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Tag:Jim Caldwell
Posted on: March 6, 2012 8:20 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 11:20 pm
 

Peyton Manning's release: Winners/Losers

Manning

By Josh Katzowitz

With the news that the Colts and Peyton Manning will part ways Wednesday, there will, of course, be bystanders who are positively and negatively affected by the news. Here’s our list of winners and losers.

Winners

Andrew Luck: In his first year in a Colts uniform, Luck will get to experience the highs and lows of playing as a rookie quarterback. Sometimes this goes well (see Cam Newton and Andy Dalton). Sometimes this goes poorly (see, um, Peyton Manning). And while we could make the argument that Luck would do well apprenticing under a veteran for a season -- he wouldn’t have to deal with the top pick pressure for an extra year and he could learn the new offense without the media spotlight trained on his every move -- Luck will learn much more if he’s actually playing. Plus, he won’t have the Peyton Manning shadow hanging over his rookie season.

Jim Irsay: Already, Irsay has begun to renovate his team, firing Bill Polian and former coach Jim Caldwell, following the 2-14 season. Irsay has done a wonderful job turning the Colts franchise into a perennial Super Bowl contender (2011, of course, being the exception), and now, he gets to be involved in another massive rebuilding project. Manning, of course, has done perhaps more than anybody to get Super Bowl XLVI to Indianapolis and to get Lucas Oil Stadium built, but Irsay now can remake the team as he sees fit. Plus, like Luck, his team won’t have the Peyton Manning shadow hanging over the franchise in 2012.

ManningAFC South: We’ve seen what happens when Manning isn’t playing for the Colts: the rest of the division gets better! Well, except for the Jaguars, of course. But without their franchise quarterback in the lineup, the Colts went from being the scariest team in the AFC South to being the most toothless. That probably won’t change in 2012, in which the Texans -- who never could get over the Manning hump and who couldn’t make the playoffs until he wasn’t playing -- will be one of the favorites in the AFC. Without Manning, Houston might have the chance to become the new Indianapolis.

Colts fans: In some sense, the city has been held hostage by the Manning-Irsay impasse, and it actually overshadowed the early part of Super Bowl week. But without Manning around, the salary cap won’t be as rigid, and with Luck coming into town (we assume), he’ll bring a new sense of excitement to the organization and to the city in general. Yes, Indianapolis will miss a community leader in Manning, but who’s to say Luck couldn’t fill that role anyway.

Losers

Matt Flynn: In our free agent quarterback rankings, we listed Drew Brees as No. 1, Manning as No. 2, and Flynn as No. 3. Brees has been franchise-tagged by the Saints, and it’s clear that the possibility of landing Manning will overshadow whatever Flynn will be trying to do. Flynn to Miami? Well, let’s see if the Dolphins can land Manning first. Flynn to (fill in the blank)? Well, let’s see if (fill in the blank) can land Manning first. Flynn likely won’t be anybody’s first choice, and you have to wonder how that will affect his bottom line. Would you rather have Manning, even if he’s not completely healthy, or Flynn? The answer is obvious.

Robert Griffin III: While the Manning release is good news for Andrew Luck, it might mean something different for RG3. Like Flynn (though probably not as much as Flynn), other quarterback-needy teams will look at Manning first before (possibly) trying to trade up with the Rams in order to draft Griffin after Luck. Like Flynn, this might limit Griffin’s options, and it might actually mean Griffin isn’t taken with the No. 2 pick. That probably won’t happen, but if one of the teams (say, ahem, Washington) looking at Griffin ultimately goes with Manning and the rest of league believe St. Louis’ price is too high, you have to wonder if Griffin will fall to the fourth pick.

Manning’s bank account: Not that he needs financial assistance, but cashing in on a $28 million bonus would have been pretty sweet.

Rob Lowe: I guess we can forget about Lowe’s budding journalism career. While he was right in believing that Manning was done in Indianapolis, Lowe also reported that Manning would retire. That’s not going to happen, and unfortunately for Lowe, reporters don’t credit for being half-right.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:15 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 9:16 am
 

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

Art Rooney II tried to make it clear that Mike Tomlin was the one who wanted to hire Todd Haley. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Since former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' contract wasn’t renewed (and basically, was fired) and Todd Haley was installed as the new coordinator, there’s been much speculation that some of coach Mike Tomlin’s power has been cut within the organization.

Apparently, Tomlin didn’t want to part ways with Arians, and apparently, he didn’t want to hire Haley. Supposedly, team president Art Rooney II was the man to make those deals over the protests of his successful head coach.

Now, though, Rooney is denying he had much of a role in the Pittsburgh offensive upheaval.

"I think the bottom line is, Mike was comfortable that's who he wanted to come in," Rooney said Thursday afternoon in an exclusive interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "It may be fair to say that when he started the discussions and Todd's name was on his original list, I don't think he expected that Todd was the guy he was going to wind up hiring. But as he had more conversations with him, he became more comfortable that he was the right guy for the job."

