We finally have a little bit of clarity regarding what is happening and what will likely happen with Tom Moore and Howard Mudd:
Owner Jim Irsay plans to rehire Moore and Mudd as consultants in time for the start of training camp Aug. 2, basically keeping intact the team's offensive brain trust. According to Larry Kennan, executive director of the NFL coaches association, that will be allowed, with a caveat.
Kennan told ESPN.com late Tuesday that a clarification from an attorney representing the Employment Retired Income Security Act (ERISA), a government agency that regulates pension plans, paves the way for Moore and Mudd to return as consultants.
"As long as Howard and Tom pay their own taxes for the next six months, they can return to the Colts as paid consultants, I'd say effective right away, based on what the ERISA attorney just told me,'' Kennan said.
Thanks to 18to88 for posting this link. I'll stress again that it did not seem not that the uncertain status of Mudd and Moore frustrated Colts players and fans. It was the lack of information, or the lack of effort to convey updates on the situation. Hell, on their website, the Colts still haven't acknowledge that Moore and Mudd retired! It is this lazy, or perhaps lackadaisical, attitude towards updating everyone that frustrates the hell out of me, personally.
Again, as Bill Polian confirmed yesterday, it seems the Colts were as in the dark about the coaches' status as we were. A simple update stating "We don't know what is going on; please bare with us," would have diffused any feelings about getting left in the dark on the subject; feelings Peyton clearly conveyed to the press.
And I want to make clear one more point: Peyton's words were by no means "taken out of context." When the face of a franchise and of the entire NFL says, and I quote:
"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.''
Those kinds of comments aren't just thrown out there. Peyton Manning chooses his words very carefully when he talks. He knows every word he says gets scrutinized. So, when he claims that:
I will say I don't think it's been the most properly communicated scenario around here.
That is a clear and direct message to management, using the media as his sounding board, that this situation needs an update. People like Mike Chappell didn't "butcher" or "skew" what Manning was saying. Take note folks: I am DEFENDING The Indy Star and ESPN here. Check the temperature in Hell, please. I think it dropped below 32.
Chappell didn't select certain quotes just to stir up some kind of fake controversy. Peyton knew what to say, how to say it, and who to say it to in order to generate a desired effect. I think the words registered loud and clear. I don't think it was a coincidence that hours after Manning said these comments we FINALLY got a public update from Bill Polian. A few hours after that, we got an update from Larry Keenan. Now, all seems well, or, at the least, we know the status of things. That's all we wanted. It shouldn't take a media call out from Peyton Manning to get that.
Will this alter or affect how the Colts communicate to players and fans in the future? Likely, no. But it highlights a problem they have over at West 56th Street. Sometimes, they can be too secretive, or (in many cases) unnecessarily so. This rubs people the wrong way and contributes to silliness, like what happened yesterday.