Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:39 am

The Daily Shoutout: Irsay bluffing?

OPENING HIT: Jim Irsay revealed his draft plans in an interview with ESPN. Just gave it all up. No waterboarding required. Here you go, peeps, what we're going to do: it's going to be Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin. So, there's that. Mystery solved.

“With Griffin and Luck and the way it’s shaping up at the top of the draft — could very likely go one and two like with Peyton and Ryan Leaf,” Irsay said. “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 you can’t pass that up. I don’t think anyone would expect that.”

It all sounds very logical and that's what Irsay may indeed be planning but it's rare for an owner or GM to say: this is what we're going to do. In fact, it almost never happens.

So is Irsay using ESPN to help him bluff the league? Or using the network to help boost potential trade value? Or is Irsay sincere?

If you've ever read Irsay on Twitter you know he's a different sort of dude so some of this is not exactly out of his purview.

But it's still odd for an owner to declare their intentions this early which leads me to believe there is a tad bit of bluffitude going on here.

The Colts don't know about Manning's health and Irsay's logic is sound but...

This still reeks of a set up.

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Luck, Manning, NFL
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:03 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 12:02 pm

Source: 'No way in hell' Tressel will coach Colts

There was a report the Indianapolis Colts are at least considering disgraced former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel as head coach, who is on the Indianapolis staff as a gameday consultant. I checked with a Colts source and he said this: "No way in hell."

But this is the interesting part. The source explained that owner Jim 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.

It would be totally out of the question for the Colts to make Tressel a head coach now. The Colts would be the laughingstock of the NFL.

But it's possible the Colts may keep Tressel in some capacity. Possible, not definite.
Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, NFL, Tressel
Posted on: January 19, 2012 7:29 am

The Daily Shoutout: Rob Lowe's Manning prediction

OPENING HIT: Rob Lowe tweeted that Peyton Manning would retire and the entire sports world lost its freaking mind.

This is a story about the power of social media and gullibility with a dash of ego to boot. It’s documented that Lowe is friends with Colts owner Jim Irsay who is a master tweeter and a guy who likes to have fun, too.

This is what I think happened. Lowe pulled the Manning news out of his ass. He tweeted it. Irsay saw his tweet and then decided to play along. So washed up actor s--- stirrer + social media + rumor = gold.

Now, my belief is that Manning just might retire. I’ve long believed that but I don’t think Lowe knows a damn thing. This is the NFL, not St. Elmo’s Fire. Future plans of one of the great passers of all time don’t get leaked to actors. Unless it’s Jim Brown. Or maybe Burt Reynolds.

So here we are. Another historic moment in social media. An 80s star tweets about Manning retiring and we all lose it. Not sure who that speaks more ill of. Lowe…

…or us.
Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning, NFL
Posted on: December 26, 2011 9:14 am

'We're in love with Peyton Manning too much'

OPENING HIT: Former player Cris Carter said this on ESPN: "We're in love with Peyton Manning too much." Sounds nonsensical at first (and not that there's anything wrong with that) but there is a great deal of truth to his statement. A great deal. And I believe the Colts think the same thing as Carter.

What did Carter mean? Manning has gone through two surgeries. He missed an entire season with a dangerous neck injury. He's older. And while Manning missing the season demonstrates his value to the franchise it also demonstrates that the Colts are far from just one player away. That entire roster needs a dramatic overhaul.

Manning is the logical place to begin. That's what Carter meant. We're so in love with Manning that sometimes logic is tossed out the window. No matter how great Manning has been there's no question the Colts should think hard about letting him go particularly if they do get a shot at Andrew Luck.

Players age. Their skills deteriorate. Even players with great skills like Manning's. It has happened to every great player: Montana, Unitas, Marino...on and on it goes. (Interestingly the one older player who I've seen decline very little physically is Tom Brady. But his time will come as well.)

We're in love with Peyton Manning too much. Awkward statement but an accurate one. We are and in his case it's OK to fall out of it.
Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning, NFL
Posted on: November 23, 2011 8:47 am

The Daily Shoutout: Harrison ring of honor?

OPENING HIT: There was this story about Marvin Harrison. And this one. Now, I don't know what Harrison did or didn't do. But I do think there is still a cloud around his actions. We haven't heard from Harrison. There's been no explanation about what exactly happened. Again, Harrison may have done nothing but we don't know.

Which is why is was fairly shocking to me the Indianapolis Colts this week announced it was inducting Harrison into its ring of honor. Harrison has the statistical prowess to be inducted into not just into the ring of honor but the Hall of Fame. He is one of the best receivers to ever play the game. Few were better.

But that shooting...it raises a great many questions and I don't know how many have been answered. Maybe they all have been but there has been very little news since the rash of stories and investigative work.

"I've never had anything, retired jersey or number-wise, on any level," Harrison said in a statement released by the Colts. "But to be recognized by the Colts is the highest honor for me and my family. I'm truly honored to be placed in the Ring of Honor and to be a lifetime member of the Indianapolis Colts."

That statement is one of the few times we've heard anything from Harrison for years. I wish we had heard a lot more.

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:12 am

The Daily Shoutout: Phil Simms was right. Sort of

OPENING HIT: Phil Simms said on Showtime's Inside the NFL that quarterback Peyton Manning would never allow the drafting of Andrew Luck."There is no way if Peyton Manning is given a clean bill of health -- I'm going to go on that assumption -- that he is going to let them draft Andrew Luck," Simms said.

