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Thread: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

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    Default Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Jim Irsay's big gambles


    For now, Indianapolis Colts fans are safely wrapped in the feel-good glow of a new coach who is beating cancer and a new quarterback who has beaten the rookie odds and 11 opponents. Their team has risen from 2-14 to a playoff-bound 11-5. Happy New Era!
    A wonderful holiday story, no doubt -- but one that won't have such a happy football ending. The cold, hard truth: Owner Jim Irsay made a monumental four-year mistake when he ceremoniously cut Peyton Manning last March. And Irsay and his new general manager, Ryan Grigson, compounded that calculated blunder last April by drafting Andrew Luck over Robert Griffin III.

    This, of course, is merely one man's opinion -- mine. But this isn't some hypocritical late hit. I strongly stated these opinions on "First Take" before Irsay cut Peyton and before the Colts took Luck with the No.-1 overall pick. Peyton has proven me extremely right; RG III is proving me so.

    Now a three-pronged specter looms over Luckville. What if the Colts' ChuckStrong roll -- inspired by the recovery of coach Chuck Pagano, who let us all feel his pain -- is stopped by the even stronger mojo of (potentially) Ray Lewis' Last Home Game? What if Peyton's 11-game winning streak hits 13? What if RG III sheds the brace on his miraculously healing knee and his team's seven-game winning streak somehow rises to 10?

    Indy's worst nightmare: Peyton versus RG III in the Super Bowl.

    I, for one, would not be shocked.


    Please, let this sink in: Peyton Manning just went from being cut to being NFL MVP -- an NFL first. He should win that award as well as Comeback Player of the Year over Adrian Peterson because Peyton just went from four neck surgeries -- from being advised to retire by some doctors and being written off by many analysts -- to carrying a new team to the AFC's No. 1 seed. Peyton Manning, who had "lost too much arm strength" early in the season, finished with the NFL's No. 1 QBR at 84.1. No other QB broke 80.
    Yet this man still isn't getting enough credit because now people shrug and say, "Well, what'd you expect from Peyton Manning?" Please, I got laughed at when I predicted in August he'd make the Pro Bowl. Nobody expected anything remotely close to what, under the circumstances, was the greatest season of the greatest regular-season quarterback ever.

    (For the record, I'm no big Peyton fan. I've often criticized him for a 9-10 playoff record -- four home losses -- that hasn't measured up to the high seeds earned by his astonishing 11 double-digit-win seasons in Indy. His one Super Bowl win came against the Bears' Rex Grossman. But now that oddsmakers have made Peyton's new team the Super Bowl favorite, it will be harder than ever to bet against him.)

    Remember, Irsay received little criticism for tearfully parting ways with Dear Old No. 18 -- in part because, classy to the end, Peyton took the high road, turned on his TV-ad charm and publicly returned Irsay's love even though he had to be seething inside.

    My view: Irsay got away with convincing fans and media that Peyton's health was so risky and the salary he'd soon be owed ($28 million) and resulting cap hit ($17 million) were so high that the Colts simply couldn't afford to keep him. Yes, it seemed so dollars and sensible to say thanks but no thanks to Peyton, take the reduced $10.6 million cap hit and use the savings to rebuild around Luck.

    But remember the dueling medical reports that broke during Super Bowl week in Indianapolis? Peyton's camp leaked info from personal doctors who said Peyton would soon be better than ever, prompting Irsay to tweet that Colts doctors still hadn't cleared Peyton. I bought into Peyton's vow that he would play again and his insistence he was right on track to be ready for camp, already doing light throwing. I'm guessing Irsay also feared Peyton was right.

    But, my view: At age 53, Irsay, whose father acquired the Colts when Jim was 14, wanted to remake the Colts in his image. For 14 years they had been Peyton's Team, built and run by legendary GM Bill Polian. But Jim Irsay -- who walked on at SMU during its early-'80s football glory days and who idolizes '60s rock stars -- finally seized the opportunity to become a star in his own right ... the Jerry Jones of the AFC South! He fired Polian, cut Peyton, handpicked Pagano and Grigson and became a philosopher-comedian on Twitter. The Colts are now Jimmy Irsay's team. So far, so great.

