone who took a few too many hits-to-the head to being just a plain idiot in the matter of half a day.
For the most part, Troy Aikman is a lousy commentator. Last night though, he did offer a few good insights into Peyton's struggles. Not that we didn't know this already, but his short commentary about how Peyton runs the team, covered something that I hadn't thought of before. Aikman mentioned that without the established Tom Moore and Howard Mudd to take some of the heat off Manning, Peyton is now not only required to run the show but has to play the bad-cop and get in his teammates' faces. This is not a role I see Peyton relishing. Peyton cracking down and yelling at his receivers might not cause them to lose respect for Manning (that seems all but impossible), but it might make it harder to build a rapport with Peyton, especially with some of the younger guys. It's just human nature. At some point you are going to tune-out the person who is always yelling at you. Could that have something to do with the timing issues?
Hard to tell. But what is clear is that Clyde Christensen, Pete Metzelaars and even Jim Caldwell need to man-up, earn respect and act more like their mentors. PEYTON CAN'T DO IT ALL.
After that comment, I warmed to Aikman some. Maybe we could forgive some of his tangential ramblings. After all he did play 12 years in the league. Nope. He's an idiot.
As this blog just covered, it was reported on Dan Dakich's ESPN radio show that Aikman said the Colts don't have talent. In the words of Ali G "WHOT?"
If that is true Aikman has totally lost it. If false - Mr. Aikman my apologies. For now though, I'm going with true especially since this wouldn't be a unique view either.
The Colts are a talented team. Unfortunately a lot of that talent hurt or hurting, but remember back to the beginning of the year. We were all talking about how this could be our deepest team yet. Offensive line remained a concern. So too did depth at the linebacking position. But overall everyone was extremely excited, which was why week one at Houston was such a head-scratcher.
15 weeks later after a whole rash of injuries are team is certainly depleted but that doesn't mean its not talented. Injuries also don't mean Bill Polian can't evaluate talent. He can't prevent players from getting hurt. Only fate and the medical staff have a hand in that.
Looking at our team, we are (or were before the injuries) loaded with talent. Age? Its a concern but for what team is it not.
QB: Peyton is the best in the game. Period. Even with his recent 3 game slump and 11 picks he is still on pace for 32 touchdowns and 4945 yards. 32 touchdowns would be his 3rd highest ever and 4945 yards would shatter his previous best. With the Colt relying on him more than ever anyone willing to bet he won't reach those marks?
Plus, Peyton is the ultimate leader owning up to his mistakes and sprinkling in a little humor ""I don't make any excuses. I'm continuing to throw, I'll keep throwing. I hope I throw it to our guys."
And btw, is their anybody you would rather have leading a 2-minute drill? Didn't think so.
RB: Addai is definitely a quality starting back. The best? No. Is he in the upper-half? Absolutely. Donald Brown and Mike Hart are quality depth that many teams would love to fall back on.
WR: Wayne is a top 5 receiver. Collie has become one of the best slot receivers in the game. Garcon hasn't had the breakout year and Gonzalez is out. Still NFL.com rates Wayne (2) Collie (T-34) and Garcon (T-45) all in the top 50 overall for receivers. I smell talent...
TE: Clark was in the top three if not the best tight end before he was hurt. He is an all pro TE and an absolute game changer. His replacement Tamme hasn't even played half a season yet and already he is top 20 in the league for TE in both receiving yards and catches. Yep talent.
O-line: Uhh... well.... uh..... point taken. Although Saturday has been one of the premiere centers for the past decade.
D-line: Freeney and Mathis are the most feared tandem in football. Both are pro bowl players and possible all-pros at their positions.. Ask any offensivecoordinator which tandem they fear most and the answer is Freeney and Mathis. Definite talent.
Linebackers: Everyone agrees that Brackett is one of the most underrated linebackers in the game. Beyond that Angerer is a promising rookie and Clint Session plays with more than enough heart to make up for whatever skill deficiencies he may have.
CB's: Most teams would be jealous to have a trio of Hayden, Powers, Lacey. Too bad they've all been hurt. Tryon isn't a bad plug-in at 4th corner.
S's: When healthy, we have 3 pro-bowl players. Sanders won the defensive POY for crying out loud. Problem is he and Bullit are hurt. So yeah, Aikman's right. Francisco and Alaflava might not be all that talented. How many teams' third safeties are?
BTW Bethea has quietly turned into one of the games more durable and reliable free safeties. (Knock on wood...a million times).
Kicker: Adam Vinatieri is one of the most-clutch kickers to ever play. Yes he's getting old. But aren't all good kickers supposed to be old anyway? It shows experience. Jeez.
Punter: Besides his quick dip in the canal, all signs point to Mcafee having a long and successful career.
Does talent alone guarantee success? No. Of course not. Our parents told us that when we were 5. Going out and doing it on the field and playing together as a team wins games. Yes, our offensive line needs a major overhaul. Bill Polian whiffed on that big time. It doesn't mean that there isn't talent anywhere else though. But to say the Colts don't have talent just isn't true.
"Shame on you Troy Aikman"