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Tag:Chris Polian
Posted on: January 7, 2012 3:23 pm
 

Report: Colts will take Andrew Luck with top pick

IrsayBy Josh Katzowitz

With Colts owner Jim Irsay currently looking for a general manager to replace Chris Polian, who was fired along with his father Bill last week, he won’t have to ask anybody he interviews how they’d handle the 2012 No. 1 draft pick. That’s because he already knows what he wants, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

As has long been suspected, the Colts reportedly will choose Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in April, and no matter who’s brought in to take over for the Polian’s, that decision will not be altered.

Some wondered if the reason Bill Polian was fired in the first place was because he and Peyton Manning weren’t getting along -- Irsay is an unabashed fan of his quarterback and thinks of him as family. Polian said the rumors of a rift were untrue.

"He was the first person into the office after it happened," Polian told the Associated Press on Wednesdasy. "There's no rift at all. None.

Now, though, the big questions continue to be what the Colts actually will do about Manning, who’s due a $28 million bonus in March. Would Manning want to play with Luck? Will Manning's neck be healthy? Would the Colts ship Manning somewhere else to give Luck the chance to play immediately?

Now that we seemingly know who the Colts will take with the No. 1 pick, we might have to wait a few more months before the rest of those other questions can be answered.  

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:01 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 6:45 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

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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Posted on: January 2, 2012 2:41 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 2:46 pm
 

Report: Colts 'clean house,' fire Polian family

The Colts shockingly fired Bill Polian on Monday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Colts allowed Jim Caldwell to conduct his normal press conference on Monday, but things took a turn for the crazy on Monday afternoon when the Colts announced a 5 p.m. ET press conference and reports emerged that owner Jim Irsay decided to "clean house" and fire Bill Polian and Chris Polian. There hasn't been confirmation of whether or not the team will also fire coach Jim Caldwell.

Black Monday

That news comes from the NFL Network and it means the Colts are admitting what became obvious this year: the entire Indianapolis roster just isn't very good. Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star confirms that the Polians have been fired, but there's still no word on Caldwell.

Peyton Manning shored up many problems for the Colts, but once he was injured, the team was exposed and limped its way to a two-win season and the No. 1 overall draft pick. Polian was hired in 1997 by the Colts and won NFL Executive of the Year a whopping six times. From 1997 to 2004, he hit a number of home runs in the draft, picking up Manning, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Dallas Clark in the first round.

From then til now? Not so good: Marlin Jackson, Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Donald Brown, Jerry Hughes and Anthony Castonzo over eight different drafts is a horrible misuse of first-round picks, even if they were near the bottom of the first round.

The Manning conundrum looms as the spiciest offseason storyline. The Polians gave Peyton his contract (and obviously drafted him) but Irsay is a tremendous supporter of his franchise quarterback. Cleaning house could mean moving onto a new era (one that will presumably feature Andrew Luck under center) ... or perhaps the Polians were prepared to move along without Manning and Irsay wasn't ready to do that.

Whatever, as Colts center Jeff Saturday told our Colts Rapid Reporter Tom James on Monday that Irsay promised him "there will be changes in the offseason." Saturday didn't know what kind of changes those would be.

They are, quite clearly, large changes. An entire overhaul of the Colts organization, in fact.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:08 am
Edited on: January 8, 2012 1:42 pm
 

Latest coaching rumors, news

It's Black Monday and that means seats are heating. (Getty Images)
By Eye on Football Staff

Throughout the day on Monday (and now Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday!) week news and rumors will be flying about job security of various NFL coaches. Bookmark this page to stay updated constantly.

SUNDAY
1:10 p.m. ET
SATURDAY
9:20 p.m. ET
3 p.m. ET
  • Although Ray Horton realizes that Jeff Fisher has to be the No. 1 choice for the Rams job, the St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that if Fisher takes the Miami job, St. Louis will give a second look to Horton, the Cardinals defensive coordinator. Apparently, Horton's initial five-hour interview went very well. "When it was over they called my agent and said they were blown away by him, and he couldn't have been any better," Horton said.
  • According to Rapid Reporter Ron Clements, the Rams have received permission to interview Tennessee VP of football operations Lake Dawson and Titans VP of player personnel Ruston Webster for the vacant GM job. Both worked with Jeff Fisher in Tennessee.
  • CBSSports.com's Clark Judge speculates that Vikings defensive coordinator Fred Pagac might be fired soon. According to Judge, four candidates have already lined up interviews to replace him -- Steve Spagnuolo, Raheem Morris, Mel Tucker and Mike Singletary.
12 p.m. ET
  • The Chiefs reportedly have decided to remove the interim tag for coach Romeo Crennel, meaning the job is all his. It seems like general manager Scott Pioli wanted Crennel to have the job all along.
  • It didn't take long for the Patriots to hire their next offensive coordinator to replace Bill O'Brien. It's their old offensive coordinator of course as Josh McDaniels will take over O'Brien's spot for 2012 AND will begin work immediately, helping New England in this postseason.
  • According to NFL.com's Jason La Canfora, the Dolphins have permission from the Falcons to interview offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. Jacksonville already has shown interest in Mularkey.
FRIDAY
11:20 p.m. ET

12:13 p.m. ET

  • Ray Horton, the Cardinals defensive coordinator, is set to interview with the Rams for their head coaching position soon.