    But please don't try to tell me cutting Peyton was about saving just $6.4 million in cap room. Denver GM John Elway jumped at the chance to give Peyton pretty much the same contract he had in Indy. Elway even took on a slightly higher cap hit this year (about $18 mil) than Irsay faced in Indy ($17 mil). Yet Elway still managed to add two receivers Peyton wanted, Jacob Tamme (52 catches for 555 yards) and Brandon Stokley (45 for 544).

    Please, this season Peyton Manning would have been a BARGAIN for the Colts at $28 million. He has been worth twice that in Denver.

    Be honest, Colts fans: Heading into the playoffs, would you rather have Peyton or Luck? Peyton, obviously. Now the tougher question: After what you've seen from Peyton this season, Peyton or Luck for the next three seasons? Sorry, it's Peyton.

    Obviously, he has proven he can take hits and bounce right back up. He will play the next three seasons at 37, 38 and 39. Brett Favre had his greatest season at 40, when he threw 33 touchdown passes to just seven interceptions and carried the Vikings to within an overtime in New Orleans of the Super Bowl.

    Please don't try to convince me Luck sets you up for a much brighter future. In this league, the future must always be now. Four years is an NFL eternity, and Peyton Manning would've given the Colts a better chance to win the Super Bowl this season and each of the next three.

    Sure, you can argue Irsay did Peyton a favor, driving him in the weight room and on the practice field to prove Irsay wrong. But when was Peyton Manning ever not driven? What player has worked harder every one of his offseasons?

    This is where Peyton's comeback is getting unfairly overshadowed by Adrian Peterson's. Peterson often has been portrayed as a weight-room warrior with the most powerful handshake in sports. He ruptured his ACL and MCL a year ago Christmas Eve and, yes, it was a testament to his dedication that he rehabbed it quickly enough to be ready eight months later for the season's start. But given today's surgical breakthroughs, eight months was amazing but not miraculous. Peterson is nine years younger than Peyton. The Vikings obviously didn't consider cutting him. Peterson's comeback wasn't complicated by having to change teams and build wavelengths with new receivers.

    No, Peyton should win Comeback Player and MVP.
    And RG III should win Offensive Rookie of the Year over (in order) Russell Wilson and Luck.

    Luck has had a terrific rookie year. But his seven game-winning drives camouflaged some troubling numbers. His 23 total turnovers (18 interceptions, five lost fumbles) are the NFL's second-worst (to Mark Sanchez) and his 54.1 completion percentage is second-worst among QBs with at least 300 attempts and worst for QBs with at least 400.

    RG III's seven total turnovers (five interceptions, two lost fumbles) are the fewest in the NFL. The fewest! And RG III runs a high-risk, ride-and-decide attack in which split-second decisions must be made to let go of the ball in the running back's hands or pull it back. Griffin went from winning the Heisman at a school without a great football tradition (Baylor) to leading a consensus pick to finish last (Washington) to its first NFC East crown since 1999. He finished sixth in QBR (to Luck's 11th) and fourth in completion percentage.

    Luck is very good. RG III is special. The only long-term advantage Luck might have is durability.

    For now, you certainly can't argue with Luck's playoff-making rookie record. For now Irsay can gloat-tweet his heart out. But ...

    As Pagano says, it was like this season was "meant to be." What if things return to ho-hum normal next season and the Colts must be fueled by perspiration instead of rare inspiration? What if the schedule gets tougher? Eight of this year's 11 wins came against Jacksonville twice, Tennessee twice, Kansas City, Miami, Cleveland and Buffalo.

    Seriously, Colts fans: Peyton or Luck? You know the answer. So does your owner.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Thought this was an...interesting article by the always....interesting Skip Bayless lol

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    RG3 and Manning doing well doesn't mean that Colts going with Luck was a bad decision. There are a lot more variables than just the QBs that separate the 3 teams.

