Musical coaches – and quarterbacks?

Peyton Manning’s number was retired by the University of Tennessee in 2005.  Is his number (18) up with the Denver Broncos?

Peyton Manning’s number was retired by the University of Tennessee in 2005.  Is his number (18) up with the Denver Broncos?

The NFL postseason is upon us: Let the game of musical coaches begin.

Actually, it already has. The Buffalo Bills have hired Rex Ryan, late of the Jets, who’ve hired Todd Bowles. (It’s interesting that one team’s discard is another’s great hope.)

But the big story may be out of Denver, where John Fox got the boot from the Broncos after failing to win a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning, who looked flat against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts last weekend in a bid for the AFC championship game. (Peyton had quad issues, but he’s not a mobile quarterback anyway.)

The 411 is that Peyton – who just won the Bart Starr Award for character and leadership on and off the field – is angling to make Broncos’ offensive coordinator Adam Gase a head coach – but of which team? Gase was said to be headed to the San Francisco 49ers. Which begged the question: Would Peyton go there?  

That didn’t make sense. Why would the Niners want a 38-year-old quarterback with three neck surgeries and no legs? The joke is that there’s a reason the Niners have always had mobile quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick and the legendary Steve Young – because they never had an O-line that could protect them so the QBs have to keep moving.  If the Niners can’t protect Colin, who can really run, how would they protect Peyton?

Apparently, they won’t have to worry about it, because the late word is that Gase is looking to become Denver’s new head coach. Does that mean Peyton will be returning to the Broncos? Or is retirement on the table?

Meanwhile, the Niners are said to be going with their defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. With a defensive expert at the helm, what does this mean for Colin, who continues to get dissed as he attends quarterback school in Phoenix? Apparently, posters thought his post from the desert was too gangsta

What they may be missing is that unlike Aaron Rodgers, the newly crowned (by the Football Writers Association of America) NFL MVP, who played three years behind Brett Favre, Colin has had to learn on the job. This is a young man who is struggling to become a pocket passer while retaining his strengths as a running quarterback.

Similarly, he straddles two worlds – that of his white family and that of the mostly black teammates he leads as a biracial man.  

Colin’s searching for an identity – something that Quinn Novak, the Indonesian-American quarterback at the heart of my upcoming novel “The Penalty for Holding” – would sympathize with.  

And, as Quinn would tell him, when you come from two worlds, you often end up belonging to neither.