The paper writes that the reason Rooney talked to reporter Ed Bouchette was because he wanted “to counter rampant speculation that he, not Tomlin, hired Haley to replace Bruce Arians ….”

So, yes, there is spin involved in this story, and Rooney apparently didn’t dispel the notion that he, not Tomlin, was the one who didn’t want Arians around.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
Aside from Haley, Rooney said Jim Caldwell was the only other candidate that Tomlin brought to Pittsburgh to interview for the job. Rooney said he had conversations with Caldwell and Haley when they were in Pittsburgh, but he said it was more informal than a regular interview.

"I wouldn't want my role in it to be overestimated because Mike has to decide who he wants on the staff,” Rooney said. “Even though there's always a discussion between me and Mike about who he's hiring and how much we're paying him and those kinds of things, it's normally a discussion of the business side of the arrangement than, 'Are we going to hire a guy who's going to run the ball so many times a game.' It was a fairly normal process as far as I'm concerned in terms of how we've done those kinds of hirings in the past."

It’s good that Rooney recognizes the need to let the public believe that Tomlin is the one calling the shots on his coaching staff. Because, for the most part, Tomlin should be the one to make those decisions.

But if Rooney was the one who wanted to let Arians walk -- and that seems fairly clear at this point -- he needed to let Tomlin save face with the Haley hire. No matter who actually wanted Haley, Rooney has accomplished that now with this interview.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:50 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 11:48 am
 

Report: Manning had 4th surgery, could need more

Manning

By Josh Katzowitz

It’s generally been reported that Peyton Manning has had three procedures on his neck in the past two years -- which caused him to miss all of last season. But Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks is reporting that Manning actually had a fourth surgery sometime between May 23 and Sept. 9 of last year.

Making matters a little more opaque, Banks also reports that Manning potentially has developed bone spurs in his neck that the Colts believe will require another surgery (and possibly, gulp, another fusion surgery).


The unreported procedure occurred last summer in Chicago and it was a follow-up to Manning’s initial neck surgery. Since this occurred during the lockout, the club physicians only had very little contact with Manning.

Manning's Offseason Saga
"I wouldn't have anything to say about all of that, one way or another,” Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, told SI on Wednesday.

According to Banks’ source, Manning badly wanted to return for the Week 16 Houston game last year, and he participated in an “organized and fully-scripted 30-play practice session” the week before in front of former executive Bill Polian and former coach Jim Caldwell.

More from Banks:
Polian was said to be initially frustrated by the extent and scope of the workout, which he then viewed as a surprising attempt to play in a meaningless situation at the end of a long and defeat-filled season in Indianapolis. League sources say the former leader of the Colts front office was taken off-guard by the intensity and pace of the 30-play session that Manning took part in. Polian was under the belief that it would be conducted at walk-through speed, but instead it was held at typical regular-season tempo with scripted play calls.

A day later, league sources said, the team's strength and conditioning staff impressed upon Polian that it had wanted to see how Manning responded to a fast-paced and scripted workout, because his recovery was not going to reach the next level if he simply continued to lob passes at a leisurely pace. And the practice was conducted from the 25-yard line on in because that was then roughly Manning's ceiling in terms of his arm strength throwing the ball.
Make sure to click the above SI.com link (or this one right here) to read more details about Manning’s past and his possible future. It's strong reporting and fascinating material.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:32 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Report: Ravens, Flacco to talk contract next week

Baltimore regards Flacco as the future of the franchise, apparently. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

When we ran down possible destinations for Peyton Manning in 2012, we left the Ravens off the list because they already have, in theory, a franchise quarterback in Joe Flacco. Many folks would disagree. But, apparently, not the Ravens.

According to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, the Ravens and Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, will sit down in Indianapolis at the 2012 NFL Combine to talk about getting Flacco a new, long-term contract.

Latest NFL News, Notes

LaCanfora writes that the Ravens are "committed to keeping the 2008 first-round pick." There's no secret that Flacco wants to get paid: Flacco said during the regular season that he deserved a new contract with the Ravens based on his performance.

"It is what it is," Flacco said at the time. "It's either going to happen at some point or it's not. The bottom line is I'm not too worried about it either way. Do I feel like I deserve one? Yeah. Do I feel like I'm going to get one? Yeah. If I don't get one, is it going to be a huge deal? No, it is what it is. It's not really up to me. It's up to me to go out there and focus on my play each and every game and put our team in the best spot to win a football game."

This is a mantra Flacco's repeated for some time now; that the Ravens are finally willing to talk turkey means that either they were a) as impressed with Flacco's playoff performance as our own Clark Judge was; or b) they understand that the "known" of Flacco is better than the "unknown."

