One of the great advantages of having someone like John Oehser in the blogosphere is he will report on interesting Colts-related news events that other media outlets (hint, hint, The Indy Star) won't. As John reported last week, and colts9318rock blogged about this weekend, the Colts have parted ways with longtime scouting and personnel master Dom Anile.
Anile has been with the Colts since 1998, when he was hired as the director of football operations. However, the last few years, Anile has been a consultant on scouting and the draft. Oehser explains Anile's role:
Anile, who had been with the team for 11 years, had held a very prominent role in the draft room for his first eight years with the organization, and the way I understand it is although his role had been reduced in the last three years, his voice was still a promiment one when it came time to debating and discussing players. Part of his value was the willingness to go against the opinion of the room occasion, which can be a valuable thing in any decision-making process.
The Colts also parted ways with longtime scout Ralph Cavanaugh, who John clearly seems to think highly of:
Scouts get little publicity around the NFL, and that’s particularly true around the Colts, though Colts President Bill Polian without question values scouts greatly, and there’s no way he likes having to trim that area. So, while Colts fans may not ever have known Cavanaugh’s name — or most others in the department – he’s a knowledgeable football guy with a bright future in the league. My understanding is he has drawn some interest around the NFL despite many teams making similar staff reductions to those made by the Colts.
Why are the Colts doing all this? Well, it's not just the Colts who are trimming costs. Every team in this league is cutting back on scouts, personnel, and other positions. The excuse is the current state of the economy, but that is an excuse many people just aren't buying. Some argue that the recent cost-cutting by the owners is a way of conveying to the players that economic times are tough. So, when they try and renegotiate the CBA next off-season, the owners will cry that the cupboard is bare and the players must relinquish the hefty percentage they receive from TV rights.
Of course, the players will laugh at this.
You can't cry poverty one minute and the next minute give a rookie like Matthew Stafford $42 million and a lazy malcontent like Albert Haynesworth $100 million.
For the Colts, losing scouts like Cavanaugh and personnel guys like Anile will hurt them a bit in the future. Then again, all teams are hurt when they have to cutback on scouting, and the whole league will be hurting when this new CBA gets negotiated.