I like Dan Dakich. Yes, I know the last time I mentioned him on Stampede Blue I tore him up pretty good, but I do that to all people I like. I know he reads the blog, and has often mentioned us on his show. But, just as I'm sure Dan was hard on his players because he expected the best out of them, we are often hard on Dan because we have want his absolute best as a professional sports journalist and commentator.
One of the things that endears me to Dakich is brutal honesty when it comes to player evaluation. As a former-coach himself, he can offer honest, unfiltered opinions. So, it comes as no surprise that Dakich was not too impressed with Curtis Painter's performance Sunday against the 49ers.
While interviewing our friend Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune Star today, Dakich did not shy away from calling the 2010 Colts preseason opener "about as bad a football game after after the first whatever minutes as I have ever seen... It was horrible." While I personally won't go that far (Dakich obviously never had to sit through any games the team played in the early 1990s), the disgust in Dakich's tone seemed pretty clearly aimed at Painter.
Dakich: What is going to happen here? I mean, they've basically given the back-up quarterback job to Curtis Painter. What's going to happen here now? I thought the other guy [Tom Brandstater] looked better.
Tom James answered the question that way you'd expect, saying Painter knew the offense and the team seems comfortable with him whereas Brandstater is new, doesn't know the full playbook yet, blah, blah, blah. Tom went on to talk about how Painter had looked good in practices and OTAs.
Look, I continue to go back to Bill Polian's own words:
You can get something from the practice field, but not everything. They don't keep score at practice. They only keep score when the lights go on.
Hell, I'll even throw Peyton Manning's own words in there on this subject:
I think the games are still your best evaluation because you truly are going full speed. In practice we are not going 100%.
So, based on what he has done in games, on a real football field, how has Curtis Painter earned the back-up quarterback job? This question gets to the heart of what Dakich and many other Colts fans are asking today.