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Tag:Jim Irsay
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:07 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 11:36 am
 

Report: Colts called Jeff Fisher about interest

Fisher's only shot in a Colts jersey. (The Tennessean)
By Will Brinson

On Tuesday, the Colts decided to (finally) fire Jim Caldwell as the team's head coach. It was a smart decision by Jim Irsay and new GM Ryan Grigson, but the delay in removing Caldwell form his post was a bit odd.

Although the news, as reported by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that the Colts called Jeff Fisher and inquired about his availability before Caldwell was fired and before Fisher took the Rams job makes the timing a bit more interesting.

(The Colts also reportedly interviewed Steve Spagnuolo for the position of defensive coordinator on Monday night, before firing Caldwell.)

However, Fisher was "not interested" and turned down the Colts.

This is fascinating because, as we mentioned on the podcast yesterday, it seemed like Fisher could've landed Andrew Luck (or Peyton Manning?) if he'd waited a few days, returned to the weakened AFC South and been handed the keys to a franchise in full rebuild mode.


Perhaps it was too much rebuilding, though, and that could tell us all we need to know about the future of Manning with the Colts: Fisher has to believe he can win now (to a degree) with the Rams.

If he hits a home run with the No. 2 pick, coaches up the defense and gets an offensive coordinator who can bring the best out of Sam Bradford, he probably can.

In Indy, things might not be quite so simple. There's more work to be done and Grigson was already in place, meaning Fisher would have to work with his vision as well.

It's also entirely possible the Colts called, found out he was getting $35 million over five years and considered just hanging up the phone.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:33 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 5:51 pm
 

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Manning, Irsay

ManningBy Josh Katzowitz

Now that Jim Caldwell has been fired as the Colts head coach, what does that say about what will happen to the face of the franchise for the past 15 years?

Well, it’s probably not great news for those who would love to see Peyton Manning back at the helm of the Colts offense.

As we came to understand this year, Caldwell’s job absolutely depended on Manning playing* – though you have to wonder if Caldwell had gotten more out of his team like, say, a 4-12 season instead of a 2-14 record, maybe Irsay would have kept him – and without that safety net, he was exposed as something less than stellar.

*You know how so many people joked (or maybe they weren’t joking) early this season that Manning should be the league MVP this season because of how different Indianapolis was without him? On that same note, you could make the claim that Manning has done the most damage of anybody in the Colts organization. I mean, look at how many people have been fired because Manning didn’t play this season, including a potential Hall of Fame executive in Bill Polian.**

**Obviously, I’m joking (or maybe I’m not).

But now that Caldwell is gone, along with Bill and Chris Polian, will the Colts decide to bring back Manning for another season and pay his gargantuan salary to do so? Or, will Indianapolis completely begin to reconstruct the franchise without him?

We already know what Manning prefers. His father Archie Manning said Sunday that, “Peyton kind of likes his roots in Indy. … We’ll see what happens there. If that doesn’t work and he can get healthy we’ll see. That’ll all work out. He’s just trying to get healthy.”

While new general manager Ryan Grigson said today that he and the ownership haven’t discussed Manning or who their future quarterback might be -- though that claim seems rather dubious, right? -- here are four reasons why the Colts might decide they’re better off without one of the best NFL quarterbacks in history.

Colts Offseason
Can Manning be what he was?: We obviously have no idea. Manning has no idea. And it's obvious that nobody has any idea whether Manning, following spinal fusion surgery that kept him out the entire 2011 season, will be healthy enough to play in 2012 or whether he’ll be the same MVP-caliber player. Apparently, he’s on target with his recovery goals and he began throwing after practice toward the end of the season, but he’s still a long way from knowing exactly how healthy he can be going forward.

New guys who have no loyalty to Manning: Irsay believes Manning is like family. Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell did, as well. But Grigson won’t feel that way, and most likely, neither will the new coach. Because, well, why should they? And why should they be loyal to Manning? The answer: they shouldn’t, and if Irsay is cleaning house in his organization, he has to know that letting go of Manning might be the next logical move. And if he wasn’t OK with that, he probably shouldn't have fired everybody.

Drafting Luck: Although Irsay claims no decision has been made about whether the Colts will take Andrew Luck with the top pick in next year’s draft, there have been reports that Irsay will do exactly that. And really, how can he not? If the scouts are right and Luck is truly one of the best quarterbacks to emerge from college since Manning, how could Indianapolis not take him? Especially since Manning, at best, has only a few years left in his career, and Luck, if he’s anywhere close to Manning’s talent level, could be running that team for the next 15 years.

Huge money due: Manning originally was due a $28 million bonus on March 8, and though it’s been reported that the Colts want to work out an extension with Manning so they could postpone the decision (considering Manning seems to be amenable with the Colts and wants what’s best for his team, I imagine that will be OK), they can’t push the decision that far down the road.

And that’s really at the crux of the issue. The Colts need to know if Manning can play and play well. Manning can’t give them an answer. With a new direction for the front office, how much are the Colts really going to risk trying to ride Manning to the playoffs for the next few years? The answer: they very well could decide they won’t. And honestly, maybe they shouldn’t.

