Posted by Will Brinson
Saturday night, our own Gregg Doyel wrote a column about the stupidity of Jim Caldwell calling a timeout with 30 seconds left in a game that saw Indy fall to New York 17-16. The premise being that he allowed second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez to regroup, the Jets to gameplan for a big gain, and Nick Folk to attempt a much easier field goal. The premise, by the way, is correct.
And while it seems really difficult to call for a coach's head when he was two wins away from a perfect season/Super Bowl combo in 2009 and won a divisional championship in 2010, it might be time to think about getting rid of Jim Caldwell.
Why? Well, it ties in with a great argument that the guys on the mothership had during The NFL Today about whether or not Peyton Manning can win another Super Bowl in his career:
This is relevant because the Colts will always be dangerous as long as Peyton's on the field. They'll have a chance at winning the AFC South with Peyton and they'll have a shot at the Super Bowl with Peyton. But it's also going to take a much stouter defense (one that doesn't get utterly dominated by the run, a la the second half against the Jets on Saturday) to bump up the odds that Peyton retires with multiple titles.
And Caldwell, who was Manning's quarterbacks coach before replacing Tony Dungy as head coach, simply doesn't bring a defensive presence. Look, you can't argue with his record and the success the Colts have had the last two years, except for Super Bowl wins (zero, but, yes, that's a tough argument).
You can, however, argue that Caldwell serves, at best, as a figurehead for the organization. Peyton Manning calls his own plays; you don't have to be an insider to realize that. And a new coach, particularly one who's defensive-minded, probably wouldn't have a huge issue stepping into Caldwell's role with Indy, beefing up the Colts' defensive scheme, and letting Manning do whatever he wants to do on the offensive end.
It would be awkward as hell, sure, to let Caldwell go given his resume. But time is running shorter for the Colts when it comes to Peyton's career. And since they're about to invest possibly the biggest contract in NFL history in him for the duration of his quarterbacking years, there just so happen to be a lot of very impressive defensive guys (Rob Ryan, Perry Fewell, Ron Rivera or even John Fox) on the market as possible head coaches.
Speaking strictly from an objective point of view, it makes a lot of sense to at least discuss the options that might be available.
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