It's rare when Peyton Manning voices his displeasure with the Colts. Very rare. Today, the very rare happened, and I can't say I blame Peyton for feeling a bit frustrated and annoyed:
The on-going uncertainty surrounding the Indianapolis Colts offensive coaching staff, coupled with a lack of communication regarding that uncertainty, isn't setting well with quarterback Peyton Manning.
"I can't tell you what's going on,'' Manning said during a break for one of the team's organized team activity sessions today at its Westside complex. "I will say I don't think it's been the most properly communicated scenario around here.''
That last sentence sounds like a not-too-thinly-veiled shot at Colts President Bill Polian, the man ultimately responsible for all communication inside and outside the organization. As a fan, I can say that I've been pretty annoyed with how this whole dumb thing has been communicated as well.
First, we were told Tom Moore and Howard Mudd were gone. We were then told Clyde Christensen and Pete Metzelaars would "assume the duties" of the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, respectively, but not take the titles that go with those duties. I'm also assuming that both Christensen and Metzelaars would not get PAID for their new duties, which kind of sucks because coordinators make a helluva lot more than position coaches and (especially) assistant position coaches. Then, we hear from the owner himself that Mudd and Moore are returning, but we don't know when.
If you think you are annoyed with this, imagine Manning's frustration.
He has been (I'm assuming) working with Clyde Christensen, who will likely be stripped of his "assumed duties" as the Offensive Coordinator the second Tom Moore gets back. So, that essentially means the work Manning is doing now has to get repeated all over again when Moore returns. It also undercuts any authority Christensen has. I mean, why the hell should Peyton listen to him when, in a week or a month or sometime soon, he won't have the OC's duties anymore? Why should the o-line listen to Metzelaars when they know (or, at least, assume) that ole Howard will return any day now?
It all makes for a confusing mess, which Manning is venting his frustrations about:
"It's not a situation that I'm just thrilled about,'' [Manning] said. "I think the communication has been pretty poor in my opinion. Somebody says one thing, then somebody else says another thing.
"I'm not sure everybody's on the same page in this building. I'm just trying to focus on playing quarterback well.''
Again, those sound like knocks on Bill Polian, and while we all love Bill for his genius in running a franchise, he is not known for being the clearest, most on-the-level communicator out there.
Now, some of you might be asking, What about those two new "coaches" the Colts hired last week? Well, for one, they aren't "coaches." They're interns. And, from Peyton's POV, they aren't offering that much right now:
"It's not normal not having a full coaching staff,'' Manning said. "I know we hired a couple of guys to come in, but these guys are learning. They're not offering a lot of coaching out there, I can assure you of that.''
Again, Peyton Manning very rarely goes to the press about this kind of stuff. So, if he does, you can be assured that something is really pissing him off. And by going to the press about internal matters (a HUGE no-no in Colts land), Peyton seems to be sending a message loud and clear to Bill Polian and Colts management: Get this cleared up now!
Now, it is likely there was some internal discussion, and perhaps that is what Peyton means when he said "Somebody says one thing, then somebody else says another thing." The bottom line is if Tom Moore and Howard Mudd are returning, they should be at West 56th Street NOW! If not, then the Colts management needs to tell the players and fans when they are expected back. A date needs to be established. If they aren't returning in the same capacity as consultants as they were when coaches, then Christensen and Metzelaars need to be given the TITLES of Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach, respectively.
Players need to know where the stand, and with whom they stand.
And really, from a fan's POV, this all looks like one disjointed mess. The Colts.com website has posted nothing about Tom Moore and Howard Mudd's retirements (kinda big deals, wouldn't you say?). They've posted nothing about the "new duties" assumed by Christensen and Metzelaars. They've posted nothing about Jim Irsay saying Moore and Mudd are returning as consultants.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. As if nothing has happened with these people since January.
Very frustrating, to say the least.
Kudos to the Indy Star's Mike Chappell for some fine work on this.