It's a new world in Indianapolis, and there simply might not be enough room for Manning in it.




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Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:09 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 5:11 pm
 

The next Colts head coach: the early candidates

Who are the likely coaching candidates now that Jim Caldwell is out in Indy? (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)

By Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson

It's that time of year: head coaches get fired and we speculate as to who will replace them. On Tuesday, the Colts dismissed Jim Caldwell after a 2-14 effort this season. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that it took so long. Owner Jim Irsay got rid of Bill and Chris Polian early this month but Caldwell's future hung in the balance until Indianapolis hired a new general manager. The team announced Ryan Grigson in that role last Wednesday, and six days later, Caldwell was let go.


Which brings us to this: who's on our very early list of potential replacements? Glad you asked.

Brad Childress

Any other head-coaching gig and Childress probably wouldn't get much consideration. But the Colts are different. Whatever their plans are for Peyton Manning and/or Andrew Luck, the coach, at least in recent history, has served more as facilitator than a fire-and-brimstone motivator. Childress is best (and perhaps unfairly) remembered for selling his soul to convince Brett Favre to be Minnesota's quarterback.

That PR disaster aside, Childress was 39-35 in five years with Minnesota (including 10- and 12-win seasons in 2008 and 2009), and the Vikings were one Favre interception away from the Super Bowl in '09.

Before arriving in Minnesota, Childress served capably as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator (2003-05). Since the Colts already have a franchise QB (possibly two by late April), Childress won't have to worry about shuttling players to Mississippi to convince an over-the-hill quarterback to play one more season.

Marty Mornhinweg

Some might cringe at Mornhinwheg here considering he won five games in two seasons in a previous stint as an NFL head coach. But he's got an easy out: that was with the Lions. Also, he's worked for the Eagles since 2006, meaning he and Grigson have plenty of time as colleagues. Mornhinwheg's passing offenses have been consistently ranked in the top 10 or 15 in the NFL, and that's a huge plus for a team that's likely draft Andrew Luck first overall in three months. Mornhinwheg would go into a situation where the expectations would be low with a rebuilding franchise. Grigson running the show would mean that Mornhinwheg would get significantly more patience from his bosses than he might in a different situation.

Wade Phillips

Much like Childress, Phillips wouldn't be the first name that came to mind for most head-coaching opportunities. But again, Indy's a different situation, and Phillips, while short on charisma, is long on experience. He's also a proven defensive coordinator, something the Colts are going to need if the Luck era begins this summer.

Plus, there's this: Grigson is 39 years old. Would Irsay want an unproven GM paired with an unproven head coach? One or the other, fine. Both, however, could delay a rebuilding process that Irsay has already admitted won't happen overnight.

Phillips withdrew his name for the Buccaneers head-coaching search last week, stating that he preferred to stay in Houston as the defensive coordinator. It was the right decision, but Indy ain't Tampa Bay. This is a team that, prior to 2011, had won at least 10 games in 11 of the last 12 seasons, appeared in the Super Bowl in '09 and won the Super Bowl in '06. There's a recent history of success there that most other organizations can't match.

Rob Chudzinski

If we're Grigson and Irsay, we call up Chud and offer him a pile of money to run the offense and grow with Luck. Or, worst case, Chud comes in and works with Manning, if they keep him. The work that Chudzinski did in Carolina this year with Cam Newton can't be understated, and nothing's more important for the future of the Colts than preparing Luck to succeed going forward. Chud's shown that he can get a rookie quarterback up and running pretty quickly, and without requiring too much in the way of offensive weapons (grab some tight ends, sign a marquee, young wideout, draft an offensive lineman and you're good).  The obvious exception to this, of course: Chud's unproven (see Phillips above). 

Steve Spagnuolo

Shortly after Caldwell was dismissed Tuesday, FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported that Spagnuolo interviewed for the Colts' defensive coordinator position earlier this week and Caldwell was one of the people Spagnuolo interviewed with. (We're immediately reminded of the Bobs asking "What would you say you do here?")

If the Colts thought enough of Spags for the DC gig, maybe they also think he deserves consideration for Caldwell's old job. Spagnuolo sandwiched one- and two-win seasons in St. Louis around a 7-9 effort, so his resume alone doesn't make him a particularly attractive candidate. But again, this isn't a typical head-coaching position and Spagnuolo appears to have the right demeanor for the situation. Which is to say that he's not a showman (see Ryan, Rex or Rob) or a screamer (Todd Haley, for example). We also shouldn't underestimate his ties to the Eagles -- just like Childress, Mornhinweg and Grigson.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 5:08 pm
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Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:31 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 4:40 pm
 

Irsay makes Grigson's first move an easy one

By Will Brinson

Whenever an organization makes a new hire, there's always a discussion of "winning the press conference," which doesn't get you any notches in the win column, but it does garner fan support. Jim Irsay took the concept one step further by letting new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson dispatch unpopular head coach Jim Caldwell.