9:03 a.m. ET

THURSDAY

4:15 p.m. ET
  • Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has been a busy man lately, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Philben was in Kansas City on Wednesday, and by this weekend, he'll interview for the Dolphins head coaching job as well.
1:20 p.m. ET
  • Although he and general manager A.J. Smith kept their job, Chargers coach Norv Turner fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky after just one season. Interesting, because, three days ago, Turner said he thought Manusky had done a good job this year.

9:00 a.m. ET
  • Raheem Morris was spotted dining with Redskins brass, and Washington could be interested in hiring Morris as a defensive coach. The only problem with that scenario is that Buccaneers were the worst team in the league in points allowed this season.
  • Yahoo Sports' Michael Silver has written that the Jeff Fisher sweepstakes has become a two-way race between the Dolphins and the Rams. Fisher was scheduled to interview with St. Louis today.
  • NFL.com's Albert Breer is saying that Jay (not Jon!) Gruden is the favorite to land the head coaching job in Jacksonville. The Bengals offensive coordinator, however, can't interview until Cincinnati is out of the playoffs. Until then, it sounds like the Jaguars will continue to interview every hot offensive coordinator they can find.
WEDNESDAY

8:20 p.m. ET
  • According to multiple reports, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will interview for the Penn State job on Thursday. Though his interview with the school has been reported and then denied previously, it seems like O'Brien might have a real shot at landing this position, especially since it appears he's not a candidate for any current open NFL head coaching jobs.

5:58 p.m. ET
  • The Rams have requested permission from the Ravens to interview director of player personnel Eric DeCosta for the St. Louis general manager spot, according to PFT. DeCosta is seen as the possible successor to Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore. St. Louis also has received permission from the Falcons to interview director of player personnel Les Snead.

10:53 a.m. ET
TUESDAY

6:06 p.m. ET
  • Jeff Fisher's the hottest name on the coaching circuit and he officially visited Miami -- even flying there on a helicopter! -- to talk to owner Stephen Ross about the Dolphins gig.
2:40 p.m. ET
2:20 p.m. ET
10:19 a.m. ET
MONDAY
6:00 p.m. ET
  • Colts owner Jim Irsay calls firing Bill and Chris Polian a tough decision, and adds that "it's not outside the realm of possibility" that Jim Caldwell returns as head coach. When asked if Peyton Manning will play again he responded, "I don't."
4:28 p.m. ET
  • The Rams will interview Jeff Fisher this week for their vacant coaching job. If they land Fisher, then they would try to find a general manager.

4:03 p.m. ET
3:44 p.m. ET
  • According to the Buffalo News, Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards has been fired and replaced by Dave Wannstedt.

2:42 p.m. ET
  • According to the Chicago Tribune, Bears special teams coach Dave Toub will interview for the Dolphins job.

1:59 p.m. ET
  • A report from the New York Daily News says that Brian Schottenheimer will interview with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Because the Jets offense was just so awesome this year, apparently.
1:22 p.m. ET
  • Although there were reports that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was the prime coaching target for Penn State, it sounds like O'Brien won't be headed to Happy Valley after all.
12:45 p.m. ET
  • During his last regular-season news conference, Colts coach Jim Caldwell said he's "moving forward" with his day-to-day work. Caldwell also said he met with owner Jim Irsay on Sunday night and with executives Bill and Chris Polian on Monday morning. Obviously, at this moment, Caldwell is still employed. Which led Indy Star reporter Phillip B. Wilson to tweet, "Colts fans, to be honest, I have no idea what's going on ... maybe team won't announce changes for another day or two, IDK."
11:56 a.m. ET
  • An interesting set of tweets from UniversalDraft.com's Chris Kouffman: "<s>@</s>ArmandoSalguero with a stunning revelation that Carl Peterson was told to have dinner w/ Jon Gruden and allowed to offer Gruden the job ... which included total control over football operations, ability to hire and fire whomever he wanted...and Gruden TURNED IT DOWN. Yikes."
  • The Dolphins release a statement saying they're gearing up for their coaching search.
11:32 a.m. ET
10:37 a.m. ET
  • We have our first victim on Black Monday! Steve Spagnuolo, as expected, was fired by the St. Louis on Monday. Spags was 10-38 in three years with the Rams but should be a hot name for defensive coordinator positions.
  • You want to talk about a coach in demand? How about Jeff Fisher. Mike Freeman writes that the two jobs that intrigue him the most are Indianapolis and Tampa Bay.
9:39 a.m. ET
  • Speaking of the Jets, their public relations staff announced that BOTH general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan will be at Monday's press conference. That's not "normal" and it could mean that people's jobs are in trouble.
  • Despite a disappointing season in which the Jets didn't make the playoffs, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine -- whose reputation has largely remained intact this year -- has reportedly drawn interest from the Dolphins.

