Brett Mock anlyzes the implications of the pending announcement removing the Polians from the Colts front office.
No more significant change could occur in Indianapolis than what has just been reported by Chris Mortensen at ESPN. Mortensen tweeted minutes ago that Colts owner Jim Irsay will be cleaning house, including letting go Vice Chairman Bill Polian and current General Manager Chris Polian.
The implications of such a drastic change cannot be overstated. If rumors of a rift existing between Peyton Manning and the Polians were true, it could increase the likelihood that Manning will return with new leadership at the wheel. It could also mean that the team is entering a total rebuild phase and veteran players like Manning may be moving on.
The IndyStar's Phil B. Wilson indicates that Irsay will be holding a press conference at 5:00 PM this afternoon, which will likely include a ton of answers. If there is anything that can be said about Jim Irsay, it's that he marches to the beat of his own drummer and has spent much of the last year attempting to be more accessible Colts fans. With the Polians out, there is a very real chance that significant changes to the way the team handles public relations and the media are also on the way.
No matter what long-term impact this move will have on the Indianapolis Colts, either from a player personnel perspective or a media relations perspective, it is time for fans in Indianapolis to take a deep breath and accept the fact that getting back to the level of sustained success the team enjoyed under Polian leadership will not be an easy process. There is only a handful of folks who are even remotely close to the level of success Bill Polian has achieved over his long tenure in NFL management, and most of those folks are happily employed for their own successful and competitive franchises.
Allowing the team to sit without high level management and leadership at this point is also not an attractive situation. There are major contract decisions to be made and probably major coaching staff changes that will follow the selection of a new general manager. The longer the team waits to address these immediate issues and begin formulating a long-term plan to get the team back to success, starting with the 2012 NFL Draft, the more difficult it will be for the the Colts to be prepared for and successful in that endeavor.
Do not be surprised if that familiar feeling of Colts fandom takes a major blow after the press conference later today. It's anyone's guess what Irsay has in mind for the future of the team. Hopefully he has put significant time into planning for this transition and will provide a very detailed and meticulously prepared plan of succession for his front office that has been in the works for weeks behind the scenes. If he doesn't, Indianapolis will be left without a direction and in a far greater state of disarray than any member of the media or any member of the Colts community could have ever complained about during the season.
Personally, I am rejoicing Bill's departure. He has been trading on reputation for several years now. His presense also limited the number of quality coaching candidates that would consider this job. (I'm assuming Caldwell's pinkslip is coming soon.)
I will also say that I believe this makes it a near certainty that Andrew Luck will be a Colt next year. GM's are judged first and foremost by their personnel decisions... and no position is more prominent than the QB. As a new GM having the opportunity to use your first draft pick on the best QB prospect in a generation is a no brainer. The reverse... as a new GM would you want to be the guy who passed on Andrew Luck? I think not.
Personally, I would guess Manning is a Colt next year before getting traded following the season... but Andrew Luck is coming to Indy. Bet on that.
I sure hope Irsay knows what he is doing... because my intial thought is that this is in reaction to the local media setting the discourse and not what is actually best for the team.
I sure hope my gut reaction is wrong.
Brett, Nate, et al,
You certainly picked a propitious day for launching a new website. But how will you ever top this tomorrow and in the coming weeks? Dwight Freeney discovers life on saturn? Pat McAfee cures athlete's foot? Jeff saturday elected emperor of the universe? I dunno, you set controversy/media/discussion the bar pretty high today.
I will always appreciate Bill for all he did for the Colts. Enjoy retirement BP see ya in the HoF, hopefully Irsay has a plan.
My initial feeling aren't good. I can't imagine a new staff coming in and retaining "Polians guys." Polians guys being Manning, Wayne, Mathis, and the list goes on. With so many veterans unsigned or in doubt (like Manning) it would be the perfect opportunity to clean house and start fresh. The unfortunate thing for myself and I'm sure many others is, I love this team and can't imagine it without the faces that we've all grown to know and love. Players come and go, but not all at once, and that is potentially what we are facing. Unfrickinbelievable.
Very surprised. I hope they can pry a great personelle man from GB or Balt. Someone that is a #2 or #3 and is just waiting for a good shot
To his credit, Irsay hand picked Polian and Dungy. I hope he picks that well again.
I honestly hope that Irsay knows what he is doing. Not holding my breath though. Polian could be a real pain in the neck but he sure is one of the best out there and like you say there are not that many good ones out there on the street. I now am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. WOW
I'm not saying I like this move at all, but Bill Polian definitely painted himself into this corner with his recent 1st round draft whiffs, terrible relationship with the local media (and his PR in general), and the seeming disarray that was the Colts front office this season. That and our 2-14 record certainly didn't help.
I figure you have to take the good with the bad when it comes to BP, and the bad PR was
I just hope we don't pull a "Head coach + GM move" as those generally don't work too well. I like the separation of powers, when there is a balance (like Tony and Bill).
"Hopefully he has put significant time into planning for this transition and will provide a very detailed and meticulously prepared plan of succession for his front office that has been in the works for weeks behind the scenes. If he doesn't, Indianapolis will be left without a direction and in a far greater state of disarray than any member of the media or any member of the Colts community could have ever complained about during the season."
Very well said, sir.
