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: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:38 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Stop hating on Caldwell. Being a head coach of any pro team, especially in the NFL, has to be as hard a job as there can be. Only a few people are truly successful HC's. He has the football IQ, but clearly he wasn't up to this challenge. If Polian and Dungy thought he was, I believe them. Who'd thought they'd both be wrong? That's life and football. A lot of people in and out of sports reach for a job sometimes that you think may be a reach, maybe even yourself. Sometime you succeed gloriously and other times its deer in the headlights time. This time was the headlights. I commend him for the effort, but this outcome had nothing to do with race or football IQ. Its just life.

Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:59 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

To Chopper 11 you are an Idiot race had nothing to do with thwe hiring of Jim Caldwell he was the asst coach (You big Dumb in My Fred Sanford Voice).

Since: Jul 14, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:45 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Hire peyton !

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:42 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

You don't think Jim Tressel in his glasses and sweater vest is sexy?!?!

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:34 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

In all that long draw-out droll that was my previous post, I forgot to add this at the end:

P.S. I bet Jeff Fisher wishes he would have waited. Hahahahahahahahaha Tongue out 

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

I know even as I write this, and even before I had the notion of postiong it that I would fall victim to criticism and catch flack for what I'm about to suggest... but here it goes (so bring on the flack).

Who's out there right now that the Colts could hire, and have it be considered a really "sexy" pick? Outside of , , or , I can't think of anybody. Mike Zimmer is the rumored top choice of the Dolphins... really Mike Zimmer? No doubt he did a great job with a young, patch-work defense in Cincinnati this past season, full of other teams' castoffs, but come on... Mike Zimmer? The Cowboys former offensive coordinator Tony Sparano coudn't get it done in South Beach so now they'll likely turn to the Cowboys former defensive coordnator (Zimmer coached the defense under Bill Parcells in Dallas when Sparano was the offensive coordinator).

Assuming the Colts can't coax Dungy, Gruden, or Cowher out of their cushy TV gigs dispite dangling the possibility of Peyton Manning for 1-2 years, and Andrew Luck for the likely rest of their stay in Indy infront of them, and also assuming Zimmer takes either the Dolphins of Buccaneers job, who's left that's "sexy"? Other coordinators who have been rumored this almost-off season (still playoffs for four good teams with four good coaches) as big possibilities to either get their first NFL head coaching gigs or return to the sidelines as headmen are:

Wade Phillips, Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator - Come on Phillips has been a headman twice and let's just say he underperformed because to say he sucked would be too strong.

Dom Capers, Green Bay Packers Defensive Coordinator - Capers was the head coach who couldn't get the Texans to the playoffs, he's a really good coordinator but he leaves something to be desired as a head coach.

Perry Fewell, New York Giants Defensive Coordinator - He's been almost every team's Rooney Rule candidate the last few years, and he really deserves a head coaching job as the Giants defense has been consistently great under him. It bears mentioning that the Giants defense was also great under Steve Spagnuolo. Do you, however, hand Manning and Luck, basically the keys to a new to a 16-year-old driver?

Steve Spagnuolo, (fired) St. Louis Rams Head Coach - See what I did there? I went from Fewell to Spagnuolo. Seriously though, Spagnuolo would be a great defensive coordinator for the Colts, but can you hire a head coach to take over a 2-14 team who just finished up a 2-14 record of his own. The answer is no, no you cannot. 

Hue Jackson, (fired) Oakland Raiders Head Coach - Jackson is different than Spagnuolo his team was mediocre/almost good enough this past season as they were in the playoff hunt until the last week of the season. The only reason he was ousted in Oakland was because of an upper-management change resulted in the organization wanting to go in a different direction. If the Colts are looking for someone to train-up Luck, Jackson would be a good choice. As a wide receviers coach for the Bengals from '04-'06 he helped to develop Chad Ochocinco (Johnson) and T.J. Houshmanzadeh. As the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach from '08-'09 he helped develop Joe Flacco. As the Raiders Offensive Coordinator in 2010 he helped lead Darren McFadden to a break-out season. Although, seeing as Jackson just finished up a frustrating one-year stint in Oakland, does Indy really want the Raiders sloppy-seconds? Like Spagnuolo, Jackson would be an excellent coordinator choice but not head coach.

Greg Williams, Defensive Coordinator New Oreleans Saints - Like Phillips Williams failed to do much in Buffalo. His Saints defense this year lost a shot at the conference champonship game by letting an (maybe slightly above) average Alex Smith look like Drew Brees. Need I say more? His Saints defense was far better when he had Dennis Allen as his secondary coach.

Dennis Allen, Defensive Coordinator Denver Broncos -  See what I did there? I went from Williams to Allen. Allen did a great job as the 39-year-old, first-year coordinator's defense led the team to the playoffs. (Oops) I meant because Allen's D helped Tebow lead the Broncos to the playoffs. The argument against him is the same as is was with Fewell though, the whole giving the keys of a to a 16-year-old.

Marty Mornhinwig, Offensive Coordinator Philadelphia Eagles - Mornhinwig sucked in Detroit (he doesn't get the same respectful language as Phillips). That being said, it was Detroit and Marty's name has come up in a lot of coaching searches the last few years. He was better with the Eagles in '10 than '11. Maybe if this was Jim Mora's Colts, but come on the Colts job was transformed by Tony Dungy. I just can't see Mornhinwig riding his motorcycle into town.

