Now that Payton is Payton again will the Colts win it all?


In discussing the attempt to return to the game of Mike Vick, Payton Manning described the problems he had just by missing training camp last year due to an infection in his knee. He said it took him until the middle of the season to really get the timing and feel of the pocket back. The statistics prove it. Prior to game 9 Payton threw 9 ints and 10 TDs. From game 9 to the end of the season he threw 17 TDs and only 3 picks.

The Colts are just beginning to see their window to the Super Bowl start to close. Payton is 33. He is the key to the Colts offense. Two of his critical protectors are on the wrong side of 30 as well. All pro C Jeff Saturday is 34 and RT Ryan Diem is 33. WR Marvin Harrison is gone. The Colts will only go as far as their O takes them.

Payton is poised to have his typical MVP quality season. He will miss WR Harrison but has Reggie Wayne to run deep patterns and former 3rd WR Anthony Gonzalez and always reliable TE Dallas Clark to run underneath routes. The battle … Read more at FryingPanSports

Two names you may not recognize are the biggest losses the Colts have suffered this offseason.


Howard Mudd

OLine coach Howard Mudd and O Coordinator Tom Moore have retired. While neither has told the press why they picked this time to retire, the cause may be the change in the retirement program discussed a few weeks ago in this column.

Mudd is the best OLine coach in the league. He has been responsible for more new concepts in pass protection and run blocking than the rest of the league combined. The way you can see how talented a line coach is shows best as he incorporates new players. In the Mudd era the Colts have reworked the line several times. In just the last couple of seasons, Mudd has been able to replace all pro players at LT and guard with very little change in productivity of the O. Two seasons ago, Mudd had to bring rookie Tony Ugoh in to play LT. I thought that it would hurt QB Payton Manning’s numbers but Ugoh fit in perfectly and the Colts moved on like nothing had changed. When perenial all pro C Jeff Saturday went down with an injury, Mudd filled the spot of his O line signal caller with

In 08, starting RG FA … Read more at FryingPanSports

Niblets from around the net for 4/18/09

Fryingpan Sports By Bill Smith


Best Email this week:

from TheonlyJustice on Mangini seems to be eliminating the leaders on the Browns.

I would feel a little better if Mangini was at least talking to the media a little .I can understand a new coach wanting to keep quiet a little bit about the off season and pre-draft goings-on, but all we have heard here in the Cleveland area is very little and less.

He has already turned off our best defensive player from last year Shaun Rogers. And he isn’t sure if he should use the 3-4 or 4-3 defense , has he looked at the films from last season? We DO NOT have the right linebackers or speed at D-End to keep the same D as Romeo used. And he is saying Derek and Brady will have to compete for the #1 QB, we in C Town are fed up with QB completions after one has had a chance to prove himself and for most of the time didn’t pass the test, Derek fooled the other teams for the first half of the 2007 season, and looked terrible last season. Anderson has a strong arm, but he Read more at FryingPanSports

Smith's election as Executive Director of the NFLPA is great news for NFL fans.

Fryingpan Sports

Smith’s election as Executive Director of the NFLPA is great news for NFL fans.

By Bill Smith

The NFL Players Association announced that attorney DeMorris Smith had been elected Executive Director unanimously by the team Player Reps. This is very good news for all NFL fans. It seems that the Reps have selected a moderate in Smith over the extreme positions of the other leading candidates.

Troy Vincent and Trace Armstrong were the best known candidates to fill the very large shoes of Gene Upshaw. Both of them were campaigning on a platform of a very hard line position against the NFL. Both had reportedly promised the players that they were the candidate that could finally bring guaranteed contracts to the NFL players. That would create a long and ugly strike/lockout that could cost the NFL several seasons. If the owners folded first, it would have created a league that would make Major League Baseball look organized.

While Smith’s positions on league issues are widely unknown, he has not made any overt public statements about what concessions he would demand from the league.

The NFLPA website says the following about Smith:

Smith, 45, is a trial lawyer and Read more at FryingPanSports

Kurt Warner is my 2008 MVP—Most Valuable Person

Frying Pan Sports

Kurt Warner is my 2008 MVP—Most Valuable Person

By Bill Smith

Technorati Tags: NFL,Kurt Warner,MVP,Football,Arizona,Terrorism,WW3,St. Louis,Rams,New York,Giants,Manning,Cardinals,Colts,Browns,Cleveland,Draft,First Things First


OK, I will admit, I am a Kurt Warner fan. I even included him in a novel I wrote Terrorism—Fighting WW3 about a conservative Arizona Governor that runs for President. So right up front, I admit my bias.

I was watching the 1999 expansion draft for Cleveland and dropped my coffee cup on the floor when I saw Warner’s name as available from the Rams. I had seen him play in NFL Europe and a little in college. I was heart-sick when the Cleveland Tans failed to pick him. Even then, at the very least I felt he could be a great backup that would develop into a starter. But the Tans brain trust in their infinite wisdom passed on Warner and used the first overall pick for Tim “I’m now on the” Couch. Bad move!

That same preseason, the Tans could have traded picks to Indy for RB Marshall Faulk and given the team an offensive combination that would have been special. Didn’t that same combo is St. Louis win a Super Bowl that year? … Read more at FryingPanSports