First off, the Saints-49ers game last Saturday was fantastic if you were just an unaffiliated person watching. I imagine it was fun for San Francisco fans, too. The terrific early performance by the ‘Niners’ D. The inevitable Saints comeback. And the frenetic final four minutes. Great, great stuff.
The Colts are making progress. First, the Polians were shown the door and Ryan Grigson was brought in to remake the franchise. Yesterday, Grigson fired coach Jim Caldwell. The next step seems pretty clear: cutting ties with Peyton Manning. Owner Jim Irsay has said several times that he will not trade Manning. He has not said, though, that he will not cut Manning. And, of course, Manning can always retire and save the Colts the hassle.
Regardless, Grigson and Irsay both seem committed to a complete rebuilding process. That’s a tough decision to make, when it means cutting ties with the player who is responsible for the Colts still playing in Indy in a brand new stadium that will host the Super Bowl in two weeks. But it’s bold and correct and they deserve a lot of credit for moving forward aggressively.
Speaking of Manning, Archie Manning sure seems to have a lot of comments lately. I understand there’s a lot going on with his family right now, between’s Peyton figuring out what’s next and Eli playing for the NFC title this weekend. But it seems like each week he’s on another show sharing his thoughts about Peyton, Andrew Luck, and the future of the Colts. I’d be interested to know if he just likes to talk, or if he is serving as Peyton’s unofficial mouthpiece. Given how carefully Peyton manages every aspect of his career, I can’t imagine he would want his father talking out of turn.
Finally, I’ve not said anything about Tebowmania. The more I look at it, the more it feels like the war in baseball between scouts and statheads. It’s not an exact analogy, but there are two sides that can’t find a middle ground on how to gauge Tebow’s play. Longtime talent observers see his bad throwing form and poor accuracy, put that in the context of what a winning NFL quarterback should look like in their eyes, and dismiss him outright. His supporters see a guy who, despite his flaws and differences from the prototype NFL QB, still has enough skill to carry a team to the playoffs. Both sides have dug in their heels and maintain that they are correct.
As is often the case, the truth is in the middle. Tebow does lack some of the tools that most successful NFL QBs have possessed in the past 30 years. But his unique mix of size, speed, and intelligence give him more ways to work around those limitations than the average quarterback. In a different way, he presents something that Michael Vick brought to the NFL: a new way of looking at the position. I don’t think Tebow will ever be an elite quarterback. But he can refine his throwing motion. He will learn more about reading defenses. The Broncos will build their offense around his specific skills. I was a doubter, but I see him as a legitimate, if unique, pro quarterback now.