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5 Questions with Stampede Blue

I had the opportunity today to exchange questions with Brad over at Stampede Blue.  Click on the link to see the questions he asked me and my answers.

Here are the questions I sent him with his answers.  

1.  Manning has been criticized for not being able to win the big game dating all the way back to college.  Do you buy into this theory?  Why or why not?

Whenever I get asked this, I always seem to have to get clarification on what the "big game" is, because every time it is asked the "big game" seems to mean different things. I wish people (and this isn't a knock on you because you are repeating a very oft asked question) would just say "Manning has been criticized for not winning A CHAMPIONSHIP." For a while the "big game" was beating the Titans. After that, it was winning a playoff game. After he won a few, it was winning in New England. In any case, it's all rather silly. Peyton Manning has often played well enough to win many playoff games, but the team just hasn't won. QBs do not win or lose games. Teams do. To date, Manning has not played on a team capable of winning a championship.

2.  The same can be said for Tony Dungy.  He could never get over the hump in Tampa and has not been able to do it in Indy.  Does he have what it takes to win a Super Bowl?

Well, luck certainly plays a part. Dungy should have been in the 1999 Super Bowl, but a horrid call late in the game cost TB the chance. The reason the NFL has instant replay again is because of that bad call.  So, luck and timing are often big factors in winning SBs. Look at Gruden. He won it all with Dungy's team, and then promptly sucked it up hard after they won it. In the 4 years since winning the Super Bowl, Gruden has yet to win a playoff game, and has only been back to the playoffs once (last year). I just don't think Tony has caught any breaks. Last year seemed to be it, but the loss of his son distracted him and the team. That's very tough. I think soon he'll coach one, and it will be a big game indeed. No African American coach has ever coached a Super Bowl.

3.  How good was Edgerrin James and how much was it just him being a porduct of the system?  Was losing him in the offseason a huge loss or can Rhodes and Addai be just as effective?

I think Edgerrin James is a potential Hall of Famer. He did benefit from having Manning, Harrison, and the o-line, but Jerry Rice benefited from having guys named Montana and Young throwing him the ball. James was a loss, but Rhodes and Addai have matched his production. To give you an idea of how good Edge is, it takes two different RBs to match his production. No, I do not think he is a product of a system. The team he plays on now stinks. If you don't have quality players around you, you are not going to succeed.

4.  The Colts have always counted on their offense to win games for them.  Is the defense strong enough to win a game that the offense stalls in?

Right now? No. Without DT Corey Simon and S Bob Sanders (both are currently OUT with knee injuries), this team has no chance to win a ring. On offense, they are playing as well as I have ever seen them play. Harrison has been lights out, and Manning is really distributing the ball well. While the Colts secondary has performed well, and they are getting turnovers, the run defense has been putrid. Simon and Sanders are key to that run defense. The Colts must get them back 100% healthy in time for the playoffs if they are to have a chance.

5.  Were Colts fans glad to see Mike Vanderjagt leave town?

I was! Mike was a fine kicker, but if anyone on the Colts truly deserved the label "choker" it was Vandy. He cost the Colts two playoffs games by missing two gimme FGs, one in OT against Miami and lost year against Pittsburgh. The problem with Mike is he's paid a lot of money to just kick FGs. He can't kickoff (because he sucks at it). So, when you see all that money poured into a guy whose sole job it is to hit the ball through the upright, you expect him to deliver. Mike didn't.

Thanks to Brad for answering these questions and stay tuned this week for a lot of cross-blogging between our two sites.