9:07 a.m ET

  • CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reports that the Bucs spent all evening gathering intel on Raheem Morris from players. Ownership is starting to believe that though they don't want to fire Morris, they might have to fire Morris.

Previously:

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 9:19 pm
 

If Colts go 0-16, Jim Caldwell's likely fired

Hardly shocking, we know, but 0-16 could mean curtains for Jim Caldwell in Indy. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

In the immortal words of Joe Theismann, you don't have to be Norman Einstein to know that Colts head coach Jim Caldwell isn't long for Indianapolis. Never mind that he was hand-picked by Tony Dungy, he's 24-8 in his previous two seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2009.

The reality is this: Indianapolis is 0-13 and there's a reasonable expectation that by the time it's over, they'll be 0-16. Not having Peyton Manning has almost everything to do with the Colts' predicament. And that only makes things worse for Caldwell; if Indy's success hinges on Manning's health -- not Caldwell's ability to coach without one of his best players -- why keep him around?

Which is why, barring a miracle only Tim Tebow could deliver, Caldwell will be looking for work on or about January 1.

During his weekly Monday night radio show, team president Bill Polian admitted that, "I bear a lot of responsibility for what happened here and it weights heavily on me. It breaks my heart that there are good players and good coaches who are going through an awful time because we didn't build a strong enough football team."

But he also hinted that, ultimately, Caldwell could be held responsible.

"My fervent hope is that Jim's job is not in jeopardy because my fervent hope is that we don't go 0-16," he said, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Tom James. "And we're doing everything we can to try and avoid that."

On Wednesday, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora pretty much confirmed through sources what Polian intimated Monday. "…Unequivocally, an 0-16 finish by the Colts will cost Caldwell his job."

The possible follow-up question from some Colts fans: "Hey, Bill, what about you and (your son, Colts general manager) Chris?"

After all, a series of poor personnel decisions played a non-trivial role in Indy's current plight. (Forget Polian's recent admission that "we were getting ready to draft" T.J. Yates -- just take a look at the team's first-round picks from '05 to '10.)

A month ago, back when Indy was just 0-8, owner Jim Irsay said this about the Polian's future.

“I’m committed. 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."

Irsay was less certain about Caldwell.

“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 on November 4, 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.”

Let's see: the Colts are 0-13 and their starting quarterback is Dan Orlovsky, the guy who was 0-7 as a starter with the Lions in 2008 (that team went 0-16), and is currently 0-2 in that role in Indy. Pretty sure continuity would be a bad thing. And who knows, when the Colts draft Andrew Luck, that thinking could extend to Manning, too.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 12:28 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 5:03 pm
 

What happens if Peyton Manning can't play?

P. Manning still isn't ready to return from his neck surgery (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If there isn’t panic these days in Indianapolis about the future of the Colts quarterback position, perhaps there should be. Peyton Manning, coming off neck surgery, hasn’t practiced yet, and though it’s too early to gnash your teeth about Manning’s newly-signed five-year, $90 million contract, Colts fans have to be worried about his long-term health.

Not to mention the long-term prospects of the rest of the Colts quarterbacks.

Curtis Painter, Manning’s long-time backup, still hasn’t proved he can be a starting QB in this league, and one of the few passes I saw Dan Orlovsky throw during Indianapolis’ putrid loss to the Redskins on Friday was a terribly underthrown ball that was intercepted by Washington.

And if you’re not concerned about it, Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz explains why you should be.

Writes Kravitz: “There are three weeks remaining before the regular season begins, and unless Manning is back within a week, it's fair to worry whether he'll be ready to roll when it counts. (If you're asking when Manning will return, here's the answer: I. Don't. Know. And I'm not sure Manning and the doctors know just yet, either.)"

This hasn’t ever really been an issue for Manning and the Colts. He’s been remarkably durable throughout his career, and the Colts have ridden his talent to nine-straight 10-win seasons and nine-straight playoff appearances. But does anyone think that, if Manning can’t play right away, Painter or Orlovsky can step in and play half as well? That the Colts could still compete for the AFC South title? Of course not.

