We have seen a lot of articles and talk about Polian and/or Caldwell going bye-bye next year. I am not completely against that. However, we have to ask… what is available to replace them with. I mean, if a team decided that it needed to replace a certain position to get better… but there was no one better in the draft or available in free agency, it wouldn’t make much sense to replace them with someone worse for to replace them. No, you would wait another year or two until someone better did come along.
Well, I think I have posted once or twice to BBS about breaking down what Coaches we, possibility, have available to us next year at the Head Coaching position. I haven’t seen anything… so figured I would right this up. Again, I would like to know what General Manager would be available to replace Polian but I don’t have that much time.
So, here is a list of coaches and those that could become a head coach. I did this in just under an hour, so forgive me if I left something out or didn’t put in enough detail.
Head Coaches that could step into Caldwell’s spot…
Bill Cowher: (Cleveland Browns – Special teams and Secondary coach, 1985 – 1988; Kansas City Chiefs – Defensive Coordinator, 1989 – 1991; Pittsburgh Steelers – Head Coach, 1992 – 2006. Overall record: 149 – 90.)
Under Polian: I don’t think Cowher would come here. The team is his and that is all that needs to be said. He has stated that if he returned to coaching it would be for a team that is on the verge of winning. Indianapolis has been the most staple team on the verge of winning… the reason he isn’t here!? Polian!
Under GM ?: Personally, I think Cowher would make a great GM and he could still run the team with Caldwell as the coach. But that isn’t going to happen. Cowher has stated that he would like to take over the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins or Houston Texans. So with his statement about ‘verge of winning’ and Polian being gone, AND Manning be back next year healthy… I think Cowher would give it a shot and turn this team around VERY quickly.
My opinion: Cowher won’t coach again… he has a comfy job now and he will be a legend. Why tarnish his name like Joe Gibbs did? He has nothing else to prove unless he just misses that job and if he wants to come back Irsay wouldn’t fork over the cash to land him. Cowher would have to WANT to come to Indy before Manning retires.
Jeff Fisher: (Philadelphia Eagles – Defensive Coordinator, 1988 – 1990; Los Angeles Rams – Defensive Coordinator, 1991; San Francisco 49ers – Defensive Backs Coach, 1992 – 1993; Houston Oilers - Defensive Coordinator, 1994; Tennessee Oiler/Titans – Head Coach, 1994 – 2010. Overall record: 147 – 126.)
Under Polian: I think Fisher could work under Polian… any GM or Owner has to be better than what he dealt with while in Tennessee! Fisher can implement his game plan to a degree and he is not a complete push over. However, after being in the situation he was in Tennessee… he might not want to be boxed in like he was. He might have ‘learned his lesson’ and want an organization where he has a little more freedom.
Under GM?: Again, I think Fisher is somewhat flexible and personally I think he would be a good coach with or without Polian as his boss. Fisher could work under any GM.
My opinion: I think the Colts Defense could REALLY thrive under Fisher and he could help elevate the entire organization. If Manning is back next year and healthy then Fisher would have to do very little on the offensive side and could focus on the defense… making the Colts one very scary team to beat. IF, Manning is not back next year or ever, then Fisher has gone through bringing a rookie QB into the Pro fold… if we were to get Luck we know he would not be an lazy egomaniac like Young was and still is.
Jon Gruden: (San Francisco 49ers – Offensive Quality Control Coach, 1990; Green Bay Packers – Offensive Assistant and Wide Receivers Coach, 1992 – 1994; Philadelphia Eagles – Offensive Coordinator, 1995 – 1997; Oakland Raiders – Head Coach, 1998 – 2001; Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Head Coach, 2002 – 2008. Overall Record: 100 – 85)
Under Polian: Gruden would be just fine working under Polian, he wants to work with Manning and he seems like another Caldwell at times (in terms of being a sock puppet). He worked under Al Davis so working under Polian and Irsay couldn’t be any crazier.
Under GM?: I think Gruden would need a strong figure as GM to help him along. He would probably be better UNDER Polian.
My opinion: 2002 was Dungy’s team led by Gruden with a 12 – 4 record. 2003 was a 7 – 9 season and 2004 was a 5 – 11 season. From San Francisco to Green Bay his hand was held by Holmgren and then after Oakland he took over for Dungy, he seems to ride the coat tails a little.
People who could get a shot at being a head coach and replacing Caldwell…
Gregg Williams: (Tennessee Oilers/Titans – Defensive Coordinator, 1997 – 2000; Washington Redskins – Defensive Coordinator, 2004 – 2007; Jacksonville Jaguars - Defensive Coordinator, 2008; New Orleans Saints - Defensive Coordinator, 2009 – present.)
My opinion: Works for the Saints and knows their defense… worked under Jeff Fisher so whatever Fisher could bring to the table Williams may do the same. If Manning is back, could really help the Colts. If Manning is NOT back… not so sure he could foster a new QB and offense; unless he hired Manning to be the Offensive Coordinator.
My opinion: If Manning is back and healthy I think he could be a good candidate. I think he could work under Polian or any other GM. He knows Eli, so he probably knows the work ethic. He could focus on Colts Defensive and really help. If Manning is NOT coming back… put him with Gregg Williams.
My opinion: If we get Andrew Luck and Manning is NOT coming back… I think he is our best option. Colts have always been an Offensive team and if we are starting from scratch, I think Olson could about as good of a job as any.
Tom Clements: (Buffalo Bills – Offensive Coordinator, 2004 – 2005; Green Bay Packers – QB Coach, 2006 – present)
My opinion: I would put him with Greg Olson but since he seen the Farve to Rodgers transition and who better if Manning does come back to help transition the Colts from Manning to Luck (if we got him). So I would say if Manning came back and maybe only has 2 – 3 years left Clements might be a candidate.
Please feel free to rip my post apart… I would like to know if there is someone out there that is better that I am not aware of. If I missed some factual information about these candidates I listed that could evaluate or deflate their status. Personally, I hope Manning is OK and comes back, Carter and Addai are the answers to the running game, our O-line gets better next year and our defense improves and we get an Super Bowl win for Indianapolis before Manning retires.