ColtPower Quick Hits

National sportswriter stands up for Manning ... one player starts lobbying publicly for Edgerrin James to join his team ... a former Colt heads back to the NFL, but this time as as a coach ... and much more in today's Quick Hits!

Make sure the next time someone mentions Stuart Scott at ESPN, you mention how brilliant he is. A fan wrote to him wanting to know if it was time to start calling Peyton Manning a choker after all the playoff appearances he's had without a trip to the Super Bowl. Scott replied, "Stop hating ... Last I heard Manning didn't play Pittsburgh by himself. It's a team game. There's never been another quarterback who directs an offense quite like Peyton does. He's the best QB in the NFL."

So there you have it. Well said, Stuart.

For all of you folks who enjoy the draft, we're starting to line up interviews so you can get to know the players better. That always make the draft experience more fun and personal. If all goes well, we hope to have a couple of guys from Michigan State, one from Oklahoma, and another from North Dakota to get things started.

Speaking of Michigan State, former Colts quarterback Doug Nussmeier has spent the last three seasons there as the Spartans' quarterbacks coach. But this season, Nussmeier, who was with Indianapolis during Peyton Manning's rookie year in 1998, is heading back to the NFL. He's accepted a job as the quarterbacks coach for the Rams. St. Louis' new head coach, Scott Linehan, was Nussmeier's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Idaho during Nussmeier's junior and senior year there.

A former Colts coach, Rick Venturi, is also joining the Rams coaching staff. He was most recently the defensive coordinator for the Saints but will be the assistant head coach and linebackers coach with the Rams. Venturi was a member of the Colts coaching staff from 1982 through 1993. He coached under four different head coaches before being asked to be the interim head coach in 1991 for eleven games when Ron Meyer was fired. Venturi was retained by Ted Marchibroda when he came back to the team in 1992, but left following the '93 season. has set their AFC Championship and Super Bowl odds for the 2006 season already. The Colts are 2-1 favorites to win the AFC and 4-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots and Chargers are listed second for the AFC Championship, both at 6-1 odds. The Steelers are listed at 9-2. But after the Colts, the oddsmakers are picking the Steelers at 8-1 as the next most likely team to win it all next January.

Wrapping up today's Quick Hits is a link to a column that appeared on Monday at In For Cards, pursuing Edgerrin James is a must sent shivers down my spine for two reasons. One, I hate to think about James playing for another team. But what makes it even worse in my mind is the thought of him languishing out in Arizona. According to the article, quarterback Kurt Warner is already lobbying for the team to bring James to Arizona. The scary part is that the Cards are projected to be roughly $20 million under the cap. So they've got the dough to throw at him.


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