The unknown being, of course, whoever else might be out there in free agency or the draft after the 2012 season. (If they tried to franchise him after the coming season, there would be some evil laughter and giddy fu-manchu rubbing as Flacco sprinted to sign that guaranteed contract.)

Based on what John Harbaugh's said before, it sounds like their answer is (a).

"I've said it many times," Harbaugh said. "I think his best football is in front of him. He only gets better. He's our kind of guy. He's a tough guy. He's a competitive guy. He's a leader. And I just can't wait to see where this thing goes with him. We are proud to have him as our quarterback."

So the question then becomes: how much is Flacco worth? Kevin Kolb and Matt Cassel both got contracts that paid them more than $60 million, with $20 million and $28 million guaranteed, respectively. (Kolb signed a five-year extension, while Cassel signed a six-year deal.)

There's no way Baltimore can get away with paying Flacco less than those guys. He's 44-20 in his career, he's started every single game since his rookie season, he's got a completion percentage over 60, he's got 11 game-winning drives and an 80:46 touchdown record.

He's also won five playoff games in four years and was one Lee Evans drop (or one accurate deep ball to Torrey Smith, if you prefer) away from taking the Ravens to the Super Bowl last year. He outplayed Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game.

Kolb's never played more than nine games in a season (!), or thrown for more than 2,000 yards. Flacco's average season with Baltimore dwarfs Cassel's average season with New England and Kansas City.

So unless he's taking a serious hometown discount, Flacco's going to get north of $10 million a year and $30 million in guaranteed money. That's a lot of cheese. It's going to be extremely interesting to see how Cam Cameron and Jim Caldwell can help Flacco grow over the next few years.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:00 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:51 pm
 

Ravens hire Jim Caldwell as quarterbacks coach

By Will Brinson

Because Mike Tomlin and Jim Caldwell worked together under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay, the prevailing theory's been that Caldwell's going to end up on the Steelers offensive staff. So it's pretty bizarre to hear that the Ravens hired Caldwell as their quarterbacks coach.

The team announced the news, as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, on Monday afternoon.

"I am really excited to work with coach Harbaugh, Cam and the rest of the coaching staff," Caldwell said. "It's a great fit for me, and I'm happy they saw it that way. I can't wait to get started with the Ravens, an organization that from top to bottom is one of the NFL's best."

Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron took over as quarterbacks coach this past season with the departure of Jim Zorn but when Cameron was extended last week, the Ravens made it known that he wouldn't continue on as quarterbacks coach.

Caldwell, who served as the Colts quarterbacks coach prior to becoming head coach, was 26-22 as Colts coach but saw his stock drop when the team went 2-14 in 2011. He now puts himself in a position to really get some positive reviews, should Joe Flacco make big steps forward in 2012.

"After spending considerable time with Jim over the last week, we think he will be an excellent fit with our team, coaching the quarterbacks and helping with our offense," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We believe he enhances our staff. Jim has a tremendous history coaching at the college and pro level, especially working with quarterbacks and providing help with offenses.

"The timing is right to add a quarterbacks coach after Cam and Joe worked so closely and well together this year. It's the right step for us now."

Unless, of course, hiring Caldwell is just a ploy to land Peyton Manning if/when/should he be healthy enough to play next year. That seems like a stretch, but we talked about this with Andy Benoit on a recent Pick-Six Podcast: Flacco's only got one year left on his deal and the Ravens are quite conceivably the perfect team for Manning.

They've got a veteran defense with a small window remaining, talent on the offensive line and plenty of offensive weapons in Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and the Dennis Pitta/Ed Dickson combo.

That being said, they're probably just trying to land a quarterbacks coach who can offer Flacco the sage wisdom necessary to grow into a talented quarterback at the next level.

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Posted on: January 29, 2012 2:56 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 3:16 pm
 

Report: Pagano looks at Butler, Caldwell at PIT

Chuck Pagano reportedly is looking at Keith Butler to be his defensive coordinator (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Man, new Colts coach Chuck Pagano must have some serious respect for one of the teams his old ballclub hates the most. That would be the Steelers, and Pagano, the former Ravens defensive coordinator, reportedly will pluck another Pittsburgh assistant to be a coordinator for the Colts.

On Saturday, it was Pagano surprisingly yanking Bruce Arians out of his so-called retirement in order to make him the offensive coordinator, and a day later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that Pagano will hire Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler as defensive coordinator.

A word of caution, though: according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Butler will interview the job Tuesday and said it’s “not a done deal.”

And in a switcheroo that only a Kirk Cameron fan could love, NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora reports that Caldwell will interview for the open Steelers offensive coordinator spot vacated by Arians.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Caldwell spent one season together in 2001 with the Buccaneers when Tomlin was the defensive backs coach and Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach.

