Collins signing should worry Colts fans

Quarterback Kerry Collins throws a pass against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 18, 2010....

Quarterback Kerry Collins throws a pass against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 18, 2010. (DARON DEAN/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:53 AM ET

TORONTO - Just about the worst news that could hit Indianapolis Colts fans happened Wednesday when the team came to terms with veteran quarterback Kerry Collins.

Nothing against Collins, but what it means is that the Colts are covering their behind in the event that Peyton Manning is unable to start the season.

Currently, Manning is recovering from neck surgery performed in late May and the belief was always that he would be ready in time for the Colts opening game at Houston on Sept. 11.

But now the chance of the Colts starting the season without Manning is more of a reality than a nightmarish possibility.

Without Manning, the Colts are a bottom-feeder. They have no running game and their defence that can’t stop the run. Without Manning they are more like the Buffalo Bills than they are a playoff contender.

In a statement released by the team, head coach Jim Caldwell stated: “It is a good opportunity to have Kerry become part of the team. He is a veteran quarterback who has started many games and he brings dimension and depth to the quarterback position, which will be helpful. He is familiar with our division and will make a great addition to our roster.”

Collins, 38, had announced his retirement in July and although he had quarterbacked the Giants to the 2001 Super Bowl, he is in no way, at his advanced years, in the same league as Manning.

However, he should be an upgrade over the three Indy backups — Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Mike Hartline.

Last season, with Tennessee, Collins made seven starts and threw for 1,823 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

In his career ,he has thrown for 40,441 yards with 206 TDs and 195 interceptions.

But he is no Peyton Manning and that spells nothing but trouble for the Colts and their fans.

Mum's the word

While the Colts are wringing their hands with worry, out on the west coast new San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has yet to come out and name his starting quarterback.

The Niners induced free agent Alex Smith to re-up for one year — not a popular move by their fans — so Harbaugh not yet endorsing Smith qualifies as something of a surprise.

“I just don’t have any pressure on myself to name a starting quarterback in a timetable manner,” Harbaugh told reporters.

Smith has started both of Frisco’s preseason games and even though he has yet to set the field on fire — he has yet to lead the team to a touchdown — he seemed to be a shoo-in over rookie Colin Kaepernick, a second-round draft pick.

Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, has never lived up to that billing and has gone 19-31 as a starter in his career with San Francisco.

When asked when he’d name his starter, Harbaugh replied: “Before the first game.”

If you happen to be Smith, that’s not a confidence builder.

Jack's G-Man

In Jacksonville, Jack Del Rio had no hesitation naming veteran David Garrard as his No. 1 QB over rookie Blaine Gabbert.

Gabbert is clearly the Jaguars’ quarterback of the future but, in the short term, Del Rio is comfortable to stick with Garrard who last season threw for 2,734 yards and 23 touchdowns against just 15 interceptions. Garrard, though, has not been able to take the Jaguars to the next level.

In the opening two preseason games, Gabbert has shown he has the ability , connecting on 20 of 39 passes for 181 yards while Garrard has gone 7-for-12 for 99 yards.

While sticking with Garrard, Del Rio is also looking for results.

“We need more efficiency offensively and certainly the trigger man plays a large role in that,” Del Rio said.

“We have the same system, we have the same quarterback, we have the same players. We should expect to play at a higher level. I expect us to play at a higher level and now would be a good time.”

In other words, Garrard is under the gun.

No meeting of minds

The Tennessee Titans had their pow-wow with disgruntled running back Chris Johnson on Wednesday and they agreed to disagree.

“I’m not sure there was any progress made, but I do think it was beneficial to meet,” Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt said.

“We were able to discuss several different elements of a potential contract, but there was no agreement on those topics. I do expect to have another conversation in the next day or so to discuss things further.”

Johnson, a three-time Pro Bowler, has refused to report to camp, feeling he is underpaid and desiring a new contract despite having two years remaining on his current one.

Boomer lowers boom on Tebow

It seems that every other day, there is someone hammering away on Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos wannabe quarterback.

ESPN’s Merril Hoge has been extremely harsh with his criticism this training camp and now former quarterback and CBS analyst Boomer Esiason has decided to chime in — or pile on — as well.

“He can’t play. He can’t throw,” Esiason told USA Today. “I’m not here to insult him. The reality is he was a great college football player, maybe the greatest college football player of his time. But he’s not an NFL quarterback right now. Just because he’s God-fearing, and a great person off the field, and was a winner with the team that had the best athletes in college football, doesn’t mean his game is going to translate to the NFL.

“What Josh McDaniels saw in him, God only knows,” Esiason said. “Maybe God does know — because the rest of us don’t.”


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