Blog Entry

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: November 4, 2011 11:41 am
Caldwell and Polian are safe for now. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL is a bottom-line business. Acts of kindness away from the field may make the world a better place but losing football will always get you fired. The Indianapolis Colts are currently 0-8, their personnel philosophy turned into a house of cards the moment Peyton Manning was sidelined with a neck injury. Manning has yet to take a snap in 2011 and there's a chance he won't. Two things have come out of this.

First, the Suck for Luck campaign is picking up steam, perhaps aided by the fact that Manning won't play forever, there's nothing wrong with having Luck sit behind Manning for a season or two before taking over, and if the Colts are going down in flames this season they might as well get something for it. Namely: their next franchise quarterback.

Second, questions about whether head coach Jim Caldwell or team president Bill Polian should lose their jobs. A few years ago, dumping Polian would've been unthinkable. But a series of questionable draft picks in recent years (Marlin Jackson, Anothony Gonzalez, Tony Ugoh, Donald Brown and Jerry Hughes are often mentioned), coupled with the team imploding without Manning because there was no capable backup quarterback on the roster doesn't reflect well on Polian.

Owner Jim Irsay spoke to Caldwell's and Polian's future Thursday.

“When it comes to changes and Jim’s status and that sort of thing, it’s something that eight games going forward, more will be revealed," the Colts owner said, according to the Indianapolis Star. "This situation is always changing. But it’s really going to be always what’s best to give us a chance to win. I don’t have any predictions or any votes of confidence or anything like that. I don’t have any non-votes of confidence. At this point, continuity is a good thing if it makes sense in terms of winning.”

We're not sure Irsay could be more vague. It sounds like Caldwell will keep his job … unless he doesn't. The owner added: “I’ll say this: Jim Caldwell did one of the greatest coaching jobs in the last four games last year to get us to 10-6, to get us in a position to have a chance, a game we really thought we had a chance to win at home against the Jets."

Irsay was less cryptic about Polian.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to square off against the struggling Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Who will come out on top? Jason Horowitz and's Pat Kirwan take a look at this upcoming matchup.

“I’m committed,” he said. “In [the Polian's] defense, it’s pretty radical after the successes we’ve had to start even talking about the question, in my opinion. If this is five or six years or losing; you’re talking about eight weeks. The great things we’ve done, there has been a tilted sort of perception when you win so much that it’s disappointing."

During last week's Pick-6 Podcast, we spoke to's Michael David Smith about the Colts and he said this: "If I'm Irsay, I'm calling Caldwell and [the Polians] into my office and asking them 'Why shouldn't I fire you?'"

Seems like a fair question, although the real Irsay apparently has no plans to have that conversation.

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Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: November 5, 2011 12:42 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

The Pats going 11-5 with Cassel is a very very bad comparison. The Patriots are a system. You could stick any QB not named Ryan Leaf in there and they are going to be decent. The Colts are Manning and only Manning.
My point exactly. The article is blaming the gm + coach. So, that said, why aren't the Colts a system as well. If you build anything in sports or business on "the indispensible man" scenario, eventually you will fail. The Colts sucked before Manning and they will suck after him.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 9:16 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

The Pats going 11-5 with Cassel is a very very bad comparison. The Patriots are a system. You could stick any QB not named Ryan Leaf in there and they are going to be decent. The Colts are Manning and only Manning.

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:23 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

Tell me exactly what he gets credit for?

For getting out of the way and let Manning call his own plays the last couple of years.  That's pretty much it.  He's a nonentity as a coach for the most part... he's just kind of there.  Well, for a few more months, anyway.

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 3:35 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

Polian and Caldwell have careers because of Peyton Manning and 2011 is the proof. I know, I know: "Manning doesn't play defense." But an offense capable of getting first downs, moving the football, and manipulating the clock are all effective defenses. They don't have that now. The defense is as awful as it has always been, their offense has just been able to disguise it consistently. Polian especially has done nothing to improve the roster as a whole, making poor draft choices and skimping in free agency. They've had areas of need that have been under diress for a decade and gone largely untouched. Throwing a rookie here or there at a position of need does not mean they tried. The front office has been complacent and the coaching staff, by design, has been just competent enough to not blow the whole thing up so long as Manning is under center. Without him, all their deficiences are finally on display.

Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 3:34 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

Both Caldwell and Polian should go. Certainly Polian must have realized Peyton Manning couldn't play forever, and drafted/signed a suppoting cast that could still win games in his absence. As for Caldwell, New England lost its franchise qb in 2008 and still went 11-5. Of course, Caldwell is no Bill Belichick, but 0-8? Not even competing? Losing 62-7? C'mon man!

Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:54 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

Look at Wake Forest during Caldwell's time there and you will see that he is not a head man! He sucks!

Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:40 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

Fire them both...but it wo't do much good to fire Bill Polian, since his son Chris Polian is taking the reigns from'll be more of the same philosophy i'm sure.  Unfortunately, they are going to keep the same idea of "promoting from within" and building through the draft.  But that is why we are so ill-equipped to field a good team without manning, is we were sonstantly drafting in the bottom of the draft and those players just arent as talented as the ones at the beginning of the draft. 

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:38 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

First off, will not defend the coach in Jim Caldwell, not the strongest of coaches who makes far too many mistakes and poor decisions...however, he is not at fault for the mess that is the Indianapolis Colts.  If anyone is to blame, it would be Polian...this team has relied far too much on Manning for far too long.  This season, with Manning going out before the season glorifies the fact that they ignore the QB situation...shall we bring up the names of Brock Huard, Jim Sorgi and Curtis Painter?  No disrespect to these guys but they simply are not capable of playing at this level on a weekly basis.  Poor drafting, no depth and just taking for granted that Manning would be there winning games for them has killed this team this season.  If this team doesn't get going and get their act together soon, that huge contract they gave to Manning will go to waste and they can and will really consider drafting Andrew Luck.  

Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:33 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

Jim Caldwell is one of the worst coaches in the NFL! Who calls a timeout at the end of a playoff game when the other team is on offense like he did last year against the Jets? I hope he gets fired.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:31 pm

Colts owner sticks by Jim Caldwell, Bill Polian

The problem is this. This is a winless team that everyone says is built specifically around manning. Obviously. This blueprint has been the same now for what 12 years and the Colts have exactly 1 SB win. They have a great regular season record but they aren't in the toughest division. Have the Titans, Jags, or Texans consistently made any noise in the playoffs? Tony Dungy is gone going on three years now. Caldwell is an interim coach at best. Polian has shit the bed during the draft for the past 4 years. It is all culminating this year all at once and is exposing all the Colts flaws. It is time to get rid of "system players" and draft well rounded good football players, not niche' players. Consider the manning era over and start rebuilding for the future.

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