I think this will be a complete blow up. I can't imagine them keeping Caldwell if they fired the Polians.
I also think this means they are going to start completely fresh, new systems and everything, and I think that means Peyton isn't coming back.
Either way, it was fun while it lasted. The Polians helped bring us one Super Bowl ring and another appearance, as well as one of the best runs in NFL history. It is something I will never forget as a fan, and something we will likely never see again.
@invisibulman Very interesting point about being judged by the QB and a new GM's likelihood to draft Luck for that reason alone. I think you're onto something. Have you looked at BP's draft success over the last five years statistically? There have been 2 or 3 articles written on it from the old 18to88.com that was folded into CA. There were two written by people who thought BP stank, and after doing the research and adjusting for draft position, they had to conclude that BP has been very good even recently (i.e. over past 5 years).
@DougEngland I share your thoughts. I am grimacing in anticipation of these next few months (years?).
@DougEngland Agreed. Based on what a read, he based it significantly on "intuition." I hate that. Intuition does not make these decisions (unless it's eidetic intuition after looking at a sound deductive argument). I am very afraid that this "intuition" would not have occurred had all parties involved been on a little Xanax.
They don't respect them enough to ever talk to them, but he respects them enough to let them dictate policy? That'd be interesting... and criminally incompetent.
@DougEngland You´re not the only one who has that gnawing feeling.
@Bobman Zoltan Mesko is already The Space Emperor of Space. Saturday is one of his subjects.
Maybe with an announcement that under a new regime we've gained access to the team and will be interviewing Jim Irsay and having the new GM on our weekly podcast? Too much?
I can dream can't I?
@Bobman I'd vote for Saturday as emperor of the universe.
I would think that there was a question if the Polians would even bring any of these guys back either.
@Peyton for President Honestly. if they are going completely from scratch, I'm not sure a lot of the players would want to come back.
he has not whiffed much. Brown and Costanzo are solid players. @Mr. Indianapolis Colts
just like collateral damage to his track record of winning ways.
I really am anxious to see who replaces the Polians, and what this means with the Head Coaching position.
@paulcareyjr He would go for the FG.
Interesting. Who else needs to be held "accountable"? @jules62
@jules62 YES!!!!!! Change is good!
@MrNFL I know! This fricken sucks!
@GregC Hopefully you listened to Irsay streamed on the colts website and then interviewed on the former Polian show by Bob. It is Irsay's team and he wants to move in a new direction. He is excited and most of the fan reaction out of Indy is positive. This is probably more about not retaining Chris. I trust Irsay. Jim has been around for a very long time and he knows what he is doing.
@pierrezombie@Goéland I´ve been reading several things that could make sense, and they all contradict each other. This is the one internal decision I fear could destroy the Colts, and not even knowing the reason is making me spin in circles. Reading Manning´s reaction.... I´m feeling seasick, because for the first time since 1998, the Colts boat is seriously in turbulent waters. Was it really possible Bill Polian, despite his unbelievable closeness with Peyton, fully intended to part with him and go with Luck?
@Goeland The other thing I'm wondering is if this somehow goes back to Manning's new contract; if there's something about the bind it's put him in that Irsay blames on Polian.
If I remember correctly, right before the contract was announced things got kind of squirrelly (no offense, Squirrel), with Irsay, Polian and Manning saying contradictory things in the media. After the fact, they kind of explained it away by saying it was about adding the opt-out/bonus payment. But I wonder, in retrospect, if that was a sign of friction or internal disagreement, and if so, to what extent it might have been a fracture line between the owner and FO.
@Nighttrain551@GregC@jules62 What´s amazing is that we actually don´t know why the Polians were fired. We don´t. Was it because of the losing this year? Was it because of the PR nightmare they have created with local media? Was it because of Bill? Was it because of Chris? Was it because Irsay wanted a change for the heck of it? Was it because of a fundamental disagreement about Manning? We don´t know. And yet you seem to have no trouble designating Bill´s PR issue as something that justifies his firing. Clark Judge reported that Chris too was hard to work with. So maybe we should hold our horses before casting judgement on their irreparable "failures".
@GregC @jules62 essentially every comment you have made is pro-polian minus acknowledgement of his media relations. You haven't given irsay due credit or even suggested that this may very well be a positive thing. Also don't dismiss medias role...bad pr is bad for any business especially local pr...ask any businessman that. If you did your job better than most and gave me increases in production but costed me potential clients because of terrible pr... Then despite your efforts....I would either dismiss you or take you out of handling pr. Polian chose to handle pr...perhaps because irsay stinks at it to( look at his twitter) . To sum up...stinking in pr is grounds for dismissal when you rely on pr to make hour business grow. Regardless of whose fault it was putting polian as the face/voice of the club...he was expected to do better and he failed.
@jules62 Actually irsay hasn't done too bad. He picked polian...and from what I understand he picked dungy despite the no's from polian. That worked out well. Don't be too quick to dismiss Irsay's role in the colts success or to annoint Polian as the only good gm out there.
You're right, the franchise had its most successful years when Irsay was making the football decisions. Oh, wait.
And I would argue that most of the fan reaction isn't positive, it's just the segment of the fan base in favor of this move, which has very little basis in winning football games, is quite loud.@jules62