So I was thinking about this, this morning. Good companies have backup plans, most companies I’ve had the oppourtunity to do an internship with, have backup plans. The Indianapolis Colts have not taken the backup situation very seriously for 10 years. New England with Brady, even with Brady, has always taken it seriously. Matt Cassel was eventually traded for a second round pick – classic Belicheck, getting value for a backup quarterback. They have a kid now, Brian Hoyer, he and their other backup quarterback will be traded for draft picks soon. But, even with Brady, they’ve always had a plan.
The Colts have a guy to quarterback in Manning, who’s now had neck surgery…and they didn’t have a backup plan. There were 7 quarterbacks in this past draft, Bill Polian, vice chairman of the Colts said before the draft “quarterback is becoming a concern” when speaking about the backup plan in Indy. They didn’t draft a quarterback, they didn’t take it seriously. I’m sorry, but that shaggy guy from Purdue is not a reasonable backup plan. Has 28 throws, 8 completions in his entire NFL history, that’s not a legitimate backup in the AFC. Heck, that’s not even a legitimate backup in the CFL much less the ACC and I’ll give you an example.
So the Jets go out and get Greg McElroy – which is a brilliant draft, 7th rounder, pay him nothing, Alabama quarterback. Two years in the best conference in college football where he had 37 TD’s and 9 picks – the kid doesn’t make mistakes. Now add to it that there were no OTA’s and no camp, they [Jets] had to find somebody who could pick up the plan quickly, so that if Sanchez in Week 11 gets hurt, somebody can come in and beat the Bills. Greg McElroy is the highest rated quarterback so far in the pre-season; he’s an Ivy League intelligent kid. So it was a really smart move by the Jets, knowing that there are no camps and no OTA’s, they need a high IQ backup quarterback who can come in and just win a game for them or if they play two, go .500. Lose to Miami, beat the Bills…okay, Sanchez is back. It’s actually a really smart move, but the Colts haven’t done that in 10 years.
So I got to thinking about this, this morning. What the Colts have done, Cleveland did with Lebron – they let them own the franchise. I mean Lebron literally was making personnel moves. Peyton Manning, they don’t even call the plays but give him ideas and suggestions, he runs the entire offense. The Lakers have never done that with Kobe. Like do you know how Kobe found out who was the next Laker coach? He watched ESPN; they didn’t give him a heads up. The Yankees don’t do that, when they brought A-Rod over, they said to him “hey, here’s your money…go move to 3rd base” Chicago didn’t do it with MJ. The entire time he was in Chicago, Jerry Krause and Michael Jordan had issues, often. But sometimes in these Indianapolis’s and Cleveland’s – not sexy free agent markets, they seem so behold on the athletes, like there’s a low self-esteem thing like “we’ll never get anything else like this, so we’re just going to hand you the franchise” you can’t do that!
I mean, as great as Peyton Manning is, New England doesn’t hand the franchise to Brady and they’re always drafting backup quarterbacks. I mean, they got mad at Brady and made it public when he trained in California last year, they didn’t suck up to him , they weren’t beholding to him, Belicheck wasn’t happy with him. So it’s funny cause you have to wonder if the socio-economic conditions in these Cleveland’s, Indianapolis’s – and to their credit, Indy isn’t a Cleveland or Detroit socio-economically speaking, it’s plateau, it was a growing city that sort of plateau, but is there this sense in these cities – like coastal cities don’t’ let the athlete run the franchise. The Laker’s would be like “Listen Kobe, go! We’ll just get another superstar here. We’ll go get another superstar” The Yankees are like “Sorry, we’ll go get somebody else” and they’ve had no backup plan. Brian Billick was on ESPN radio on the Scott Van Pelt Show some time ago and talked about this saying “I think it’s a traumatic step for Indianapolis, they have been a team that traditionally has said look we realize that Peyton Manning is so great, so unique, why spend any money at all on the backup because if Peyton goes down we’re dead, what are we going to do? Lose another game? Who cares! We’re dead if Peyton goes down, so why put the money there?”