Frankly, it's a brilliant public relations move. Irsay "cleaned house" earlier in the month when he decided to dump Bill Polian and his son Chris and move the organization in a different direction. Deciding to keep Caldwell was a head-scratcher, almost as perplexing as all the rumors that Caldwell would return in 2012, many of which came as early as Tuesday morning, the day Caldwell was fired.

But by keeping Caldwell until Tuesday and letting him "interview" (for his own job no less!) with Grigson last week, Irsay set his new, young general manager up for a first decision easier to make than a layup on a four-foot goal.


And that decision, on the heels of a 2-14 record for the Colts in 2011, makes Grigson a popular guy around town. If you don't believe me, look at the press conference the Colts held on Tuesday -- Irsay kept his comments short, referenced 1998 and a big rebuild/do-over and turned things over to Grigson, who's now running the show in Indy.

There's nothing odd about that, because Grigson is the GM. That's his job. But he's the guy Colts fans are seeing who's responsible for getting rid of Caldwell and hopefully turning a corner. He's the guy who'll make the decision to draft Andrew Luck, which is also supposed to be a layup.

The Peyton Manning decision is another story, of course. But even if Grigson sends Manning packing and fans get upset at him for the call, they won't get too mad. After all, Grigson's the guy who just made the brilliant decision that Caldwell wasn't fit to run the Colts.

And he can thank Irsay for putting him in the position to make that move.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:44 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 4:58 pm
 

Colts fire head coach Jim Caldwell

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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Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:20 pm
 

Sounds like Jim Caldwell is coming back to Colts

Would Indy really consider keeping Jim Caldwell? (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson

Everyone in and around Indianapolis wants to know if the Colts will retain coach Jim Caldwell. Judging by reports, conjecture and general "feeling," it sure sounds like they will.

Mike Chappell, the Colts beat writer for the Indianapolis Star, wrote in a mailbag on Monday that he thinks Caldwell's coming back and that the Colts will announce it on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"I expect something to be announced Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest," Chappell said at the top of the entry. "And I expect Caldwell to return. I know that’s not what you or a lot of Colts fans want to hear. Just a feeling I have."

The Indy Star Twitter feed linked out to this "feeling" with the following wording: "Reporter Mike Chappell expects Colts to retain Jim Caldwell, announcement tomorrow or Wednesday."

Philip B. Wilson of the Star doesn't know whether or not Caldwell's coming back, though he writes that the rumors are that the coach is going to stay. He does believe that a) a press conference is coming soon and b) fans are going to be miffed.

"The weekend rumors are that Caldwell is staying," Caldwell writes. "Don’t know if that’s true. We expect a press conference in the next day or two."

Bob Kravitz of the Star agrees, tweeting on Monday that although the Colts "have not made a decision on Caldwell" his "gut says he stays."

Look, it makes sense that Caldwell would stay at this point. The Colts hired a new general manager. Presumably he's met with Caldwell. If Caldwell was getting canned, he would've been canned. Maybe the decision is inherently tied to keeping Peyton Manning.

Even Colts owner Jim Irsay's lyrical Twitter quotes are ambiguous these days.

"In the morning,you go gunning...4 the man who stole your water...." Irsay tweeted on Tuesday.

That's a Steely Dan line and it would make total sense for Irsay to go "gunning" for the man who stole his water (Caldwell's the only option left, right?).

Except that's a line from the song "Do It Again." Certainly Colts are hoping it's not an early requiem for 2012.

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Posted on: January 15, 2012 12:43 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 2:03 pm
 

Casserly: Grigson to meet with Caldwell this week

Caldwell

By Josh Katzowitz

Much of the next generation of Colts leadership has been decided. After owner Jim Irsay fired Bill and Chris Polian -- but left coach Jim Caldwell in place for the time being -- the next step was to hire Ryan Grigson as the team’s next general manager.

Plus, the Colts reportedly have already decided, before Grigson was even hired, to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick of the 2012 draft.

Now, the last remaining major question is what Irsay and Grigson will do about Caldwell. As CBS Sports’ Charley Casserly reported on the The NFL Today, Grigson will meet with Caldwell this week and make a recommendation to Irsay about the next step with the team’s head coach.

As CBSSports.com colleague Will Brinson pointed out the other day, Grigson, the former player personnel director for the Eagles, could want to bring in his own coach, and one interesting name for consideration could be Philadelphia offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

But could Caldwell survive, just by the fact the Colts won two of their final three games of the season to avoid the embarrassing 0-fer?

If Caldwell doesn’t get much credit from many observers for taking the team to the Super Bowl in his first year in charge because his personnel was so damn good, shouldn’t he not take so much of the blame for this season because his personnel was so damn bad? I mean, wasn’t that the reason Irsay canned the Polian’s in the first place?

Besides, as Casserly talked about a few weeks ago, there was a strong sentiment to bring back Caldwell, because of the effort the team gave in 2011. That feeling, however, was expressed before Grigson was hired. And Grigson could be the one to change everything.

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