Barely 24 hours after concluding what may be the most disappointing season in Indianapolis Colts history, owner Jim Irsay made the first of what figures to be several big moves in the 2012 off-season. At a press conference this afternoon, Irsay told reporters that vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian (Bill’s son) have been fired, citing a need for the franchise to move in a different direction.
Bill Polian has been widely credited for building the Colts into perennial contenders, but it became clear this season that a large portion of that credit, and maybe most of it, belongs to quarterback Peyton Manning. With Manning sidelined due to a lingering neck injury, Polian’s cast could do little right and fell off of the NFL map. Add to that the rumblings around Indy about Chris Polian’s divisive influence within the organization, and it’s not too surprising that Irsay pulled the trigger.
Still, I hoped and expected that Irsay’s first off-season move would be to can head coach Jim Caldwell, who was also ineffectual without Manning’s leadership. Irsay says that Caldwell is under evaluation, but I still have visions of someone else stomping the sidelines next season for the Colts. Wouldn’t Rob Ryan’s flowing locks look great waving in the air conditioned air of Lucas Oil Stadium?