Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
The Colts did Ed Johnson a big disservice the way they handled his release.
Johnson was officially let go Tuesday, and whether the news came out on the timetable the Colts desired or not, it came out.
Johnson was cut last season for violating a zero-tolerance policy in place for him regarding off-the-field issues. He was brought back this season with those same strict guidelines.
Considering the fanfare that greeted his return, that he was a starter since he was reinstated from his Week 1 suspension and that there had been no public questioning of his play, the team had to know a release without explanation was going to prompt suspicions he’d done something wrong off the field.
Coach Jim Caldwell admitted as much when he began to address it Wednesday.
“I know some might wonder whether or not it was a character issue,” he said.
If you knew, coach, why wouldn’t you seek to clarify that it was not as soon as possible? Isn’t that what you would have liked for someone to do for you if you were in a similar circumstance?
The team could have simply put out a statement Tuesday or have word passed down from on high that it was a production issue, not a behavioral one.
Here’s Caldwell’s entire explanation about how the move was tied to the addition of kicker Matt Stover.
“We released Ed Johnson. I know some might wonder whether or not it was a character issue. It was not. We had to take a real good look at our roster and see where we may be able to make an adjustment here or there to get another guy on it. (With) Ed (it) was more production than anything else.
On if rookie defensive tackle Fili Moala will now be in the rotation:
“Yes. Antonio Johnson is still there and Dan Muir along with Fili will rotate along with Eric Foster. We will still have a four-man rotation. I believe he [Moala] will do just like we expect him to do. There are a lot of young guys who come in and step up and are able to do the job, and we expect the same from him. He has shown, the last couple of weeks in particular, he has really come along. He has made some strides. We are going to have an opportunity to get him out there and see what he can do.”
On the reason for the Ed Johnson release:
“It was production or lack thereof.”
On when Adam Vinatieri’s knee injury came about:
“Last week is when the issue arose where it required a MRI and from that, we made a decision on what to do and how to go about it. He wanted to fight through it and continue to go, but we felt this was the best course of action.”