The only story with the Indianapolis Colts is Peyton Manning

Just so you know, the Colts have made a few major changes this offseason.

Bill and Chris Polian are gone. In their place is new general manager Ryan Grigson, formerly a member of the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office.

Oh, and former coach Jim Caldwell also is out of town. The new guy? Chuck Pagano, who spent the 2011 season as the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator. Word is he plans to do away with the Colts’ familiar Tampa 2 defense and install a hybrid 3-4 scheme.

The Colts have some new coordinators too, you know. Bruce Arians, who was the team’s quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000 and previously served as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is back in Indy to conduct the offense (Clyde Christensen isn’t gone, though. He’s quarterbacks coach now). Greg Manusky, who in 2011 was the San Diego Chargers’ defensive coordinator, now has that position here.

Any other offseason, these would be HUGE stories that would command their own blog posts. But this offseason? We hardly have heard a peep from or about any of these guys. There’s only one story surrounding the Indianapolis Colts right now: the very public dilemma between Peyton Manning and owner Jim Irsay that eventually will lead to the four-time MVP’s exit from town.

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Colts Owner Tweets: New Coach to be Named Next week

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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay seems to break a lot of news on his Twitter account. All season long, it was the source for breaking news on Peyton Manning health/potential future with the organization. And now the tweets tell us the Colts will have a new head coach in place next week.

Irsay made the announcement on his Twitter account Saturday.

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Why Does Andy Reid Still Have a Job?

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The Indianapolis Colts announced the firing of head coach Jim Caldwell yesterday in light of a 2-14 record, minus the talents of Peyton Manning, who has been out all season due to neck surgery. While the Colts’ 2011 season is just plain sad, the firing of Caldwell makes this football fan wonder (yet again) why other head coaches such as the Philadelphia Eagles’ Andy Reid keeps his job after not just one, but many suck-tacular seasons.

Guest post from Kent Page McGroarty

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Indianapolis Colts’ New GM Faces Decision on Jim Caldwell

We’re nearly five days into the Ryan Grigson era in Indianapolis, and the Colts’ new general manager should be about ready to make the call on the first of many crucial decisions this offseason.

Grigson, the former director of player personnel with the Philadelphia Eagles and an Indiana native (Purdue alum), is expected to decide either today or in the next couple of days whether to retain incumbent head coach Jim Caldwell or to complete the housecleaning and move forward with his own guy.

With huge decisions looming later in the offseason, particularly whether to keep or release quarterback Peyton Manning and whether to do the same (or re-sign) so many high-profile Colts players, the Caldwell decision might seem simple. It’s not, though, and it could have an effect on some of those decisions down the road.

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Eventful Two Days Lead to Clean House for Indianapolis Colts

Wow. Never mind suggesting what an emotionally draining season 2011 has been for the Indianapolis Colts.

The last two days have been taxing enough.

Entering Sunday’s season finale at Jacksonville, the Colts were a once-proud franchise fallen from grace, a putrid roster bereft of its four-time MVP quarterback to mask its deficiencies and a trainwreck of an organization at the hands of Bill and Chris Polian.

By sundown Monday, the franchise was swept clean of Polian reign, had entered the market for a new general manager and now appears set to move forward with a new vision, very possibly with a promising young signal-caller.

The Colts’ loss to the Jaguars netted Indy the No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft, and Colts owner Jim Irsay made it official the next day that Bill Polian, who has had quite the run as an executive in Indianapolis and elsewhere, and his son Chris, the team’s general manager, would be relieved of their duties with the organization.

What a couple of days.

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Indianapolis Colts Make Changes Before Annual New England Game

After falling to 0-11 on the 2011 NFL season last Sunday in a 27-19 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts’ brass on Wednesday resorted to what could be the first of many — MANY — changes for the free-falling franchise.

Flanked by front office leaders Bill and Chris Polian, Colts coach Jim Caldwell announced that defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, whom Caldwell replaced Ron Meeks with after being promoted to head coach in 2009, had been dismissed and that long-time linebackers coach Mike Murphy would assume defensive coordinator duties for the rest of the season.