In Pagano’s case, the possible decision to hire anybody from the Steelers defensive coaching staff is probably a smart move -- especially considering Pittsburgh has been a top-ten defensive team in yards allowed every year since 2000.

Indy's offseason
Butler has been in Pittsburgh the past nine years, and he’s credited with helping mold James Harrison, James Farrior and LaMarr Woodley. Like Arians and Pagano, Butler worked in Cleveland in 2001, so Pagano knows what kind of coach he’s getting.

As PFT reminds us, Butler wanted to interview for the Cardinals defensive coordinator job last year but the Steelers denied him the chance. Now that Butler’s contract is up, though, it sounds like Butler -- who is largely considered the heir to Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau -- is ready for a promotion.

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:54 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:08 am
 

Report: Tressell has interviewed with Colts TWICE

TresselBy Josh Katzowitz

On Friday, my CBSSports.com colleague Ryan Wilson asked the question: “Would the Colts interview Jim Tressel for a coaching job?”

Apparently the answer to that question is yes. Not only that, but it’s a resounding yes.

As WBNS-TV in Columbus is reporting (via the Cleveland Plain Dealer), Tressel already has had two interviews for the chance to replace Jim Caldwell, and the second one occurred Friday when owner Jim Irsay flew to Sarasota, Fla., where Tressel has a home, to talk with the former Ohio State coach.

If Indianapolis was to hire Tressel, it would be a stunning development.

On Thursday, CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman talked to a source about the Colts possibly speaking to Tressel, who worked with the franchise as a game day consultant this season, and that source told him that there is “no way in hell” the franchise would consider it.

Latest coaching news, rumors
Well, it sounds like Indianapolis is more than considering it.

Already, it’s been reported that the Colts have focused their attention on Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.

Either way, this decision should be done seven days from now.

Already today, Irsay tweeted that Colts fans can expect a decision on the new coach by late next week. Will that person be Tressel? Somehow, it sounds like it’s most definitely a possibility.

And just as a reminder, this is what I wrotein October:
You wonder about Caldwell’s statement about wanting Tressel to get the hang of how the pro operation works. Does Caldwell eventually want to hire Tressel to be an assistant on his staff? Or what happens if the Colts deem Caldwell expendable after this debacle of a season is complete? Would Tressel be a candidate for the head coaching job?

If so, perhaps Caldwell should cool it on letting Tressel know too many secrets of pro football coaching (if it’s even Caldwell’s call). Otherwise, the guy he’s schooling might be the guy who is soon to replace him.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:13 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 10:46 pm
 

Would Colts interview Tressel for coaching job?

Former Indy president Bill Polian sits with team consultant Jim Tressel before a game in November. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Colts are in the market for a head coach. After cleaning house in recent weeks, team owner Jim Irsay and new general manager Ryan Grigson continue their search for the man who will help return Indianapolis to prominence.

Jim Caldwell was sent packing Tuesday and the names of possible candidates to replace him span the gamut from old-hands to up-and-comers. Our very early list included both: Brad Childress, Marty Mornhinwheg, Wade Phillips and Rod Chudzinski.

The Colts are reportedly interested in talking to Childress, the former Vikings head coach. And Irsay's plane, according to the Indianapolis Star, was in Sarasota, Florida Friday morning before returning to Indianapolis later in the day.

Former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, who resigned amid an NCAA investigation in May and joined the Colts as a consultant in September, has a home in the area. Multiple sources expect Tressel to interview for Caldwell's job, though the Star couldn't confirm this.

On Thursday, a Colts source told CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that there was "no way in hell" that the organization was considering Tressel as Caldwell's replacement.

Freeman adds: "The source explained that owner Irsay likes Tressel and does want him to have some sort of role in the organization (a new head coach will have some say in that of course). Which is, well, incredible. If you remember Tressel resigned as Ohio State coach after it was determined the Buckeyes had numerous rules violations under his watch. Ohio State later self-vacated its entire 2010 season."

The three known candidates to be targeted for interviews with the Colts are Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, New Orleans offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Whoever ends up as Indy's new coach, the first order of business will be to decide what to do with the team's franchise quarterbacks (the one currently on the roster and the one they will inevitably draft in three months). Peyton Manning has been with the organization since 1998, although he missed the 2011 season with a neck injury. The Colts, fresh off a 2-14 effort without Manning, had won at least 10 games every year from 2002-2010 (including two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl title).

But Manning is due a $28 million roster bonus on March 8 and there's a possibility that the organization could decide to move forward without him. Indianapolis holds the first-overall pick in April's NFL Draft and Irsay has already said that they will select a quarterback regardless of Manning's health.

"With Griffin and with Luck and the way it's shaping up in the top part of the draft, which very likely could go one and two like with Peyton and Ryan Leaf -- it's most likely one of those quarterbacks that you really feel is the best player in the draft, and where we're at moving forward, that you can't pass that up," Irsay told ESPN, per the Star.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com