Immediately Bill Polian stood before the media and spoke about the current and future status of Peyton Manning following the Colts 27-13 win over the Titans, more speculation began to boil to the surface as to a possible rift-schism-feud-whatever between the Colts front office and Manning.
For starters, the fact that Polian felt compelled to make an ass of himself in front of the media in response to reports from FOX Sports' Jay Glazer and NFL Network that Peyton Manning was working to get back out onto the field this year strongly suggests that Glazer and NFL Network were reporting the truth, and that their source was possibly Peyton himself. Phil Wilson of the Indianapolis Star elaborates:
We have yet to hear from Peyton Manning on what he thinks about the team’s decision to rule him out from playing this season. The hunch is the Colts QB wanted to return, as Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Sunday. Glazer didn’t just get that opinion out of thin air. He talked to a player or two close to the situation. That report as well as an NFL Network tease for Thursday’s game which suggested Manning could return had Colts vice chairman Bill Polian so upset, he was dialing someone (presumably the league) during halftime of Sunday’s game to complain, then he spoke to the local media for the first time this season. Wonder why he got so worked up if the reports were inaccurate? If something isn’t true, don’t you just ignore it? That’s what he has done so often in the past.
Another piece of information taken from Polian's press conference (which he refused to take questions in) is that the throwing session was, supposedly, at the request of Manning. Her are Polian's words from yesterday:
[Peyton's] throws were scripted at his request, meaning that he made specific throws with respect to the kinds of plays that we would run in a ballgame...
He may practice in some very script and circumscribed circumstances if he wishes. That’s entirely up to him.
After the jump, S.I.'s Will Carroll, Star columnist Bob Kravitz, and radio personality Jake Query all weigh in on what appears to be an internal conflict between Peyton and Bill over how and when Peyton will return to the practice and-or playing field.
Bob Kravitz on Polian's announcement that Peyton is done for 2011:
Ultimately, it is the smart call to shut him down. It also is the call Bill and General Manager Chris Polian wanted; they have been at odds with Manning about how much throwing the quarterback does in his rehab.
Another brick in the wall of the growing divide between Manning and Colts management.
Reading Polian's statement on Manning opens a lot of questions, but here's one I haven't heard asked -- "scripted" throwing session?
Does anyone believe Manning needs a "script" of "specific throws with respect to the kinds of plays that we would run in a ballgame"?
Jake Query of Indy radio station 1260AM responded to Carroll:
@injuryexpert Polian and Manning have been reading from different "scripts" for a while now, huh?
To which, Will responded:
@jakequery Very much so.
The divide between Manning and the front office is something lots of people connected with the team have been whispering about in recent weeks. Kravitz, Chappell, Query, Wilson, and Carroll all have sources within the Colts, and all have been writing or talking about this possible divide. In the case of Kravitz, the player he has been speaking to off-the-record is Peyton. It's well known among media that Peyton likes and respects Kravitz, and he uses him to get information out into the world.
Yeah. Bet that bit of info pretty much shocked your world, didn't it? Don't be surprised if, one day, you find out that one of the sources for Kravitz's Chris 'toxic force' Polian article was Peyton himself.
And despite what some of you may or may not think about Bob, he is a well-connected writer and he knows the business of football. I get annoyed with his silly little lectures about how evil blogs and bloggers are, but the man knows what he's writing about most of the time. This year especially, his work has been excellent.
So, as we've been writing about now for several weeks, something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark. It will be very interesting to see what Peyton thought of Polian's little announcement yesterday. Personally, I think he wanted to play in that final game against the Jaguars. I think he will still work to play in that game, and he'll circumvent the Polians by showing the media that he's healthy enough to play.
Doing that might make Bill Polian's head explode, Scanners-style.
[UPDATE]: Wanted to clarify something: Me saying Bob Kravitz has Peyton Manning as a source is also me speculating that Bob Kravitz has Peyton Manning as a source. I did a pretty piss-poor job of making that clear in the article. The language above suggests Kravitz told me his sources, or that it is ABSOLUTE FACT that Peyton and Kravitz are talking. Both are incorrect. Personally, I think Manning is talking to Kravitz, and I'm not alone in that. But, in fairness to Bob, it's not fully established that Manning and Kravitz are talking behind-the-scenes, and if they were I would probably be the last person Kravitz would tell.
Well, maybe second-to-last. I think he'd tell me before he'd tell Bill Polian.