CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 16: Peyton Manning the #18 of the Indianapolis Colts talks with Curtis Painter#7 during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Jaguars are a mess.
I say this because, as a fan of the 2011 Indianapolis Colts, I know what a mess really looks like.
We've always been outspoken about our dislike for the morons who own and coach the Jags for years. Gene Smith seems like a quality G.M., and if you look at his recent draft record, he's actually better at his job today than Bill and Chris Polian are at theirs. Unfortunately for Smith, he works for Wayne Weaver and has to manage the worst coach in all of football, Jack Del Rio.
Del Rio has pretty consistently ranked near the bottom of the head coaching tree since he was given the job back in 2003. Since then, he's won only one playoff game (back in 2007) which was, incidentally, the last time the Jags were in the post-season.
Nine years. One playoff win. Del Rio's got pictures of Weaver, a couple of hookers, and a donkey. That's the only reason I can come up with as to why he still has a job in Jacksonville.
At the end of pre-season this year, Del Rio tried to reuse an old magic trick in a rather transparent effort to keep his job. At the end of pre-season in '07, Del Rio famously cut longtime starting QB Byron Leftwich and handed the job to David Garrard. The move helped the Jags to a playoff birth that year.
This past pre-season, Del Rio, desperate for a quick fix in order to save his skin, gave Garrard the Leftwich treatment, cutting him unexpectedly in favor of Luke McCown and, later, rookie Blaine Gabbert. The results are a dumpster fire, and Del Rio is as good as fired at the end of 2011. Then again, I've been saying that for years.
Today, David Garrard's agent, Al Irby, decided to sound off on the Jaguars on behalf of his client. It seems Irby isn't happy that Garrard was served up as a Del Rio sacrifice to appease Weaver's pocketbook. From the Florida Times-Union, via PFT:
"At $500,000 per game, they knew he would be down 4-6 weeks. They didn’t want to pay that bill," Irby wrote to Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union. "Now you know the difference between a first-class organization like Indy, and a sorry organization like the Jags. Indy gave their QB a contract even though he couldn’t play all season.
"David was told his back was fine. So he took them for their word. Now he has to go to surgery, and Jacksonville is saying, ‘Not my problem.’ What a first class organization!"
Wait, hold on a sec. Did I read that right? No, not the part about the Jaguars being a 'sorry organization.' No one is going to argue that. I'm talking about the Colts.
Did our owner and team front office really give Peyton Manning $90 million dollars knowing full-and-well he would not play in 2011?
The rumor mill has been screaming all season that the Colts signed Peyton Manning without giving him a physical. The first to report this was Mike Florio at PFT. I've talked with Mike and he's emphatically stood by the report. Both Bill and Chris Polian have publicly denied Florio's report, saying that Manning did pass a physical before signing.
However, regardless of whatever they say publicly, both Polians lack credibility when attempting to debunk injury rumors.
The Colts covered up Manning's neck injury all last season, never listing him on the injury report even though he was clearly dealing with neck-shoulder-triceps issues. Also, if Peyton's injury this year was so bad that it required a second surgery in September after an initial operation in May, how did he pass anything remotely resembling a proper physical before signing his contract in July?
What, did the Polians say, 'Peyton, lift this pen. Sign here. There! You passed your physical AND you signed your $90 million dollar contract. Congratulations!'
I'm not going to argue Irby's point that the Jaguars are classless and 'sorry.' They are. That's pretty universally well-known throughout league circles. I'm sure some nutball Jags fans will see that as a shot at the fanbase overall, but really it isn't. Jags fans deserve better than these idiots running their team, and should demand better. They are the ones paying good money for this train wreck every Sunday. I mean, win or lose, Wayne Weaver still makes a profit. Unless held accountable, what incentive does he have to win?
And though I think the Jags are a dumpster fire, I don't begrudge them cutting Garrard. My issue is when they cut him. If he was hurt, and they knew he was hurt, as Irby's suggests, the Jags should have let him go prior to preseason and gone with Gabbert. By stringing him, the team, and the fans along only to cut Garrard right before the start of Week One, it just further reinforced the notion that clueless monkeys run the team rather than a group of quality professionals.
Back to the Colts, it's a pretty significant thing to say that the Polians signed Manning to the richest deal in NFL history knowing he was too injured to play. I'm sure a few insurance companies might have a word or two with Jim Irsay if Irby's statement is true.