|Irsay met with the media Monday afternoon. (AP)|
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.
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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