In response to Peyton Manning's neck injury and the inept preseason performances of Curtis Painter, Bill Polian gave retired quarterback Kerry Collins $4 million dollars (guaranteed) and the starting job for the Indianapolis Colts two weeks prior to the start of the 2011 regular season. He sold us on the notion that Collins was a veteran, that he'd seen every conceivable defense known to man, and that he was the absolute best option available because, to put it bluntly, Curtis Painter sucked eggs.
Oh, I'm sure ole Bill will get red-faced and grumpy when we dirty, hippie bloggers make mention of him and his son Chris having absolutely no faith in Painter as the starting QB in place of Peyton Manning. But, anger does not change the fact that they gave a 38-year-old aspiring country musician the starting job without so much as a walkthrough over a guy who had been working in the offense for three seasons.
To be fair, no one had any faith in Painter prior to this season. Myself included. He stunk on ice. It didn't matter if he was playing in preseason or in mop-up duty in the regular season. However, there is a significant difference between someone like me (an apparent no-nothing 'talking head') not believing a player can get it done over, say, the millionaire executives in charge of the Colts personnel department. They're kind of paid a lot to get those decisions right. Otherwise, why pay them?
Of course, ole Bill Polian is singing a different tune now than he was in August. He's actually crowing about how Painter's recent play 'vindicates' the front office's decision to stick with him after all the 'talking heads' wanted him cut. Bill makes no mention of Collins, the $4 mill, and giving the starting job to him without any competition from Painter (much to the annoyance of Reggie Wayne). But, that's OK. If Bill weren't the washed-up vice chairman of the Indianapolis Colts, he'd be a cherry picker.
Well, after Collins looked geriatric in pads the first three games, the reigns were eventually given to Painter. Lo and behold, Curtis wasn't half bad. The excuse for 'benching' Collins after Painter came in and outplayed him against the Steelers in Week Three was that Collins had suffered a concussion. No one saw the injury, and the Colts (to my knowledge) have not confirmed when it occurred. Thus, many have found the injury just a bit to convenient to be taken seriously.
Regardless of whether the injury was real or just a fabrication to save face, the Colts placed Kerry Collins on Injured Reserve today. The move ends his 2011 season, and likely his career.
The former Penn State standout and first round pick of the Carolina Panthers came out of retirement this year after the Polians came begging in August. In Collins' defense, he came to Indy and worked his butt off to get ready. He was a stand-up guy after loses, and never shied away from criticism.
I've got nothing against him or his efforts. He was placed in an impossible situation, and his 'concussion,' real or fake, allows him to leave the game quietly and with dignity. Collins is a classy guy. Though his stay in Indianapolis didn't amount to much, can't fault the dude for giving his all.
So, yeah. That's $4 mill wasted. Explain to me again why the people in charge should remain so? Signing Collins, and the gross under-valuing of Painter, were pretty colossally stupid decisions in a 2011 off-season defined by front office incompetence. I guess 18to88 needs to start selling a new line of shirts.