Blog Entry

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:44 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 4:58 pm
Jim Caldwell was fired by the Colts on Monday afternoon. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Colts head coach Jim Caldwell's job appeared safe as recently as Tuesday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, he had been fired.

"This was a difficult decision," owner Jim Irsay said. "I wanted to make sure we took all the time we needed to make sure it was the right decision. ... And just like 14 years, ago, it's a big change for the franchise and at the same time, there's players, coaches, many people on the staff that will go into the new day and get on with the work of 2012."

Caldwell joined the organization in 2002 as the quarterbacks coach before succeeding Tony Dungy as head coach in 2009. In his first year as Dungy's replacement, Indianapolis made it to the Super Bowl, losing to the Saints.

Two years later, and without franchise quarterback Peyton Manning, the Colts went 2-14.

On January 2, shortly after Irsay fired team vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, Chris, the Colts' general manager, he told the media that Caldwell had done some good things this season but that, ultimately, the coach's fate would be decided after a new general manager was hired.

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

Colts Offseas

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. 

Last Wednesday, Ryan Grigson was introduced as Indianapolis' new GM and today the team is looking for a new head coach. Presumably someone comfortable working with two franchise quarterbacks at opposite ends of their careers.

"Change sometimes isn't always the easiest transition to make but it's part of this game, part of this league and part of the direction we need to get going in this new era of Colts football," Grigson said Tuesday.

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Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:57 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

This firing is a surprise but isn't. He inherited a great team left by Dungy but he did have to deal with no Manning all year. However there was enough talent on this team to win more than they did. He stuck with Painter way too long with Orlovsky given a chance way later than he should have. IMO Caldwell deserved this firing 

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:22 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

That's way....way too bad for the Chargers.  I mean, they could have actually picked up Jim Caldwell and gotten farther in the playoffs than Norvitis Turner ever has...  SAD DAY TO BE A CHARGERS FAN!  SAD DAY!

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:13 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Maybe Jeff Fisher pulls a Belichick and resigns tomorrow by writing on a bar napkin "I resign as HC of STL R"

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:07 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Oh my gah, THANK YOU! can we get someone with a little fire now?!

Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:01 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

this decision had to be made.. exhibit A- kansas city chiefs: for most or part of the season they LOST 1) starting QB, 2) starting RB, 3) best WR and 4) head coach but they still WON 7 games. colts lose 1 player and LOSE 14 games. unacceptable.

as for peyton.. promote him to the front office, coaching staff OR trade him to the highest bidder (sucker) you know there are some desperate teams out there willing to overpay for manning, e.g., cleveland, washington, seattle, ny jets, etc., the TEAM has too many holes to fill to draft Luck No. 1 then promptly sit him on the bench. Good "Luck" to peyton, where ever he may wind up.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 8:52 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Any respect Caldwell had earned after his miserable performance @ Wake Forest(.286 winning %) went away when he decided to pull Manning up 15-10 against the Jets with a 14-0 record and tanked the last 2 quarters and the last game. Playing not to win and have a year of remembrance tells all you need to know about his lack of competitiveness and that riled Peyton.

Too often this year the Colts didn't look like a professional team. You can't put all the blame on the QB. That NO game was a joke. IMHO, he didn't even deserve the job. Dungy handpicked him and Caldwell really had few credentials to really merit the job. He didn't earn it, it was given to him. There is no doubt Indy could have done better.

Even in 2010,they struggled to make the post-season and only manning's brillinace got them in. The Jets again beat them,this time with Peyton. That team was a shell of it's SB losing team.

Caldwell will land a job as an assistant somewhere and that's where he belongs. He's not good enough to merit a job as an NFL head coach.

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 8:17 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Really, did anyone not see this coming?

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:55 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Because of the 2-14 record this year, and the division they are in, don't expect the Colts to be out of the playoffs very long, maybe even next season with a much easier schedule.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:10 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Getting rid of Caldwell wasn't only the smart thing to do, but the right thing.  Here is a coach who had inherited a team that was already built up by the previous coach (Dungy), in which there really wasn't much to do.  He never did put his "Stamp" on this team and when their leader Peyton was injured he did not have a contingency plan for that either.  A good coach, no matter what the circumstance, has got to adapt to unexpected changes that has and will crop up during the course of a season (and even before).  He never did, therefore the 2-14 season.  At least he got them the number 1 overall draft choice.

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:59 pm

Matter of time . . !

As we are not privy to all the news of what is behind the scenes here in Europe, it was fairly obvious that Caldwell would not be a factor in the Colts organization, particularly after the hiring of the (talented??) new GM.
  Irsay has not been accused of being the most astute owner in the NFL . . . quite the contrary.
  The Colts are in dire straits . . friction among players and now an entirely new regime to guide them.  Don't be surprised if Manning 'gives notice', as his influence may well have eroded even though Luck may be on his way in.
  Can't see the Colts heading back to any playoffs in the near future . . there will be too many holes to fill after this off-season.

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