Mike Sherman, (fired) Texas A&M Head Coach - Sherman was okay with the Packers in his previous NFL head job. Man to think of all the great assistants Green Bay had under Mike Holmgren and unfortunately they chose Sherman to carry on the torch. Sherman would bring discipline to the team but his teams are always just okay and consistently fail to meet expectations.

Marty Schottenheimer, Virginia Destroyers Head Coach and General Manager (UFL) - Schottenheimer just won his first ever championship, as his Destroyers defeated the Locos 17-3 in the UFL championship game, why would he want to leave? Just kidding. At one time Schottenheimer would have maybe been considered a "sexy" pick, but now while he'd be a good choice in my opinion (in my opinion he should have never lost the San Diego Chargers job to Norv Turner after he turned the franchise around, and what's Turner done since? Nothing!) he is 68 years old. Do you hand the keys to a new to a 68-year-old?

Brian Schottenheimer, Offensive Coordinator St. Louis Rams - See what I did there? I went from Marty to his son Brian. He was just hired by Jeff Fisher as the new offensive coordinator for the Rams. With the meltdown the New York Jets suffered this past year and the fiasco that has become Mark Sanchez, I'd say Schottenheimer isn't a serious candidate for any job this offseason. Working under Fisher and with Sam Bradford will be a great way to throw his hat back in the ring for potential jobs next year though.

Joe Philbin, Offensive Coordinator Green Bay Packers - Philbin was a genious this past season direction the Packers offense. While the Giant's D stifled his schemes in this past weeks playoff matchup, lets not forget he was coaching with a heavy heart after the tragic loss of his son. While Philbin is an experienced coordinator it bears asking that during this trying emotional time would he even consider moving his family and starting new in Indianapolis?

Kirk Ferentz, University of Iowa Head Coach - Ferentz is beloved in the Midwest and the closest thing to a "sexy" pick that the Colts might make. The only reason that he's not a "sexy" pick is because well his style isn't exactly"sexy" and I'm not talking about clothes. The Hawkeyes have been known for a solid running game and good defense, what great quaterbacks has Ferentz ever coached/developed? Brad Banks, Drew Tate, Ricky Stanzi? And know you're going to give him Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning? No queston Ferentz could hire offensive minds to help out, but that being said, he has said countless times he's not leaving Iowa. Could the Colts and a little Luck make him change his mind? Maybe, but  don't see it happening.

Mike McCoy, Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator - Let's be honest, if it weren't for Tim Tebow would he even be being considered for head coaching jobs right now?

Rob Chudzinski, Offensive Coordinator Panthers - Let's be honest, if it weren't for Cam Newton would he even be being considered for head coaching jobs right now? (See what I did there?)

Brad Childress, (Unemployed) - For some reason the Buccaneers are going to interview him... I don't know the reason.

Todd Bowles, Interim Head Coach Dolphins - He's about to lose his job in Miami, but he's a great coach and won't have trouble finding a new one. Wheter it will be a head one or not remains to be seen. The Raiders are reportedly interested in him.

Okay, okay, I know, I know - blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, get to the point!

Here comes the part that I know I'll catch flack for. Since none of those names really stack up to Cowher, Dungy, and Gruden, here's one that does - Tressel.

The Colts don't need to look outside of their own organization to find a big name leader, they have one working as a video-replay coach already in Jim Tressel. I know his name's been tossed out there as a possible Jim Caldwell replacement since he was hired to his current position, but I'm not just kicking it around, I think it would be an excellent choice, the best choice.

Tressel might not look like it with his glasses and sweater-vest attire, but he is very very"sexy"! Not just because he is shrouded in controversy, but because he is a big, no, a huge-name football coach. Plus he won't have to worry about tattoos in the pros, because football would literally be his players' jobs not just their wink-wink "job".

On top of that he's a college coach at heart (but can't coach college for 5 years, so the NFL is his only option) and playing for Tressel would be a likely comfortable, easy and seamless transition for Andrew Luck to make. Tressel's also a proven winner. He has a combined 229-79-2 record as a head coach, minus 11 wins in 2010 (he did get credit for the one loss though haha). He would also be able to hire a great staff, in fact his Ohio State defensive coordinator, Jim Heacock (who consistently had top-ten defenses nationally) is currently looking for work.

In closing with all of the choices out there, the Colts shouldn't look very far, and should hire Jim Tressel! 

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:10 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Umm... Steve Young. Brett Favre.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:07 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

colts are cleaning house. Wouldn't shock me to see Peyton leave now. They may as well start all the way over. They had a great run, and got  a ring out of it. Thats really all the matters.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Indianapolis wanted to gut the whole thing and for that I can understand letting him go. In all fairness this past year was not all his fault. How many people thought they weren't even going to win a game but he still had them playing hard the whole season. Time to rebuild the colts from towel boys all the way up. Caldwell will land on his feet.

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:56 pm

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

Jon Gruden?  Are you serious?

Don't fall for all the hype from his pretending to know what the hell he's talking about and look at the facts:

-with the Raiders, Gruden 'groomed' that young whippersnapper Rich Gannon
-with the Buccaneers, Gruden 'groomed' another spring chicken in Brad Johnson

If you can name ANY young quarterback that Jon Gruden has 'groomed' I'd be shocked.

'Cause there hasn't been a single one.

Because Jon Gruden is an idiot.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or