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Tag:Indianapolis Colts
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:10 pm
 

Fans a nice addition to Media-Day circus

Fans fill the stands in Indy. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tuesday's Media Day is, predictably, an absolute zoo. Or maybe a circus is a better description, since there's nothing even remotely caged or tame about the way the players, press and Indianapolis population is acting while visiting Lucas Oil Stadium.

But this year features an entirely new twist, as 7,000 fans packed into the stands to check out the sideshow. And frankly it's a perfect fit.

Though the rabble-rousing over the addition of fans was understandable, it was ultimately unnecessary. They appear to be nothing more than an addition of the crowd, and that's not just in terms of how the two crowds blend together.

Most of them are noticeably less starstruck than the majority of the media members here. Of course, they're not asking questions, but they can interact to a degree with the players. Fans were given radio headsets to wear in the stands and can tune those headsets to hear the audio from various players.

At one point in the early session, Tom Brady was asked about Peyton Manning's future. He responded by saying that he hoped Peyton played a long time and that he hoped he played a long time in Indianapolis.

The crowd, the majority of whom are dressed in Colts jerseys, absolutely erupted. It was at that moment that Brady realized he was mic'd up for the fans.

It's a different vibe than "normal" media day, but not by much. (It's also literally more crowded than most Bengals games, but that's beside the point.) Adding a few thousand people to a scene that's already a total disaster just doesn't have much of an impact on the way the day plays out.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:57 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 7:59 pm
 

Eli trips up talking about end of Peyton's career

Eli's smirk after his miscue says it all. (NFL.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Eli Manning spent the better part of his nine-plus minute press conference on Monday answering questions about big brother Peyton Manning. As it turns out, they're related, and Peyton did many things that a big brother does. Like talking and stuff.

But there's a very interesting little moment at the end of Eli's press conference. You can watch it at NFL.com, and the moment we're talking about occurs at the 8:30 mark, when Eli is asked about playing in Indianapolis.

“I really have not thought much about playing in Indianapolis," Manning said. "It’s not really a time to reflect right now on that. It’s just a matter of trying to get ready for the Patriots and get ready to play this game, and get ready for their defense. We’ll look back on the fact of playing in the Super Bowl in the town where he plays for the Colts.

"And we'll look back on the fact that playing a Super Bowl in Peyton's, in the town where he played his NFL, uhhhh, you know plays for the Colts. So we'll look on that later."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Emphasis is ours and we fully expect this post to result in a backlash of "you media losers are just desperate for a story"-type comments.

We're OK with that. Because if that's how you feel than you didn't actually watch the video and/or see the smirk that Eli had on his face as the presser wrapped up.

Maybe it was a legitimate slip of the tongue and Eli doesn't know anything about what Peyton plans to do and/or can do in the future, football-wise. But he definitely slipped up.

And it should make for an awkward -- and not likely encouraging -- text from his big brother some time in the near future.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:14 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:14 pm
 

Jim Irsay on Peyton Manning: 'I love him'

Irsay, Manning

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- The relationship between Colts owner Jim Irsay and quarterback Peyton Manning seemingly has broken down in the past two weeks after Irsay fired Jim Caldwell. Not knowing whether Manning’s fused neck will heal enough to allow him to play again and not knowing whether the Colts will want to bring him back, the two have had an ugly spat that’s played out in the media.

In fact, the two felt compelled to release a dual statement in which they proclaimed, “We would like to dispel any misperception that there might be any hard feelings between us. … We have always been able to talk and address matters we’ve faced over the years, not just as owner and player, but as friends.”

But as CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco wrote, Irsay shouldn’t forget that the play of Manning in elevating the franchise allowed this city to earn a Super Bowl bid.

Irsay hasn’t.

“To look at Peyton as an owner, it’s what you dream about having a player like that,” Irsay said Monday. “You’re so blessed to have someone come in and to be such a part of the community and to be part of the golden era. Eventually, there will be the statue and all those things. We’ve been through a lot of battles together, but we’re very close. Some of the things that get out there, there’s probably a misconception because we’re family. We’ve given each other flak. He’s competitive and so am I. But I love him.”

