Tonight, the Colts will battle the Buccaneers on Monday night Football, and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski will be calling the game for ESPN. Colts fans should remember 'Jaws' for his comments made last year at, roughly, this time when he stated that 'Father Time' was possibly catching up with Peyton Manning. Here were his comments:
"The last couple weeks, as I've studied Peyton Manning, he has not been real sharp," Jaworski said today on Mike and Mike in the Morning. "Maybe there does come a time when the skills start to diminish a little bit."
"I'm not saying it is, but I'm seeing little signs now that the deep sideline throws are not as accurate as they used to be, there's not the zip on the ball that there used to be," Jaworski said. "Maybe father time might be catching up with Peyton Manning a little bit."
Naturally, everyone freaked out and started attacking Jaworski for his opinion which, incidentally, turned out to be correct. Something was indeed wrong with Peyton last year, and it was likely the same neck ailment that has knocked him out for the entire 2011 season.
Again, we maintain (and guys like Don Banks and Greg Cosell seem to agree) that Peyton played all last season with a neck injury, and the Colts never reported it. I suspect Jaworski agrees with this as well based on his comments last year. Remember, Peyton's issue was the neck disc affecting feeling in his triceps muscle. This took velocity off the ball, and likely accounts for the lack of zip Jaws mentioned back in mid-October 2010.
All of you that took shots at Jaws last year for, you know, doing his job, you can apologize to him here: @jawsespn
This year, instead of focusing his analysis on Manning, Jaws told a local Indy radio station, WFNI, this morning that he watched tape of the Colts defense. Something tells me that, unlike last October, people will not be as needlessly crazy with Jaw's findings.
Jaworski studied the last three games on tape, especially Steelers game. What he found was a Colts defense that is (gasp!) actually pretty good.
'It's still an outstanding defense.'
'I think Kavell Conner is going to be a terrific player.'
'This defense will keep the Colts in the game.'
Jaworski also had very high praise for Pat Angerer, suggesting that the silver-lining of Gary Brackett being IRed for 2011 is that Angerer will see more playing time. The key issues for this defense also did not escape Jaw's eye in the film room. Third down is killer, with the Colts allowing offenses to convert 50%. Also, too many yards, especially in the passing game. But, overall, Jaworski liked what he saw from the Colts defense so far in 2011.
Jaworski also addressed the Colts quarterback situation. He suggested that the reason the Colts signed Kerry Collins in late-August was because of a 'lack of trust' in Curtis Painter. While Collins has been taking some shots recently for not playing well, on tape Jaworski said that, 'It looked like the effort was there.'
Now, because the team is 0-3, and Collins is apparently suffering from concussion-like symptoms (even though the team has not confirmed that), the Colts are forced to go with Painter.
Personally, I think Jaworski is one of the more knowledgeable announcers in the business. He's insightful, precise in his observations, and he knows a heckuva lot about playing quarterback in the NFL. I found it kind of humorous a few weeks ago that he had to apologize on air for accidentally saying the word 'shit' during a game. If anything, that little flub (which is not that noticeable) made him even more endearing to TV audiences often inundated with dry, bland, lifeless, suck-ups working the booths.