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If I Were The Colts Gm


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1. Peyton Manning should have a job with the Colts for "life", period. When he is no longer able to play, he should be the QB Coach and/or Offensive Coordinator. But I'm pretty sure that is several years down the line. He will do whatever it takes to get back on the field in 2012. As far as the bonus coming up in March, I would try to re-negotiate it to ensure a quality team will be available to back him up; that is in his and the team's best interests. I think winning is more important to him than money in the short-term.

2. Dan Orlovsky has shown he is a capable back-up QB; Curtis Painter has shown he is not. So now we need to find a third-string QB who could be mentored (by Manning) into a starter in 3-5 years. There is no way to keep Manning and pay Andrew Luck (or another top pick) to sit on the bench for several years.

3. We need to re-sign Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Reggie Wayne, preferably before the draft. We should also try to re-sign Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, and Jeff Saturday.

4. I would trade our #1 pick overall. We could probably get a player and/or multiple draft picks this year and next. Our immediate needs are running backs, defensive tackles, outside linebackers, offensive linemen, and cornerbacks; not all of this can be accomplished thru the draft. A running game is very important to take the pressure off the passing game, and to control the clock.

5. I would try to draft Chandler Harnish (QB, Northern Illinois Univ.) in the third or fourth round. He went to Norwell High School in the Bluffton, Indiana area. He is intelligent, set season and career records in both high school and college, and of outstanding character. He is a mobile QB, more in the mold of a Michael Vick or Tim Tebow; a real winner. He would be perfect for our third-string QB (this assumes Tim Tebow is not offered as part of a trade).

6. I would keep Jim Caldwell as Head Coach. This past season proved how valuable Manning is to the Colts, and no team could have overcome the loss of his Hall-of-Fame performance and leadership. You can't blame that on the coach. But I would try to get Jeff Fisher as Defensive Coordinator (and possible future Head Coach).

All-in-all, the Colts are one of the best teams in the NFL. Bill Polian did a great job in evaluating talent, negotiating contracts, and balancing needs versus financing under the salary cap. He will be missed more than Jim Irsay can imagine.

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