Blog Entry

Irsay looking for new direction

Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:46 pm
Apparently, Jim Irsay decided enough was enough.

People close to the Colts tell me that Irsay's decision to fire Bill and Chris Polian was the Indianapolis owner's way of saying it was time for the club to find a new direction.

For 14 years the Colts operated -- and successfully, I might add -- under the tutelage of the senior Polian. But it was never easy, as things seldom are with the mercurial Polian. He was tough for some persons to abide, but they could put up with him and his legendary temper as long as the Colts were winning -- which they were the past decade.

But that changed this season with the exit of Peyton Manning, and even though Polian was semi-retired he still was the voice of the Colts -- keeping his radio and TV shows and appearing at annual owners' meetings.

His son had been groomed to run the franchise, and was inserted as the team's GM -- but, according to people within and without the club, he was tough to work with. Again, that might have been excused if the Colts had won. But they didn't.

In fact, they were the league's worst team. Plus, the shortcomings of the team became apparent once Manning stepped aside -- and I'm talking about a lack of talent.

That was an indictment of Polian's drafts, which haven't yielded much in recent years. Polian built a considerable reputation on marvelous drafts, but some of the team's moves lately didn't pay off -- with Indianapolis gaining little. With Irsay wondering where the Colts were headed, he looked at where they are ... and he didn't  like what he saw.

People tell me the decision had nothing to do with Polian's comments about Manning or Irsay choosing his quarterback over his vice chairman. What was involved was Irsay wanting to send his team in a new direction -- one where new people brought new ideas and a vitality to a club that seemed to have stagnated.

Bill Polian did a magnificent job in Indianapolis, just as he had in Buffalo when he built the Bills into a Super Bowl franchise. But Irsay was dismayed over what happened this season -- with Manning's absence exposing the team's warts.

So he made the change, hoping to invigorate the franchise with an "energy," as he put it, he thought it was missing. I don't know if it works, but I do know it's a bold maneuver that is bound to shake up the franchise -- on and off the field.

Category: NFL

Since: Jan 3, 2012
Posted on: January 3, 2012 7:08 am

Irsay looking for new direction

Although I am not an Indy fan, my first reaction was that Irsay wanted to fire the Polians for a while, but you can't fire someone at the top without a serious backlash. 2-14 gave Irsay an out, and he took it. It is hard for some owners to allow a GM to attract the entire spotlight, and hard for some GM's to try and give a little of it up.  I think that they are both  strong personalities that eventually couldn't work together.

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 12:51 am
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Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:49 pm

Irsay looking for new direction

Polian made one great move....Peyton over Ryan Leaf.  Peyton will retire as one of the top five QBs in NFL history.  Polian has not only NOT had good drafts lately but has not done much with free agents and lost several good players to free agency.  All these developments have cost the Colts...Manning's absence was the final straw.  I hope Manning returns better than ever.  I don't think this "change for the sake of change".

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:50 pm

Irsay looking for new direction

Bill Cowher would make a great coach for the Colts. But then Irsay might have an offensive minded head coach in mind. Whoever that might be please don't let it be Mike Martz. Although the Colts do play on turf....right?

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:29 pm

Irsay looking for new direction

Well done Jim. Happy sailing. Hope the new team your bring are great. You are always a class act, and the fans will support it.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:03 pm

Irsay looking for new direction

i bet Irsay is watching Stanford and Oklahoma State right now.

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