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Colts Anthony Gonzalez Very Upset Pierre Garcon Has His Job

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Well, now that the official depth chart for Week One has come out, it's time for the elitists and the know-it-alls to start yapping about how the depth chart is 'meaningless,' and that people should just shut up about it. I guess that statement should apply to Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez as well. See, he most certainly does not think the posted depth chart is meaningless; the reason being he's listed fourth at the wide receiver position.

And guess what? He isn't happy about it:

By all appearances and inferences, [Week One] won't be what Gonzalez anticipated after he completed his comeback from surgery to repair ligament damage in his right knee sustained in the first quarter of the '09 opener.

"What I wanted and what I was promised was an opportunity to compete for a job,'' he said.

Did that not occur?

"I don't know,'' he said. "All I wanted was what was promised to me. I'm not sure either way that it did.

"I'm probably not the person to ask, really. Whether a job is open or competition takes place, is something that is determined by coaches, not players.''

I guess we should have expected this from Gonzo, a first round pick who (for whatever reason) has problems staying healthy. He got injured in Week One of last season, and missed virtually all of 2009. While away, Pierre Garcon stepped in and had a remarkable season, culminating in an impressive run through the 2009 playoffs.

This off-season, right around the start of OTAs, Gonzo told the media that he'd been assured by the Colts coaches that he would get the opportunity to compete for his old job.

According to Gonzo, that competition did not take place during training camp or the preseason. Cue the fireworks.

It appears the primary alignment at Houston might be the same as it was during the Super Bowl loss to New Orleans: Wayne and Garcon on the outside, Collie in the slot. That would leave Gonzalez as the interchangeable backup.

Until then and perhaps even after that, he's choosing his words carefully.

"All I wanted was an opportunity to compete,'' Gonzalez said. "That's it. That's what I was promised.''

The team's initial depth chart lists Gonzalez as its punt returner.

"It's possible,'' he said. "I have no idea.''

Again, let's not beat around the bush, or try and tip-toe around the obvious here. Gonzo is, essentially, telling Indy Star reporter Mike Chappell (the author of the quoted article) that the Colts weren't truthful with him. Make no mistake about it, especially when you re-read this statement:

"All I wanted was an opportunity to compete,'' Gonzalez said. "That's it. That's what I was promised.''

Pretty much since April, I've been telling you that Pierre Garcon took Anthony Gonzalez's job, and that any other suggestion to the contrary was a load of crap. It was obvious to me, and to the people I get my information from, that the Colts saw more upside in Garcon. When OTAs started, and Gonzo told the media the coaches were going to let him compete for his job, some of you took that to mean that the Colts felt both Gonzo and Garcon were on even footing.

Sorry, wasn't the case. Gonzo was this team's fourth WR back in April, and he's their fourth WR now.

Because Gonzo seemingly feels he was demoted because of last year's injury, the former-Ohio State phenom is not a happy camper. He put in a lot of work this off-season, rehabbing his knee and running extra routes for Peyton Manning after practices. Despite all that work, his butt will most certainly be on the bench when the starting offense is on the field.

Now, I'm not going to jump all over Gonzo for rocking the boat and calling out the Colts, and neither should you. In fact, I applaud him. If he was promised something, and the Colts reneged on that promise, then such a thing is this thing we call 'news.' The Colts put up a front that they are 'player first,' and that they have an open policy with their players. They listen to them, and provide an atmosphere that allows any player who is excelling an opportunity to compete with another for a better job.

Bill Polian touched on this supposedly 'open' atmosphere back in June when asked a question about the offensive line:

Colts President Bill Polian earlier this off-season referred to the offensive line competition as throwing the linemen "into a pot."

"We'll play the five best players," Polian said. "Position doesn't really mean much."


Of course, this is a load of bull. People don't always earn their jobs with the Colts these days.

Even recently, when it was painfully obvious Tom Brandstater out-performed Curtis Painter in preseason, yet Brandstater was cut and Painter wasn't, the myth of 'open competition' should have been squashed as a silly falsity right then and there. When fans (and media) call out the Colts on this hypocrisy, snooty elitists enjoy saying, 'The Colts don't care what you think.' Well, it seems management and the coaches feel the same way towards Gonzo and his opinions.

I know some out there will see me writing about this as me 'bashing' the team right before the start of the regular season. Sorry, but this isn't 'bashing.' This is me highlighting a player who, in a very rare moment of vulnerability, let slip what many people already know but are reluctant to say publicly: That the Colts are full of sh*t. This is me highlighting the truth for you, and sorry, but the truth ain't always pretty.

Now, this small revelation doesn't mean that the Colts are some evil, back-stabbing den of deceit. However, what it does show is that which I have tried very hard to convey to you since my experiences after Week Sixteen and during my coverage of the Super Bowl.

The Colts aren't truthful to fans.

They aren't truthful to the media.

They aren't truthful to players.

They do all the things that other many, many, many, many others teams do, but do it behind a false mask of honesty and integrity. They aren't breaking NFL rules, or anything truly nefarious like that, but when you aren't truthful with a player (as Gonzo suggests in his comments) you are a person, or an organization, that cannot effectively go around talking about 'integrity.'

And make no mistake, Gonzo's words are directly pointed at Jim Caldwell and, possibly, Bill Polian.

When the dust settles, I don't think much drama will come from this slight revelation of truth from Anthony Gonzalez about the Colts and their lack of up-front truthfulness. Clearly, he sounds slighted. He sounds betrayed. Maybe he has a right to. What we might get is the team taking Gonzo aside, reading him the riot act (privately), and then the team lashing out at Mike Chappell for 'misquoting' Gonzo. It's not the first time the team has resorted to that kind of silliness.

It's also obvious Gonzalez will not be with this team after the 2010 season. Players don't make statements like that unless they see the writing on the wall. The Colts favor Garcon and Austin Collie more so than Gonzalez, and for good reason. Each offer more upside, and each were key players in the Colts dominate run through the AFC playoffs last year. But, for this year, the Colts have (arguably) the best four wide receivers on any one team in football.

Interesting side note: When you compare Gonzo's attitude to Melvin Bullitt's (another veteran player who is going to the bench), you get an interesting contrast. Perhaps Gonzo took one look at the Melvin Bullitt situation with Bob Sanders, and didn't like the obvious hypocrisy. Like Gonzo, Bob Sanders is always hurt. In fact, Bob has missed for games the last two season than Gonzo. Like Pierre Garcon did at wide receiver last year, Melvin Bullitt stepped in for at safety after Bob went down (again) and played extremely well. However, when Bob (again, oft-injured) returned to OTAs this off-season, his job was seemingly waiting for him. This is in stark contrast to Gonzo's situation. He lost his job because of injury.

Makes you think.