Caldwell also announced a move that many thought might have come much sooner: Dan Orlovsky will replace Curtis Painter as Indy’s starting quarterback when it faces arch-rival New England (8-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Obviously, changes needed to be made within the Colts organization. And don’t think more aren’t on the way.

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Curtis Painter Gets His Shot with Indianapolis Colts against Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last Thursday I called for and expected Curtis Painter to be the Indianapolis Colts’ starting quarterback for tonight’s prime-time affair with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at Raymond James Stadium.

He indeed will get such an opportunity.

With previous starter Kerry Collins still experiencing concussion-like symptoms, Colts coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Painter, a third-year player out of Purdue, would get the nod for the team’s lone appearance on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this season.

What to make of this decision? It could result in a very telling outing by the Colts one way or the other.

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Indianapolis Colts Suffer Ugly Loss to Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts fans now have an idea of what life is like without Peyton Manning in a meaningful game.

And it’s not a pretty idea.

The Colts opened the 2011 NFL season in quite an ugly fasihon, falling 34-7 to the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Texans scored all of their 34 points in the first half.

One thing is for certain: this season will test the patience of the Colts’ fan base.

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Addressing Indianapolis Colts Concerns in 2011 Offseason

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Now that I have established my position on the Jim Caldwell issue, it’s time to look at what the Colts should address this coming offseason.

Obviously, the personnel decisions begin with quarterback Peyton Manning, whose $98 million contract is due to expire. Colts owner Jim Irsay has repeatedly expressed his desire to make Manning a Colt for life and the league’s highest-paid player.

That ultimately will happen.

By Drew Allen

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Indianapolis Colts Are Right to Stick with Jim Caldwell

More than a week removed from the Indianapolis Colts’ season-ending 17-16 loss to the New York Jets in a wild-card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium, much has been made about why the team did not advance further into the postseason and about what it should do this offseason.

A good portion of those discussions has involved Colts coach Jim Caldwell and his questionable timeout with 29 seconds remaining in the game. The Jets were aiming to get in field-goal range, and Caldwell’s timeout was followed by New York quarterback Mark Sanchez’s 18-yard pass down the sideline to receiver Braylon Edwards that set up kicker Nick Folk’s game-winning 32-yard field goal. Folk had been shaky at best from long range all season.

The timeout drew the ire of Colts fans, many of whom began calling for Caldwell to be fired immediately after the loss.

Let’s be frank. That’s not going to happen this offseason.

By Drew Allen

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Indianapolis Colts in Playoffs Again

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Here they are again.

An Adam Vinatieri field goal as time expired Sunday gave the Indianapolis Colts a 23-20 victory against Tennessee at Lucas Oil Stadium, a 10-6 record in 2010, the AFC South title and the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Colts, who tied the Dallas Cowboys’ long-standing record by securing their ninth consecutive postseason berth, will play host to the New York Jets at 8 p.m. Saturday in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game.

Indianapolis is not unaccustomed to being the No. 3 seed in the AFC; the Colts began the playoffs from that slot in 2003 and 2004 before season-ending losses to New England and won the Super Bowl from the third seed in the 2006 postseason.

What the franchise — or maybe just everyone else — might have been unaccustomed to was the way Indy had to get there. So much of what the Colts did down the stretch to ultimately wind up in their familiar position was quite unconventional when considering the team’s history over the last decade.

Let’s look more closely:

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Indianapolis Colts Achieve Normality through Abnormality

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And just like that, all is back to normal in the AFC South … kinda.

With their 34-24 win against Jacksonville on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts improved to 8-6 and moved into a tie for first place in the division they have dominated for much of the last decade. Indianapolis now controls its own destiny for a ninth consecutive playoff berth.

All seems normal. However, the way the Colts restored such normalcy was, well, abnormal.

How so? Check it out.

By Drew Allen

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