With the first pick in the April draft, the Colts have been expected to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who is considered the best quarterback to enter the draft since Manning. That makes the Colts’ job one of the most attractive for a new general manager and potentially a new coach. A general manager will have to grapple — with considerable input and final say from Irsay — with what to do with Manning, who is due a $28 million roster bonus in early March.
But the potential to work with Manning or Luck — or both — is likely to draw top general manager and coaching candidates, which could have a trickledown effect on other searches.
"But a series of poor recent drafts left them with little depth, something that Manning was able to hide."
Interesting that even the NYT subscribes to the 'bad drafting/Manning covered flaws' narrative.
@pierrezombie I 100% concur. The Polians did a hell of a job drafting from my perspective. Not many teams realize how hard it is to draft in slot 28 or lower for a decade. Look at New England for example. Their defense is terrible and are struggling to fill their offensive line just like the Colts are. It is tough to draft that low year in and year out. Downtown seems to be coming around, Powers is a starting corner, Angerer is a beast, and guys like Conner, Thomas, and Rucker have show real signs of maturation. I am just scared shitless that Irsay could be turning into Jerry Jones. I think if you subscribe to the "new vision and era" you are more inclined to go with a younger and "up and coming" guy as your GM as well as your coach. They would be better suited to mold themselves into Irsay's vision since he seems to know what direction he wants to take his franchise.
@csb85@pierrezombie The Polians didn't leave the roster in shambles as suggested by some others. There are some folks returning from injury (see Laura's article today) that will help such as Eric Foster, Drake Nevis, and Melvin Bullitt. In essense, there's a depth issue more than anything.
That said Jim Irsay must resist the urge to bring in a GM that either does not attempt to sign key vets or wishes to revamp the roster entirely. I see Robert Mathis as the biggest priority followed by Pierre Garcon and/or Reggie Wayne. Jeff Saturday and Jacob Tamme would incredibly helpful to keep. They need another reliable DT, depth across the secondary and if at all possible a stud cornerback to push the others.
In light of all of this, perhaps Tom Telesco is the best candidate for the job. Then you have to address the head coach. If it's not Caldwell then you need to look for a guy who likes cover 2 and can work with the vertical passing scheme. Otherwise you must retain at least half the staff.
I know Nate and some others view this as a valley of death for any prospective GM candidate, but I tend to think the unique challenges and opportunities would be pretty attractive. Compare it to coming into Detroit a few years ago--there's nowhere to go but up, sure, but what a monumental uphill task it would be. Here, you have a commited owner, new facilities, bunch of recent pro-bowlers, probably a HOF QB and the #1 pick in the draft. A decent foundation. Even if you screw up tyhe first couple years, your record is above .500. And if you do well and Manning is fully back, you start at 11 wins and build for the future by revamping a suddenly oldish roster.
What I DON'T want is a coach-GM position. They might work ofr a year or two with HOF caliber guys (Parcells, Reeves) but it's the exception and it never lasts. I'd like another 10-12 year run with two quality guys. Then again, I am ridiculously spoiled (bu Redicules, the Greek God of bad spellling).
"He said he would not eliminate any possibility, including hiring a big-name coach who would wield considerable personnel power."
This is the option I'm afraid of -- that Irsay has keyed in on a coach who wants GM duties, so is making room for that. Just doesn't seem like that ever works out very well.
I hope it works out this way because it certainly makes sense. We need a top flight talent evaluator and a coach that can put a consistent defense on the field.
@colt44 Truth be told Jim Irsay is right: experienced guys who have been a GM before aren't available. The Colts will get a guy that hasn't been at that level before. Right now the talking heads all like DeCosta from Baltimore or McKenzie from Green Bay.