Now, Simms has a point. Manning is a competitor and the last thing Manning wants to do is welcome the guy who is going to take his job. Manning is also a competitor, not a wet nurse. Can you see Manning as Batman and Luck as Robin? No? Me neither. Manning would probably give Luck the Brett Favre treatment. Favre treated Aaron Rodgers like Rodgers was a member of the Taliban.

But this is where Simms is wrong. Bill Polian is one of the greatest talent evaluators this league has ever known or ever will know. He's also extremely arrogant. Anyone who thinks Bill Freaking Polian is going to let a player tell him who to draft -- even a player like Manning -- doesn't know Polian. Polian don't play that.

There is also precedent for this. Dan Reeves and John Elway came to despise one another when both were in Denver. Remember, there was no more powerful players and bigger names at his height than Elway's. But that didn't stop Reeves from drafting Tommy Maddox.

Organizations don't do what's in the interest of one player they do what's in the best interest of the team. If the Colts are in position to draft Luck they are drafting Luck. It's a guarantee. It's as close to a lock as the sun rising and Tebow leading in clicks.

The real issue isn't if the Colts would draft Luck. The real issue is what I mentioned above.

How would Manning treat Luck?
Category: NFL
Tags: Colts
Posted on: October 7, 2011 7:59 am

The Daily Shoutout: Peyton Manning

OPENING HIT: I continue to hear from several league sources Colts management is leaning towards shutting down quarterback Peyton Manning for the season but Manning is resisting.

To be clear: no official decision has been made on Manning's future. But it's becoming obvious to people inside the organization, I'm told, that it will take a great deal more time for Manning to heal. He was just cleared by doctors...to stand on the sideline during games. It's already October and all doctors will let him do is watch games. It still looks like late November or early December before Manning could practice. If then.

Some in the Indianapolis organization see how the math doesn't work and want to protect Manning from himself.

Again, no decision made, but it's clear where this is headed. The Colts are 0-4 and could very well be 0-10 or have just one or two wins if and when Manning returns. Manning may want to play and get the team a few wins so there's momentum headed into next year but are a few wins worth risking Manning?

Frank Gore: He told ESPN something that players rarely say about other players. He said the 49ers knocked the fight out of the Eagles. In other words, Gore says, the Eagles quit. In over 20 years of covering football, I've rarely heard another player say that about another team. It happens, but it's rare, like a Bigfoot sighting. It's a pretty remarkable statement and I wonder how the Eagles will respond.

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts
Posted on: September 13, 2011 7:16 am

The Daily Shoutout: Raiders edition

OPENING HIT: Few NFL teams outside of Cincinnati have caught more grief than the Raiders. Much of it well earned.Owner Al Davis has made some, well, poor decisions in recent years. I know. Stunning. Too many to count, in fact. We all know this.

The most disturbing part for the Raiders was the lack of hope. They have been one of the few teams in football where you know, pretty much, they were going to be terrible. There was no optimisim about the future. They were destined to four or five wins every year. Clockwork.

This year though...it seems different. The Raiders actually seem like they have a plan that works and certain things are coming to fruition started by Al Davis years ago. Their opening season win against Denver might not mean much. It is just one measly game and there's still a chance the Raiders will be terrible but there was something about them beating Denver that inspired hope.

They were emphasizing a strong running game. They made smart, tactical decisions on defense. Quarterback play was sensible. The fat boy kicker tied an NFL record. The Raiders looked like -- get this -- a real team for the first time in years. There is talent there. There is potential there. It's one game. It doesn't mean much but for the first time the Raiders have something they haven't possessed in a long, long time.


JIM IRSAY'S TWEETS: Get more interesting by the day. Here are three from Tuesday morning: "U may b an Ambassador 2 England or France,u might like 2 gamble,u might like 2 dance. U may b The Heavyweight Champion of the world....U may b a socialite,with a long string of pearls; u still gotta serve somebody,it may b the devil,it may b the lord,u gotta serve somebody! ...U may own guns,u may own tanks..u might b somebody's landlord,u may even own banks...but you still gotta serve somebody"

The tweets are from a Bob Dylan song called "Gotta Serve Somebody." I'm told by someone on the Colts that the Indianapolis owner's tweets, by far the most interesting of any sports personality on Twitter, all have a specific purpose. In other words, Irsay knows exactly what he's doing and many of the tweets are a message intended for a specific target. Irsay's not just some crazy old dude. He knows exactly what he's doing with Twitter.

Now if I could only figure out what that mission is.

BILL BELICHICK: On the ass whupping administered to Miami: "We’ve certainly got a long way to go.  That was certainly no Rembrandt performance but fortunatley it was good enough.” Bwaahaa! Good enough? C'mon Bill. Not even you can believe that line of bull.

But there is one important thing to take from that game. Notice the number of Miami players that cramped up in the game. There were at least a few. Notice how many Patriots did: none that I can remember. The Dolphins practice in that heat and the Patriots don't but the Patriots were clearly better conditioned. Why? That's just how the Patriots roll. The players are among the most professional in all of sports. Think of it this way. Even Albert Haynesworth put down the turkey leg and mashed potatoes to play hard.

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