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New Man, Same Plan: Will Colts’ New Offensive Co. Change Peyton Manning?
Posted By Ryan Cook On June 6, 2010 @ 4:01 am In Colts News | No Comments
It’s not very often we use the words “change” and “Peyton Manning” in the same sentence.
It seems that when it comes time to criticize Peyton Manning, no one seems to be able to dig up much of an argument in regards to what No. 18 can improve on.
As a fan of the game, watching Peyton Manning is like watching a magician perform a delightful array of eye-dazzling tricks.
You know he is capable of just about everything, but you never know exactly what Peyton Manning is going to pull out of the bag until you hear his booming voice take over your TV’s speakers.
During the 16-20 times a year I am privileged to witness Peyton Manning play, I treasure every moment. I wasn’t a fan of the NBA when Michael Jordan was in his prime, so I feel that I must soak up every moment that Peyton Manning has under centre, and witness every play of brilliance with which this man gifts us.
In recent years, it’s always been the same style of football from Peyton Manning. Accurate passes to decide games, along with well-timed deep balls to the likes of Marvin Harrison, or nowadays Reggie Wayne, that results in yet another Indianapolis touchdown.
No, change in game style simply hasn’t featured in Peyton Manning’s vocabulary. That is, until now.
In case you have been living under a rock recently, or have been swept up in the LeBron James free agency debate, Indianapolis has hired a new offensive coordinator.
To Colts fans, this is old news, as newly appointed offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen is now in his fourth month of coaching the Colts offense, after serving a lengthy period as Indiapolis’ wide receiver coach.
However, although this move in staff has gone under the radar a little, some questioning has risen to the surface in regards to whether or not Clyde Christensen may change Peyton Manning’s play significantly this season.
Perhaps it is my old school football beliefs shining through, but for a quarterback who is as precise and consistent as Peyton Manning, isn’t hiring a new offensive coordinator like Clyde Christensen similar to changing a pair of socks for Peyton Manning?
It isn’t a move that happens every day, but realistically hiring a new offensive coordinator only further leaves the Colts offense in Peyton Manning’s trustworthy hands.
Like I mentioned earlier, Peyton Manning’s voice often takes over speakers. Before every play, the words “Red 82″ or something fairly similar are heard, indicating that Peyton Manning is once again calling an audible and pointing out a severe weakness in an opposing team’s defense.
Does it work? Well how about we ask Peyton Manning’s 33 touchdowns in 2009 if his strategies pay dividends for the Indianapolis Colts?
Aside from what Peyton Manning does on the field though, he has been rather quiet on this issue. It is not in his nature to draw attention to an issue, and although this situation has been blown out of proportion a little, head coach Jim Caldwell has been relatively outspoken.
“It’s probably much like my taking over for Tony (Dungy after the 2008 season),” Caldwell said. “Clyde’s been there for eight years, knows the system very well, and really influences what we do.”
So the question must be asked, does this change affect Peyton Manning at all?
Well as Vic Carruci writes, “Manning could work with just about anybody and still be an elite quarterback. Greatness is greatness, and nothing is going to change that.”
This statement I think 90 percent of fans agree with, as a multiple time Pro Bowler, MVP award winner and Super Bowl winner surely won’t be affected by a mere change on the sidelines that results in a different voice being heard under Peyton’s helmet.
For Peyton Manning, the NFL is his world. He more or less is the face of the NFL, and no coordinator, coach, or player will ever change that.
If one thing is to perhaps come from this situation, it may be the very opposite. Aside from focusing on the negative that could come from this move, isn’t it more appropriate to focus on the positive?
Sure Peyton Manning is a well-equipped quarterback, but wouldn’t it be more exciting to see him try and reinvent himself this season, rather than going out week after week and playing the same old style of dominating football?
I know I, for one, would be in favor of that.
To relate back to Carruci’s quote from NFL.com, maybe Peyton could fit in just about anywhere, but we have yet to see him suit up for another team and try to deliver in a new town.
However, as long as Peyton is living in a blue-and-white world, things don’t seem to be changing anytime soon. He is the true master of this business, and no Double Stuf Oreo-eating contest with Eli Manning can change that.
As for Clyde Christensen, he has had more than enough experience with Peyton Manning over the years.
It is not like Clyde is a young and inexperienced coach who is placing a big “S” on his back and attempting to play Superman and turn Peyton Manning’s career around.
Add new coaches, or take the entire staff away, Peyton Manning would still find a way to win. It’s predictable, yes, but it’s simply in Peyton Manning’s makeup to dominate, take over, and get the job done.
Some say that Clyde Christensen is along for the ride, while I say that the ride is far from over, and has many destinations ahead of it.
Peyton Manning is great, and it is not a matter of outdoing other quarterbacks. He is already the epitome of what every quarterback is compared to, so why should Peyton have a negative season?
Exactly, he won’t.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for the Bleacher Report  . He is also an NFL writer for Real Sports Net  , and Green Bay Packer writer for Fan Huddle  and PackerChatters  . Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter  .
Read more Indianapolis Colts  news on BleacherReport.com
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