For some fans, when Peyton goes, so goes their interest in the team. For us, the Indianapolis Colts are bigger than any player, any coach, any team president (or vice chairman). Just as Aaron Rodgers showed with the Green Bay Packers, one doesn't need a Brett Favre, a Peyton Manning, or a Tom Brady to win a championship. Rodgers developed under Brett Favre's wing, and unlike the player Rodgers is often compared to (Alex Smith), he had a great support system around him anchored by the truly great franchise.
Like the Packers, the Colts are now a truly great franchise.
Thus, it only makes sense to start thinking about life after Manning. And unlike many other fans, I'm not one to concede that 'life after Manning' means a return to losing. On the contrary, I expect us to keep right on winning. If we don't, I would kind of expect the people in charge be fired and replaced with better people.
Winning is an expectation now. It's a requirement. Anything less is unacceptable. That said, it gives me a good sense of hope that National Football Post is reporting that the Colts are seriously considering drafting a successor for Peyton Manning in the 2011 NFL Draft.
From our friend Wes Bunting at NFP:
Hearing the Colts are really considering bringing in a successor to 35-year-old Peyton Manning either this year or next to begin the long grooming process. To date the Colts have brought in four quarterbacks for private workouts.
I'm only aware of two QBs the Colts have brought in: Nevada's Colin Kaepernick and TCU's Andy Dalton. for what it's worth, Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber recently said playing for the Colts 'would be a dream for a player like me.'
Wes Bunting is usually pretty wired in, and if he is hearing that the Colts are bringing in four QBs for workouts, that's a pretty clear sign that they are serious about finding a successor for Manning.
If I'm Curtis Painter, I'm checking the want ads.