INDIANAPOLIS – Colts head coach Jim Caldwell did not need time for memory lane, nor did he pause for recollections on quarterback Peyton Manning as his team prepares to meet the Houston Texans on Sunday in the 2011 regular-season opener.
What Caldwell did say about Manning was brief and in full context since the quarterback's accomplishments are so vivid and noteworthy to him, and there will be more to come.
This is Caldwell's tenth year with the Colts and the third in his current capacity. The remaining years he has spent here were in the role of position coach for Manning.
On Wednesday, the club announced in conjunction with a statement from the quarterback that he will not start this Sunday when the Colts meet Houston in Reliant Stadium at 1:00 p.m. (ET).
This will mark the first game Manning has missed in his career. Previously, he had missed just one snap due to injury. That occurred in 2001 when Manning suffered a broken jaw against Miami, missed one snap, then returned to action. Any other playing time Manning missed came in games where the outcome had been decided.
Manning set the NFL mark with 208 consecutive starts to open a career, a total that beat the previous record of offensive guard Gene Upshaw (207, Oakland, 1967-81). Manning's streak of 208 consecutive starts rank second in NFL history for quarterbacks, behind only Brett Favre's 297.
Caldwell has had a front row seat and he has provided an immense amount of input and direction for much of Manning's career. Caldwell missed only the 1998-2001 seasons of Manning's career in Indianapolis.
He has spent an extraordinary amount of time with Manning, and Caldwell was able to put Manning's accomplishments in context in a few short words.
"It's going to be a little different playing without Peyton," said Caldwell. "He's obviously one-of-a-kind. He's certainly been a great player for us."
This is not the first time in his career Caldwell has lost a quarterback for a game. When posed that question on Wednesday Caldwell responded, and it gave him a chance to underscore again what Manning has accomplished over the past 13 seasons.
"On several occasions (he has missed a quarterback in his coaching career)," said Caldwell. "You probably would think that would be something that has happened to most guys (coaches) because there are very few guys (players) who have had the kind of longevity that Peyton has had. I don't care what level, whether it's in high school, college or wherever it might be. You have to be able to make adjustments and move forward.
"I can't think of a season (where it didn't happen to him previously). At Penn State it happened. It happened at Wake Forest. If I look back at it, there's probably not a season that went by where one quarterback started the entire time, maybe once. I can't be exactly accurate but let me tell you this, it's happened more than five times (to me). When I think you look across our league, I think most teams have quarterbacks who have missed some time. Ours has just been highly unusual, thank God."
Manning has taken every snap in 178 of 208 career games, missing only 424 career snaps (including the one due to injury). In total, he has taken 12,712 of a possible 13,136 career snaps with consecutive snap streaks reaching 1,631, 1,590, 1,459, 1,400, 1,205 and a current one of 1,088 that will end on Sunday. The streak of 1,590 consecutive snaps was a career-opening total. The only other quarterbacks to take snaps during Manning career are Steve Walsh (21 in 1999), Mark Rypien (22 in 2001), Brock Huard (22 in 2003), Jim Sorgi (74 in 2004; 102 in 2005; 74 in 2007; 56 in 2008; 1 in 2009) and Curtis Painter (47 in 2009). (Punter Hunter Smith and running back Edgerrin James took a total of five direct snaps as well.)
Only three teams (Green Bay, New England, Houston) have started five or fewer quarterbacks during Manning's career from 1998 to the present. Fifteen have started a dozen or more.
The club announced Collins will start for Manning at Houston. It will be the 177th start of his career.