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Signing Kerry Collins a Horrible Decision For Colts?

It is clear with the signing of recently-unretired, 16-year vet Kerry Collins that Peyton Manning is not nearly recovered enough from offseason neck surgery to compete. If Manning was anywhere close to rehabilitated, he would be on the field, no question.

Curtis Painter hasn’t been a particularly-impressive back-up in the past, but signing Collins may not have been the best move in establishing a new temporary successor.

The Colts’ team is not happy the signing happened so close to the start of the regular season, giving the offense little time to adjust to Collins’ approach. They are also unsure of Collins’ ability to adjust to their style.

Receiver Reggie Wayne made his views perfectly clear, telling media, “We don’t even know him, we ain’t vanilla, man, we ain’t no simple offense. So for him to can come in here and be the starter, I don’t see it. I think that’s a step back.”

Bill Polian, the Colt president, has a soft spot for Collins, having drafted him to the Carolina Panthers in 1995, and coach Jim Caldwell worked with Collins while with Penn State. They are aware of his tendencies and strengths, but haven’t been around him, working with him, for a decade and a half.

Another red flag was Collins’ retirement announcement. The proclamation was abrupt and unexpected as well as cause for concern for his new team. Part of the quarterback’s address to the media said, “my willingness to commit to the preparation necessary to play another season has waned to a level that I feel is no longer adequate to meet the demands of the position.”

This can’t be a positive for a team that for many years succeeded in making the playoffs and only recently began to dip below their regularly-scheduled excellence in performing there. Colts players are certainly remembering this presage of lethargy when making their skeptical comments.

Also, the Colts signed him to a two-year deal. This seems strange for someone so willing to hang up his cleats to commit himself to a franchise for two years. Maybe he is hoping to hold a clipboard and call himself a champion once Manning recovers to full form. Either way, his change of heart certainly leaves some lingering questions.

Collins may make a fine replacement for the interim. His experience leading successful franchises surely doesn’t hurt his case, but the fact that his performance dipped in recent seasons, and his mental and physical willingness to perform has obviously reached its peak doesn’t speak volumes to the Colts’ yearning for a lightening-bolt start to the season.

Any earlier version of this post wrongfully cited Bill Polian as the Colts owner.

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