Which leads Kravitz to question the Colts plan when it comes to backup quarterbacks. He talked to GM Chris Polian about it.

Peyton's Place ... on the sidelines?
"You get into the philosophy of, 'Do you want an experienced guy who may not be able to stay healthy if he had to play more than a couple of games, or a young guy with talent who's got a chance to ascend?'” Polian asked. “Part of what makes the backup quarterback position unique is more than physical qualities: What's the guy's contribution going to be in the meeting room? What's his role going to be in practice? Is he OK with what his role is going to be?

"Traditionally, because of the way Peyton wants to prepare, the backup doesn't get much work outside of training camp. And that's fine; I'm not going to complain about the results. But when we've inquired about vets in the past, there have been some financial limitations. This is not the best, most appealing spot for a guy who says, 'If somebody gets hurt and I can play four games, I can play somewhere else next year.' This is more of a destination spot, so that's led us a little more to the younger guys."

Or as owner Jim Irsay, who says Terrelle Pryor isn’t an option, tweeted Saturday, “We r evaluating the QB sitch,#18 healing but we got 2 b prepared 4 early season possibility without him,defense has 2 pick it up,big time!”

If Manning can’t get healthy quickly, the Colts plan might need to change. And fast.

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Posted on: May 2, 2011 7:36 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 8:42 pm
 

Closer look at Bill Polian and Colts front office

Posted by Andy Benoit

It’s post-draft mea culpa time. If you happened to listen toB. Polian (US Presswire)the podcast Will Brinson and I did in the Indianapolis Offseason Checkup a few weeks ago, you heard me vehemently declare that it would be an utter shock if the Colts drafted an offensive lineman in the first round. I realized at the time that virtually every mock draft on the face of the planet had Indy drafting an offensive tackle. And I realized that offensive tackle was one of Indy’s primary needs. But I argued that a first-round offensive tackle to the Colts would not happen because Bill Polian does not spend first-round draft picks on offensive linemen.

Obviously, I was wrong. Indy drafted Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo 22nd overall.

Upon closer inspection, it’s easy to see where my logic was flawed. I reasoned that in his previous 13 drafts as president of the Colts, Polian never drafted an offensive tackle in the first round because he knew that Peyton Manning could get rid of the ball quick enough to minimize any weaknesses at left tackle. (This analysis of Manning, by the way, is valid; the Colts have survived with the limited Charlie Johnson at left tackle the past two seasons.)

But the reason Polian had never drafted an offensive lineman in Round 1 is because a.) left tackle is the only position worth spending a first-round pick on and b.) when Polian took over the Colts in ’98 he already had ’97 first-round pick Tarik Glenn on the roster. Glenn – who always got out of his stance quicker than any offensive lineman in the game – protected Manning’s blind side for 10 years.

As soon as Glenn retired in 2008, Polian drafted Tony Ugoh. Yes, Ugoh was taken early in Round 2, but Polian dealt a first-round pick to trade up and get him. So, in essence, Polian drafted a left tackle in the first round that year. Ugoh didn’t work out, but that doesn’t change the bottom line that Colts are indeed very willing to invest in a premium left tackle.

If I wanted to play small, I could argue that Bill Polian still didn’t draft an offensive lineman in the first round because it wasn’t him running the Colts’ draft this year; it was his son, Chris Polian. Chris says it was a group effort, but Bill recently explained to the media (per the Indy Star) that it was Chris who set the parameters for the Colts 2011 Draft plan.

That a different Polian was pulling the trigger on Draft Day is significant news, as it marks a changing of the guard in what is arguably the best front office in pro football. Many a Colt fan is worried about what this could mean for the club’s future. They shouldn’t worry. Every NFL insider insists that, in this case, the son is every bit as adept as the father, and that the father wouldn’t be handing over the keys if this weren’t true. The Colts also have one of the best scouting departments in the league, and an excellent player personnel director in Tom Telesco.

Bill Polian is 68. Chris Polian is 39. Bill has not said how long he’ll stay on in Indy. It may not matter, as it appears his lasting impact on the organization has already been set.

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Posted on: May 2, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.2.11: Draft viewership up AND down

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal reports that the NFL Network had it's best three-day viewership of the NFL Draft they've had yet. However, ESPN saw a dip -- 17.7 percent, actually, which is a LOT -- in draft viewership. What does that tell me? More people have the NFL Network now than used to, hence the growth in viewership. Otherwise, it's pretty obvious that the NFL Draft wasn't nearly as compelling with the labor junk going on in the background.
  • The NFL has responded to the news that Dave Duerson had brain damage when he committed suicide, saying they will continue to support the work of the scientists at Boston University.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com