    Skip Bayless is clueless when it comes to sports. I think it was Charles Barkley that took him to task for his lack of basketball knowledge.. Skip's analysis of the sport he is talking about is only skin deep. There is no substance and this article proves he just as clueless in football as he is in basketball.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    I won't read or entertain any idea that comes from Skip Bayless.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Bayless is a professional troll, he's OlBlu on TV.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    BTW, Manning threw a lot of interceptions as a rookie as well. But if Skippy knew football, he'd know that

    And why is he only using a 4 year timetable? Colts have solidified their QB spot for over a decade.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Only skimmed the article but it seems like garbage. The basic premise is wrong, Bayless doesn't know his history.

    Polian was Jim Irsay's guy. Jim hired him. Polian drafted Peyton Manning. Jim Irsay gets credit for the Polian/Manning years.

    Does Bayless not know that Jim Irsay was the GM for a time when his father owned the team? Jim learned from that experience that he didn't have what it takes to make football decisions. That's why he turned to Polian. And it was the right decision.

    Jim Irsay has proven his ability to run the team as an owner. There was no ego involved in firing Polian and releasing Manning. And Irsay made the right decision to replace Polian. The results of last years draft and this seasons record make that obvious.

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    The Doctor's In The House TheDon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    If Skip thinks we made a wrong decision then we almost assuredly made the right one. When has Skip clueless ever been right? Manning would have been murdered and put right back into the situation he was in with his injuries had he stayed here or worse. I don't think Manning holds any sort of grudge against Irsay just a few diehard manning fans around the area that will be singing Luck's praise when he wins his first Super Bowl. I think it worked out well for all involved Manning has a solid line and an amazing defense to back him up to give him chances at more Super Bowls that he deserves, and we solidified our quarterback position AT LEAST for the next decade.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Cuban also ripped Skip apart once.

    Skip Bayless is the stupidest man on TV, and it's not even close.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Skip's trolling, per usual, I think even he knows this is silly. Peyton most likely would not have had the best record in the AFC, let alone gone to the super bowl, with the Colts (anything is possible, but unlikely), even minus the firesale. And RGIII has benefited from a team and system tailored for his abilities. I'm not saying RGIII woudln't have worked here, but he also has a rookie of the year candidate at running back and a brilliant scheme with Mike Shanahan. You can argue he's been better than Luck but Luck has been asked to do more.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    This is just an incredibly dumb article.

    Both sides, Manning and the Colts, are simply better off for what transpired. There can be two winners sometimes.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Let's see...the Jags beat the Colts once, but the Lions were bad so you could add that in instead, but this is supposed to be a professional journalist.
    "It's just unfortunate that we've been penalized so much this year and nothing has happened to the Pistons, the Palace or the city of Detroit," he said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it. They should be ashamed of themselves to let the security be as lax as it is around here."

    ----------------- Reggie Miller

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    I stopped reading when I saw "Skip Bayless."
    "I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right."

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Skip Bayless didn't write this. There's no mention of Tim Tebow being a god.
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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    It's a damn shame what happened to Skip Bayless, he used to be a pretty good writer. Rick Reilly too. Oh well, the ESPN money's worth it I guess.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    You know you should "Skip" when you see an article written by him. I have watched him through many youtube clips on 'First Take' and the sad thing is he probably doesn't believe all the tripe he writes or says. He gets paid to be controversial and stir **** up.
    You **** up once, you lose two teeth

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    I will agree that the Colts would be better with Peyton and that Griffin is a special player, but I'm 100% behind Luck. He's got a lot of growing to do, but so does every rookie. Now that the Colts are out of the playoffs, I can shamelessly root for the Broncos and Peyton to win it all. Its been a pretty great season and I'm definitely looking forward to next year to see how all of our rookies progress. Hopefully our OL will get a bit of an upgrade.


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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Skip is getting torn apart in the comments section, too. Most of America knows he's a mental midget.
    There are two types of quarterbacks in the league: Those whom over time, the league figures out ... and those who figure out the league.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace E.Anderson View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Jim Irsay's big gambles

    Indy's worst nightmare: Peyton versus RG III in the Super Bowl.
    I guess Indy can sleep soundly tonight, eh?

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    Another garbage article by him.

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    Default Re: Jim Irsay's big gambles - ESPN Article by Skip Bayless

    I genuinely feel bad for Peyton and RG3....so I can't really be too happy about a failed Bayless article. Not like he'll stop writing these things.

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