At 0-7 things are pretty grim for the "blue nation" as we approach the midway point of the season. A lot of chatter is going on about the draft and the Colts looking at Andrew Luck as the heir apparent to Manning. There's also been a lot of talk about the team "tanking" in order to have a shot at Luck. I have been thinking about this scenario and want to bring up a point that many fans might not be taking into consideration. For starters, the Colts more than likely won't have a budget to accommodate both Manning and Luck. At least not without letting a couple of their best players at other positions go who have large contracts. That means either Manning is going to have to take a huge pay cut or be traded to another team (Fat chance of that happening). We all know how beloved Manning is to the city of Indianapolis and the thought of him leaving for another team would elicit the same knee jerk reaction that took place when Montana left the Niners for Kansas City. This city would just erupt.
I know no one wants to think about the "post Manning" era right now, but I think this year's unfortunate circumstances have to at the very least open the doors to focus on addressing the needs of the future of this team nonetheless. Contrary to popular belief, Manning isn't "Iron Man." That would be Robert Downey Jr. and last I checked according to his agent he's unavailable until he finishes shooting "The Avengers." That being said, something we all need to consider seriously is the very real possibility that Peyton may not be able to come back and play at the All-Pro level he has for most of his career. This is a very real possibility folks like it or not. Even if he does come back as good as new, this is still only a temporary fix for the next 3 maybe 4 years max. At some point the team will have to find his successor. There's no guarantee that there will be another QB of Luck's caliber if the team does pass up on him either. If in fact Manning can't come back and be as effective as he once was, look at the bright side: he could make a very good offensive coordinator for this team and an excellent mentor to the best QB to come out of the draft since well, "himself." When I watch Andrew Luck, to me he is Manning with some wheels. Can you imagine how hard it would be to stop Peyton if he had the ability to scramble? That's what Andrew Luck is people. Manning on wheels. QBs like this only come along once every 15 years. Have there been QBs who've won SBs since Manning and Brady have been in the league? Sure there have. But how many of them are truly on their level? Before any of you say Aaron Rodgers, keep in mind that although he has a SB ring, he's also been in the league less than half the time that Manning and Brady have. So the jury will still be out on him for at least 4 more years. You can't be a legend by NFL standards after only 3 years of being a starter. He's playing well "now." Manning and Brady have been doing it for over 10 years.
I think this season has pointed out quite a few flaws in not only the philosophy of the team, but also the need to upgrade certain positions that have plagued this franchise for years. That includes the coaching and GM spots. The cat calls for Caldwell to leave have been heard all season but truthfully, if what Justin Tryon said is true about "Caldwell not having the authority to decide who starts and who doesn't," it won't matter who the future coach is for this team. It's going to have the smell of Al Davis' "my way or the highway" from upstairs all over again like it does now. The injury to Peyton has shown just how "talentless" this team really is. It's never a good idea to put an entire team on the back of one player. Its time to address the future of this franchise the right way. Manning or not that future is "now."