Reviewing a wild week in Colts country

Posted Dec. 23, 2011 @ 5:27 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

What a wild week it has been for the Colts.

After going 14 weeks without a victory, Indianapolis has logged two wins in five days over divisional foes.

So much for "Suck for Luck."

If the Colts lose at Jacksonville in Week 17, they still would be the winner of the "Andrew Luck derby." But the way this team has rallied the past two weeks, beating the Jaguars seems quite possible, which could potentially position the Rams or Vikings to leapfrog the Colts for the No. 1 pick.

After his club's dramatic 19-16 victory over the Texans, head coach Jim Caldwell talked about a team that has finally found its identity.

But behind the scenes, the Colts continue to demonstrate that they are an organization with myriad issues.

Two days before the victory over the Texans, tensions mounted at a Caldwell press conference, when a Colts PR representative engaged in a shouting match with a reporter regarding access to Colts vice chairman Bill Polian. Polian then made an impromptu appearance, but only fed the perception that people in the organization are not on the same page. When asked by a reporter if Manning wouldn't practice again this season, a clearly annoyed Polian responded, "I never said that."

The reporter quickly pointed out that Caldwell, supposedly the one voice for the team during the season, had just finished saying during his press conference that Manning wouldn't practice this season.

Another example of discord came 48 hours later, this time between owner Jim Irsay and Polian. Irsay told NFL Network, "I think if the situation is where (Manning's) back and he's healthy, then I see him come back and play here."

That was a different tune than Polian sung on his radio show earlier in the week, when he hinted at Manning perhaps not being back with the club.

Said a source close to the situation: "When you think about the disconnect between Manning and Bill (Polian) earlier this year — add a similar scenario with Reggie (Wayne). Jim (Caldwell) has the trust of the players but I'm not so sure about Bill."

Could Irsay pull the plug on Caldwell and/or the Polians after the season? That answer likely will come shortly after the season ends, but we hear there is a growing sentiment that change could be a good thing.

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