Blog Entry

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:01 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 6:45 pm
Irsay met with the media Monday afternoon. (AP)
By Ryan Wilson

Colts owner Jim Irsay held a late afternoon press conference Monday to talk about his decision to fire Jim and Chris Polian, as well as the organization's direction for the future, including the futures of head coach Jim Caldwell and quarterback Peyton Manning.

"I believe it's about timing, energy and what the times call for," Irsay said about parting ways with the Polians. "It was difficult but it was the right decision to make." He added that "I didn't come to this decision until this morning … to hold open the possibility of changing your mind, but i think it's best for the franchise."

Bill Polian, who had been with the organization for 14 years, was moving towards retirement and a lesser role, Irsay said. "Bill was around a lot more than he anticipated [due to the lockout], but … I think it was time to change the personnel department -- the football side of things that wasn't coaching. In the end i was certain that that was what was needed to be done."

The search for a new general manager will begin immediately although Irsay said that he hadn't talked to other teams or individuals about the position.

As for Caldwell, who was expected to be fired after leading the Colts to a 2-14 record, his job is safe … for now.

"[Caldwell] could very well be back this year, that is not out of the realm of possibility," said the Colts owner. "Jim and I had a good conversation in terms of the immediate future."

For now the plan is for the new general manager to decide Caldwell's fate although Irsay warned that things change by the hour. If a coaching candidate becomes available that the owner thinks immediately upgrades the team then he'll move. It's what happened when he hired Tony Dungy shortly after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired him following the 2001 season.

Black Monday
Irsay acknowledged that fans would probably like to see a change at head coach but supported Caldwell, calling him "a very bright guy, a great teacher, and a great personnel evaluator who prepares the team well."

But when you lose 14 of 16 games, there are issues and Irsay recognized those, too. He said defensive coordinator Larry Coyer was a mistake (not a "good match as a Cover 2 guy") and that Caldwell struggled at times with game and clock management.

Irsay was asked if he had any idea if Peyton Manning, who missed the 2011 season after multiple neck surgeries, would play again.  

"I don't," he responded, pointing out that this is more about Manning's health and safety than a football issue.

The owner did say that "When you see something that has greatness with your franchise you go after it. If you have a chance to get a great one you get it." He mentioned quarterbacks, general managers and head coaches as examples, but Andrew Luck seemed like the obvious choice given that Indianapolis has the first-overall pick coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Manning's future.

"I really feel excited about the possibilities of our future," Irsay said. "I'm interested in getting it right … not winning a popularity contest."

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Since: Nov 8, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:26 am

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

No he doesn't but incase you didn't notice the NFL is based on scoring lots of points this year and Manning has no issues with that, with all the 5000 yard passers this year PM would certainly be among them had he gotten 16 games in. 8-8 is incorrect.

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:53 am

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Unfortunately its not quite that simple Jetsfan84. 

For starters, nobody is even sure if Peyton can even play again, so no team will be willing to trade for him until they are sure he is healthy enough to play again in the NFL  Secondly, Manning is owed a boatload of money by March 2012 (I think), and the Colts must decide by then whether to take the chance of paying him or releasing him by that date.  If they pay him and he can't play- they lose tons of money and "handcuff" their team for years.  If they release him and he ends up healthy and signs some where else- they also  lose because they get nothing in return. 

So it very well could be a decision based on a hope and a prayer if they don't have a firm idea of his health by his extension date.  Best case scenario is Peyton agrees to move the extension date back (to say June?) and the Colts at least have a chance to make an decision based on facts instead of gut instincts.

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:42 am

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Ryan Leaf (poor attitude) and Jamarcus Russell (poor IQ) are not even in the same league as Andrew Luck.  If the Colts decide to take Luck, he will pay big dividends in the future.  The team will probably not win a lot of games his first year or two in the league (see Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Sam Bradford, etc.) but after he learns the NFL game, he will be something special and COULD be a future MVP and/or Super Bowl winner.  Certainly not a bust of the caliber of Leaf, Russell, Vince Young, etc.

Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:03 am

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

REDSMAN, so you are pinning your hopes on Luck?  Dare I say Ryan Leaf, Jemaricus Russell, Eric Crouch, etc, yada, etc, yada?  Flynn also played very well last year in a game against the Pats.  Plus, much like the Colts have done in the past (minus a backup qb) the Packers are very good at evaluating talent...including back up/future Qb's, see AR.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 12:08 am

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Is it really that difficult of a decision for Indy to make? Trade Peyton for a bunch of picks and draft Luck. Thats how you get maximum value for your team.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:11 pm

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

I did get that angle of things... what I don't know and would like to know is what is their angle on getting Luck?  He's there's if they want him... and I know he doesn't want to sit for long and mentor behind anyone.  If they want him and don't trade out of that spot it's could be an Eli manning thing all over again....

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:10 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:08 pm

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Everyone is missing the #1 issue, Bill Polian was handing over the reins to his son Chris, who has not done a very good job with the scouting and player selection.  Bill Polian was not going to be around much longer anyway.

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:57 pm

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Oh here we go. Everybody is high on Flynn after one game. It can be dangerous pinning your hopes on a guy who has played one good game. Scott Mitchell, Matt Cassel, Derek Anderson just to name a few. I am convinced that a quarterback is as successful as the system they are most comfortable for their skill set. Green Bay is a machine. I could qb them to 220 yards and 2 td's. Remember about 6 to 8 years ago when the Bronco's put any running back in and they were 100 yard a game rushers then they all went somewhere else and nobody has ever heard of them.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:52 pm

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians


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