Friday, June 5, 2009
Colts moving forward with new staff
By Paul Kuharsky
INDIANAPOLIS -- The fate of two retired Indianapolis Colts assistants who could still return as consultants remains cloudy. But Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said he is now comfortable with the resulting changes.
On May 26, Manning said he was upset with the lack of communication regarding the altered coaching staff. Two longtime assistants who worked closely with Manning, offensive coordinator Tom Moore and offensive line coach Howard Mudd, have retired to ensure they could collect their pensions in a lump sum. But owner Jim Irsay has said he expects the two to return as consultants.
Meanwhile, the team began its three-day mandatory minicamp Friday and is moving forward with Clyde Christensen as coordinator and Pete Metzelaars coaching the line.
Asked who would call the plays if Moore returns, Colts coach Jim Caldwell said that has yet to be determined and that he's working with what he has now.
"One of the things that I want to try to stay away from and one of the things that I think is important is, we've got to deal with the here and now," Caldwell said. "There are so many things with that question, there are so many uncertainties in regard to what can and can't be done. So I tend not to want to tread in that water at this moment."
When he took over for the retired Tony Dungy, Caldwell moved to change his defensive coordinator and special teams coach. The franchise knew what was going on with Moore and Mudd and was sympathetic to their concerns. But the timing and the way things unfolded left the club in an awkward position.
"You better be able to adjust," Caldwell said. "You have to adjust to so many different scenarios and so many different situations on a daily basis, that it requires an open mind and a guy that can be somewhat flexible."
Manning said after talks with Caldwell and team president Bill Polian, he feels in the loop and ready to move forward.
"I don't totally understand it all, but I do know that Jim Caldwell has a plan, as he told me, kind of for the either-or scenario and that plan sounds good to me and I'll be there to support him in whatever direction we go," Manning said.
"No matter how it all plays out, I feel we will be in a good situation, that Coach Caldwell will handle it, make the changes accordingly and then all I can do is focus on my job and try to be the best quarterback I can be."
Paul Kuharsky covers the AFC South for ESPN.com.