Blog Entry

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

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

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:12 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

I have envisioned this as well.  I think Luck is too good to pass up and Manning at the tail end of his career.  Luck won't pull a scenario like rodgers did in green bay, even though a year behind manning would be good for Luck, then Trade Manning to a team that could use him.  I think if Irsay and the new managment doesn't handle the Luck situation just right he could pull an Eli Manning on them?

If they keep Manning this year, he'll hit the salary cap for more then $20 million and they'll have to free up space with some of the higher paid other players, Wayne, Freeney, Saturday etc... to keep them under the cap.

You know that Luck will make no less then 9 million as a rookie so having two QB's for 30% of the salary on the team will be hard to manage for the new management.  Expect to see some big players cut and hopefully pick up some very good draft picks and undrafted guys like they always have.

Seems they have descent back up WR's corp and LB's but the DB's and DL might be hard to manage next season.  i suspose you might see Irsay and the new GM trade manning for some good Draft picks now and in the future, maybe SF or Arizona?

Hard to think Manning might not be a Colt next season....



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:12 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Manning is Irsey's baby. I would'nt doubt if Pollen wanted to ditch Manning and Irsey would hear nothing of it.



Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:12 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Jim Irsay has just into his father Bob Irsay. Bob led the team to numerous losing seasons. Looks like Jim had one too many as usual. But this time the alcohol affected his mind. Idiot what have you done? It will be a long time, before the Colts ever contend again, its over.



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:10 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

I have envisioned this as well.  I think Luck is too good to pass up and Manning at the tail end of his career.  Luck won't pull a scenario like rodgers did in green bay, even though a year behind manning would be good for Luck, then Trade Manning to a team that could use him.  I think if Irsay and the new managment doesn't handle the Luck situation just right he could pull an Eli Manning on them?

If they keep Manning this year, he'll hit the salary cap for more then $20 million and they'll have to free up space with some of the higher paid other players, Wayne, Freeney, Saturday etc... to keep them under the cap.

You know that Luck will make no less then 9 million as a rookie so having two QB's for 30% of the salary on the team will be hard to manage for the new management.  Expect to see some big players cut and hopefully pick up some very good draft picks and undrafted guys like they always have.

Seems they have descent back up WR's corp and LB's but the DB's and DL might be hard to manage next season.  i suspose you might see Irsay and the new GM trade manning for some good Draft picks now and in the future, maybe SF or Arizona?

Hard to think Manning might not be a Colt next season....



Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:08 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

I think the owner is smart by not firing the coach. He can't go and fire everyone if Manning is coming back. He's going to leave it to his new GM to decide to either trade Manning or keep him. If he keep him it's important to keep the coach and system in place to have any chance of win



Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:01 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Great Job Irsay.........You have recognized that your team needs change and you made the first change. Peyton's time is over. It is time for some Luck. You are a smart owner. Thank You




Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:53 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

I don't know the particulars of Maning's contract, salary cap implications etc. but I'll predict anyway:  new GM, new coach, trade Manning and usher in entire new era, which starts with new QB Andrew Luck.  A new GM and new coach with Manning isn't a new era at all.  This is why I predict Manning's gone.  Jets?  49ers? 



Since: Nov 4, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:49 pm
 

Colts owner speaks on Manning, Caldwell, Polians

Now, thats bass ackwards! The coach is horrible, the General manager is very good. Dis Peyton give his imprimatur on this, or are the  Irsays going rogue? If you haven't learned anything from the Cowboys, the owner should butt out!



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