Why Kerry Collins won’t help the Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are built for Peyton Manny, not for Kerry Collins. Adding Kerry Collins is like a man on death row changing his last meal from fajitas to chalupas.

Big shoes to fill: Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Kerry Collins is joining the Indianapolis Colts.

Frederick Breedon/AP/File


By

Staff writer /
August 24, 2011

The ’ decision to pull journeyman out of retirement is at best curious and at worst a sign of coming apocalypse for the team.
The fact is, with nursing a neck injury and questionable for the season opener, no quarterback currently on the market can run the Colts offense. It is a custom-built machine, constructed specifically for Manning.

While simple in its principles, it is mind-bogglingly complex in its execution. It requires a champion in hip pads – a quarterback who, in 30 seconds, can step to the line, distil the calculus of modern defenses, devise a counterstrategy, and then communicate instructions to the wide receivers, running backs, and offensive linemen.


After that, there’s the simple task of getting rid of the ball quickly before one of the poorer offensive lines in pro football collapses.
Even before the preseason began, it was obvious that incumbent Colts backup could do the job about as well as could play the lead in “.”

So in that sense, the move makes sense. Collins is undoubtedly a better quarterback than Painter.
Yet the move also has the appearance of someone on death row changing his last meal from fajitas to chalupas. The end result isn’t going to change.

Neither Painter nor Collins would appear to give the Colts a legitimate chance to win. The high-octane Colts are designed to pass first and play from ahead. Asking them to grind out a win behind a journeyman quarterback is like asking to run a power sweep off left tackle. They’re simply not built to do it.

The thinking had been that the Colts were sticking with Painter because they knew Manning would be back. Now, it appears as though that could be in doubt.
In the interim, perhaps, Collins gives them the best chance to avoid embarrassment. For a city and a team that is hosting the Super Bowl this year, it is a very thin thread of hope.

  • Making a Difference

Five pressing issues facing the Indianapolis Colts

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Even with most of them back, the Colts could improve their interception totals: they tied for 30th with Denver with just 10 pickoffs in 2010.

4. Are the Colts vulnerable enough to lose their stranglehold on the AFC South?

Indy had to work hard late last season to outlast Jacksonville and win its seventh AFC South title before losing the wild-card playoff game to the New York Jets, two signs that the conference’s power balance is shifting.

But within the division, the Colts still have significant edges over the Jaguars, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans. With uncertainty over how the league will look when the lockout ends, it’s a reach to imagine any of them suddenly emerging as a serious challenger; and as long as Manning is healthy and continues working everybody into the game plan as he did last season, that puts Indianapolis a step ahead.

Manning threw for 4,700 yards, 33 touchdowns and 16 interceptions while posting a 92.1 rating in 2010. That’s stellar for any quarterback, more so for a 14-year veteran who turned 35 in March. Barring injury or a drastic falloff — keep in mind, he started 16 games for the 13th consecutive season in 2011 — he and the Colts remain the standard-bearers in this division until someone knocks them down.

5. Who is Curtis Painter, and why are Colts fans nervous?

Meet Manning’s backup, who hasn’t taken a snap since throwing just 28 passes (completing eight) after being drafted in the sixth round in 2009 out of Purdue. His debut was a day he’d rather forget, as he relieved Manning in the second half of a Week 16 game against the Jets and promptly lost a fumble, a lead and the Colts’ hopes for a perfect season.

He nonetheless stands ready in case something happens to the future Hall of Famer. Colts fans who boo him lustily mainly because he’s not Manning, might pray that they never see the day he plays but have to remember that nothing is a given and that every team needs a backup.

Which begs the question of what management will do when the lockout ends. Indy carried just two QBs last season and seemed more intent on protecting Manning in April by drafting Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo (6-7, 305 pounds) in the first round (22nd overall) and Villanova OG Ben Ijalana (6-4, 317 pounds) in the second.

The free-agent QB pool is includes Dennis Dixon (a restricted free agent who helped Pittsburgh to a 3-1 start last season with Charlie Batch during Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension), Tyler Thigpen and Kerry Collins. All have more experience than Painter and could be capable backups to the future Hall of Famer.

The Colts and their fans hope the club doesn’t have to go that route just yet.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans: Everything You Need To Know


INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 06:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts take the field on Sunday with an opportunity to clinch the division and possibly improve their playoff seeding.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans come into Lucas Oil Stadium with relatively nothing to play for other than to try and hurt the Colts, but don’t let Herm Edwards hear you say it .

But in all reality, the Titans look like a demoralized team that has quit on their coach, and that is truly a shame because Jeff Fisher is a well respected coach around the league, not to mention the longest tenured coach in the NFL as well.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football analyst Rodney Harrison went as for as to say this “Tennessee quit last week, and their going to quit again this week.”

Their season has been a disaster, from the Vince Young drama to their offensive coordinater, Mike Heimerdinger, being diagnosed with cancer. Nothing has really gone their way, and I think that the entire organization is happy that 2010 is now over.

Indianapolis Colts and Playoffs

As for the Colts, they are hoping to clinch the division crown and reach the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year, a stretch that would draw them even with the Cowboy’s NFL record nine year playoff run in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The Colts can clinch the division with a win or a Jacksonville loss to the Texans on Sunday. And if they do win, then Colts fans should be rooting like crazy for the Oakland Raiders to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, which would give the Colts the number three seed in the AFC playoffs.

Why is that significant? Well, if the Colts are the three seed, and win in the first round of the payoffs, they would have to either play at Pittsburgh or Baltimore, while the fourth or fifth seed would have to play at New England. Which would you prefer?

But that is all to far ahead, the Colts should be focused on winning this week and then worry about who they play next, and I think that has been their exact mindset for the past three weeks, just keep winning.

Records and Milestones

Sunday’s game also could be a milestone game for several Colts’ players.

When Peyton Manning takes his first snap, he will surpass Gene Upshaw’s record of 207 consecutive games played to start a career. He is also three touchdowns shy of 400 for his career, and on a lesser note, he is two interceptions shy of 200 for his career. And if he were to throw for 122 yards, he would set a new career high for most passing yards in a single season.

Reggie Wayne will be looking to catch his 69th career touchdown, which would put him above Colts hall of famer Raymond Berry on the all time touchdown receptions list. Reggie could also set a single season high for most receptions, should he make three catches on the day.

Injury Report

The Colts should see LB Clint Session return after practicing all week, this would be his first game action since week eight against Houston. However, the Colts will likely be without CB Kelvin Hayden for the fifth straight week, as he recovers form a neck injury.

Don’t expect to see Dan Muir play, but Eric Foster, Charlie Johnson and Mike Hart should be available.

The Titans have no significant injuries and all players listed on their injury report are probable.

It is important to note that the Jacksonville Jaguars (the only other team that could win the division) will be without starting QB David Garrard and RB Maurice Jones Drew, so they will be at an extreme disadvantage in a must win for them against the Texans.

Prediction

The only way the Titans win is if Kerry Collins leads them to victory, especially the way the Colts defense has been stopping the run game recently. And I don’t believe Collins has the capability to lead a pass-heavy offense any more, I’m saying the Colts win 28-17 and clinch the AFC South Division.

Kickoff is at 4:15 PM

Keep up with all the Colts news at my blog, .