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4)Fear not.Not much new in the report this week that the Colts and Peyton Manning likely will agree to a long-term contract sometime relatively soon. The Associated Press reported Irsay saying again that Colts Owner Jim Irsay plans to make Manning the NFL's highest-paid player, and the AP cited Condon – who also is Manning's agent – saying he expected to get a deal done, although “it's hard to predict when.” We've said it before at Indy Football Report, and we'll continue saying it: Whatever the details, Manning will be with the Colts moving forward and considering Irsay's desire to get a long-term deal done sooner rather than later, odds are that happens, too.
3)The “rumor.” As for a reported rumor this week that Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell had been fired, it was just that: a rumor. And rightfully so. Caldwell has won 14 regular-season games in two seasons, and has won two AFC South titles. He also won the AFC Championship last season and won this season despite a roster so wrecked by injuries that he should have had Coach of the Year consideration. Those who believe Caldwell should be fired likely won't stop believing that way because of anything written here, but Irsay and Colts President Bill Polian each spoke highly of Caldwell in recent months, and Irsay has tweeted about his support of Caldwell more than once. Wish it all you want, but Caldwell not only is going to remain the coach, it's right that that's the way it is.
2)Too bad. When Ravens safety Ed Reed pulled out of the Pro Bowl this week, Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin was named to the game in his place. Griffin had a solid year and is a Pro Bowl-caliber safety, but still think Colts safety Antoine Bethea deserved a Pro Bowl nod this season. The right four Colts were named to the game – quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Reggie Wayne – but outside that group, Bethea was probably the most deserving.
1)Different ground rules. Let's start here on this final topic: this entry is not a slam on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady is not only a three-time Super Bowl champion, he is clearly one of the top two quarterbacks of his era, with Manning being the other. But it is time to stop saying with the casual certainty that has been the norm in many circles that Brady is the superior playoff quarterback of the two. Each has had victories in the post-season in recent seasons, and each had losses. Each also has had losses in the post-season that can be traced to sources other than themselves. The bottom line is observers factor in far too heavily playoff victories and losses into the historical assessment of quarterbacks. Brady is great. Manning is great. Brady won three Super Bowls early in his career and has lost in the post-season with two teams – 2007 and this season – many considered Super Bowl favorites. Manning won a Super Bowl and has lost in the post-season with two teams – 2005 and 2009 that many considered Super Bowl favorites. One final thought: judge quarterbacks however you want, but if you judge them strictly based on post-season success, Brady may not have quite the advantage over Manning he did a half-decade ago.