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

After the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee presser was over Monday afternoon, a horde of media trailed Irsay for more sound, but he didn’t want to comment on Manning’s future with the organization, preferring instead to focus on the actual game this week.

“What he’s meant to the franchise and what we’ve done, he played a huge role in that,” Irsay said. “That’s obvious.”

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels also recognized the importance of Manning and Irsay.

“Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay are two of the most important figures in the world of professional football,” Daniels said. “What everyone needs to know is they are equally great citizens. They have been role models for other citizen and leaders. Our job has been made a whole lot easier by the exemplary leadership each of them has provided. We couldn’t be luckier.”

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:05 pm
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Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:01 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:14 pm
 

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Manning 'determined' to play in 2012. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been more than a year since Peyton Manning played in an NFL game, but just five weeks out from a $28 million roster bonus coming due, the Colts have to make a decision on his future in Indianapolis. Teams are already lining up for his services (allegedly, of course) -- both those with obvious quarterback needs and others who may be willing to reconsider their current quarterback situation.

The problem: no one knows how healthy Manning is. He missed the 2011 season after undergoing three neck surgeries in two years, and Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported Sunday that Manning is struggling to get healthy before March 8, the day he's to receive the aforementioned roster bonus.

King adds: "No one knows yet if he'll play at all. In the last few days ... I've heard mixed reports about his physical condition. There is no guarantee he'll be healthy enough for any team to build its offense around."

King also seconded something we wrote on the Eye on Football blog: Colts owner Jim Irsay didn't make a decision on Manning's future "weeks ago."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

"I talked to Colts owner Irsay over the weekend, and he insisted, contrary to an NFL.com report that he decided 'weeks ago' to part ways with Manning, that he hasn't done any such thing," King wrote Monday.

"There has been no decision,'' Irsay told King. "This thing is still up in the air. I guarantee you I have not made the decision."

On Monday, Peyton's non-football-playing brother, Cooper, told NFL Network's Albert Breer that Manning was "determined" to play in 2012.

"What I do know is Peyton is going to do every single thing a human being can possibly do to get ready to play again," Cooper said from New Orleans according to Breer. "Where, when and how he'll play, that's all up in the air. But as far as his body goes, Peyton's smart, he'll know what to do. Anyone predicting what will happen now going forward is just wasting their breath. But he is working as hard as anyone can work to get out there again." 

Without knowing the state of Manning's recovery but with Irsay having already begun the housecleaning process, it's fair to assume that Manning may have played his last game for the Colts. He won't be out of work long, though; in fact, we wouldn't be surprised if some truly desperate team took a flier on him even if he's not yet cleared to return to the field. After all, the NFL is a passing league woefully short on passers. 

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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 4:42 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:18 pm
 

Madonna Super Bowl setlist revealed in NFL mag

We know at least three of the songs Madonna will play at the Super Bowl. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you're like us, you've been wondering exactly what songs Madonna would play at halftime of the Super Bowl. Sure, there's been some chatter about the various numbers she'll drop, but nothing official.

However, for our Sunday afternoon flight to Indy, we picked up a copy of the new NFL Magazine and three songs are confirmed by the league in a blurb about the Material Girl: "Gimme All Your Luvvin," "Ray of Light," and "En Vogue."

"Though Madonna's set list was not officially announced at press time, fans might expect her to give all her luvvin', provide a ray of light and be in vogue with her music," the magazine reads. "The Super Bowl is almost a national holiday, after all."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Though we wholeheartedly agree about the holiday aspect of things, we're kind of unsure exactly what that has to do with Madonna playing a new single.

Whatever, we appreciate the NFL dropping some nuggets in the magazine, which was a pretty enjoyable read. Also, for those that hadn't noticed yet, Madonna's going to have the people from Circque du Soleil with her. That alone's worth the price of admission.

Oh yeah, and if you can still get odds on what song Madonna's playing first, you might want to hustle up on that.

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