Losing season makes Colts appreciate Manning

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Losing season makes Colts appreciate Manning

FOXBORO -- As if the Indianapolis Colts didn't appreciate Peyton Manning already.

Everyone knows just how good he is. And so far this season, everyone knows just how bad the Colts are without him.

Just ask Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday.

"It definitely makes me appreciate winning more," said Saturday in a conference call on Wednesday. "But Peyton, obviously man, you can't respect a player more than I respect him anyway. So, I've been with the guy 13 years. I know how hard he works. I know what a good player he is, and how valuable he is to our football team.

"On top of all that, to see a player face this type of injury, this isn't something you get over in a week or two. This has been a major process. And so, anytime you're watching a player goes through something as substantial as this, your heart goes out to him. This is the way God created us, to play this game. And he loves playing it, and he couldn't have more fun doing it. I feel for him in that regard, as much as a teammate."

The Colts enter Sunday's game in New England with an 0-11 record. It was supposed to be the Sunday night game of the week. Instead, it was flexed out to a local 1 p.m. start time.

Not because of the Patriots, of course. But because of, well, Curtis Painter.

It's made for a season that, without Manning, has been awfully tough to deal with.

"We've had a number of vets, myself included, who have encouraged the guys to understand that, you're putting your resume out there every time you walk on that field," said Saturday. "And every time you take this role, you better be playing as good football as you possibly can. That's what a professional does. Pros stand up, even when it's the worst times.

"And that's what we're in. We haven't won a game. We've done a lot to ourselves to hurt ourselves, with making mistakes, and we take full responsibility for that. Nobody in this league feels sorry for you. Nobody's going to help you get better. You've got to go out there and put forth an effort to win a football game. And that's what we're hoping we do."

Chances are, that won't happen on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

The bigger question is, will it happen at all this season? Will the Colts win a game? And it's also apparent that an even bigger question is, will Manning return this season, which he's been reportedly wanting to do, if medically cleared.

"I sure hope so," said Saturday. "People ask me over and over. If he's healthy enough, he'll be on the field. I can guarantee you that. Records, put all that stuff aside. Because we all, every player in this game, we're made to play on Sundays. And so, if he's healthy enough, I think he'll be out there ready to rock and roll."

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

The second BU’s season ended, Bruins fans were champing (it’s champing, not chomping; look it up) to get sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy to the NHL. 

So when word emerged from Bob McKenzie that it’s looking like McAvoy will join Providence on an amateur tryout, eyes rolled. Why not sign McAvoy to his three-year entry level contract, have him stay in Boston and get some NHL experience. After all, we hear over and over that as long as you don’t play 10 NHL games, a year doesn’t get burned. 

The answer is because that 10-game thing doesn’t apply to everyone. It applies when talking about teenagers who are coming from the CHL, which is when the issue most commonly pops up, a la Tyler Seguin in 2010-11. 

Yet much like it didn’t apply to Torey Krug when he signed with the Bruins in 2012, it doesn’t apply to McAvoy now. The reason some kids can play nine games and then go away without a year being burned is because their contract slides. Players who are 18 or 19 years old as of Sept. 15 of their signing year see their deal moved back a year as long as they don’t play 10 NHL games, including the playoffs. 

For players who are 19 as of Sept. 15 of the year they sign (not season) and turn 20 between Sept. 16 and Dec. 31, their contract does not slide. This is all explained neatly here. 

If you’ve fallen asleep by this point, wake up right quick. McAvoy is 19 and will turn 20 on Dec. 21. That means that if McAvoy and signs and plays an NHL game this season, one year will be burned off his entry-level deal, making him up for a new deal after the 2018-19 season rather than the 2019-20 season. Same goes for Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, who already is 20. 

The Bruins actually used this drawback to their advantage when they signed Krug. The B’s let the 20-year-old Krug play in an NHL game after he signed, which got him to restricted free agency a year earlier. The promise to play him and burn that year was likely a reason Krug chose to sign with the B’s as an undrafted free agent. 

So for now, yes, an ATO is the safe play for the Bruins if they want to maximize the value of McAvoy’s entry level deal. His NHL career might have to wait until the fall. 
 

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Want a classic Felger rant? Or forget Felger; a classic rant, period?

Watch the video above as Michael Felger eviscerates the Oakland Raiders.

"You know what the Oakland Raiders are? And their fans, and their city? A bunch of dirtbags," Felger said Tuesday on Felger & Mazz. "If that's not the most overrated team and organization in the history of sports, I don't know what is . . . That is a garbage organization and it has always has been.

"And the way people are treating them now, like . . . the Green Bay Packers or the Boston Celtics or the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Yankees are moving, is laughable. Laughable! The Oakland Raiders are garbage. And they always have been."

There's more . . . ,much more. Watch the video to hear the full treatment.