Manning Tops The List

Peyton Manning selected as the best player in the NFL heading into 2006, an update on a former Colts wide receiver with a unique history, Jeff Fisher on former Colts linebacker David Thornton and more in today's Colts Quick Hits!

Manning tops the list:  Pete Prisco at Sportsline.com has now published his list of the top 50 players in the NFL for the six years. And while he talks about how being listed near the top of the list can be fleeting due to injuries, age, and other factors, he is quick to point out that the Colts Peyton Manning has now topped his list for the third consecutive season. "A lot of people will argue with this choice, but his remains the most important position. When he finally does win a Super Bowl, he will finally get his due," Prisco writes. Check out the full list by clicking this link.  The other Colts who made the list include Marvin Harrison (#11) and Dwight Freeney (#16), although neither one is ranked as the best at their position by Prisco.

Clueless or just classless?
Bob Kuechenberg, a member of the 1972 Dolphins recently showed himself to be one of those Miami players who can't reflect on their tremendous 17-0 achievement without making themselves look a bit classless. While the Colts obviously fell short of the Dolphins' achievement when they lost a game after a magnificent 13-game run, they didn't deserve the disrespect that Kuechenberg dished out with this recent statement at the Columbia Daily Tribune.

"Obviously, the world learned last year that the Colts were not contenders, but rather pretenders because they lost not once, not twice, but three times without winning one playoff game," he said.

Kuechenberg's point is well taken that the Colts fell short not only by failing to notch their 14th regular season game, but also by failing to beat the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Steelers, in their playoff matchup. But his reference to their multiple losses during the regular season makes him look petty, or perhaps a bit clueless, since the Colts benched their starters once the winning streak was broken. Toss in the fact that the Colts were dealing with the tragic loss of Tony Dungy's son during that stretch, and Kuechenberg's chest-beating statement over some additional, meaningless losses during the regular season makes him look insensitive to boot.

Titans excited about Thornton, Calico: Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher has been watching veteran free agent David Thornton during the team's offseason workouts during the month of May and really likes what he is seeing out of the former Colt.

"It's the speed and his closing ability.  If the ball is caught he arrives very, very quickly," Fisher said. " That's what we wanted, that's the missing link that we needed on defense was just the speed and the closing ability.  You're not going to make every play.  You're not going to stop people from completing passes, but if you can minimize gains as quickly as you can, that gives a chance to lineup and play again."

During a preseason game back in 2004 against the Cowboys, Titans wide receiver Tyrone Calico injured both of his knees. And even though he was back in action in 2005, the general consensus was that the talented receiver wasn't yet back up to speed. But so far during the Titans' offseason workouts, head coach Jeff Fisher likes what he's seeing in regards to Calico's speed and route-running.

"Physically you see no signs of the injuries," he said. "He's working hard, catching the ball and doing fine."

Where are they now?  Former Colts wide receiver Tracy Porter has a fairly unique history with the Colts franchise. His two-year career with the team fell over the historic span where the Colts spent their final year in Baltimore (1983) and their inaugural season in Indianapolis (1984). Originally drafted by the Lions out of LSU, Porter's NFL career was cut short by injuries. During his two seasons as a Colt, Porter appeared in all 32 regular season games, catching 67 passes for 974 yards (14.5 yards/catch) and two touchdowns. Today, Porter is the owner of a successful brokerage firm in California.


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