We were the first to go on record and say that, despite his impressive career as a personnel executive, Bill Polian should be fired as vice chairman of the Indianapolis Colts as season's end. A month or so later, Bob Kravitz jumped on the bandwagon.
Now, Kravitz is no longer just on the bandwagon. He's driving it.
In a thorough and lengthy editorial in today's Indianapolis Star, Kravitz practically gets on his knees and pleads with Colts owner Jim Irsay to do the right thing at the end of the season: Purge West 56th Street of all things Polian.
After tonight's final home game against the Houston Texans, a game that will feature the last glimpses of so many great Colts players, Irsay needs to take advantage of the dawning of a new era and create a tabula rasa for himself and Andrew Luck -- or whoever the next franchise quarterback might be.This is a chance to start over. To start over without a Polian in the front office for the first time in 14 seasons.
Much of the article is Kravitz justifying why this change must happen. For frequent readers of our little blog, the reasons are nothing new:
- Poor drafting in recent years
- Poor talent evaluation
- Internal dysfunction
- Lack of accountability
That is article got published on the very same day the Colts have their last home game of 2011 certainly is no mistake. For some Colts players, such as Reggie Wayne, they know this is likely the last time they will suit up in blue and white in front of a home Lucas Oil Stadium crowd.
For Bill Polian, the article is pretty damning indictment of his ability to effectively lead this franchise in recent years . It's in the details that Kravitz really hits home his points.
Regarding poor drafts and talent evaluation in recent years:
Somewhere along the way, management lost its mojo, just as the great Donnie Walsh lost his way after his great run with the Indiana Pacers. The Colts' drafts began to suffer around 2007. The staff and roster decisions began to suffer, whether it was keeping Bob Sanders on the roster during an injury-ravaged season or insisting upon the impending greatness of quarterback Curtis Painter.
Regarding internal dysfunction:
When Bill Polian made a surprise (angry) visit to the podium Tuesday, I began to ask, "Now that it's become clear that Peyton will not practice anymore this season . . ."
Polian interrupted, his lower lip quivering with anger.
"I never said that," he said tersely.
I responded, "Your coach just said that 35 seconds ago," which a public relations staffer confirmed.
Regarding lack of accountability:
We're hearing now from the likes of the esteemed Peter King of Sports Illustrated that Bill Polian wants to retain Caldwell next year, and I don't doubt that. Polian shares information with selected media, and I'm guessing, just guessing, he did that with King.
Of course he wants to keep Caldwell.
He can control Caldwell.
If Caldwell doesn't come back, he might have to deal with a coach who is going to want power and influence. Bill doesn't want to give up that power, doesn't want son Chris to give up that power. Retaining Caldwell means security for the Polians. That simple.
One of the points we've been hammering home for months now is that, for Bill Polian, winning and holding poor executive leadership accountable has become secondary to him making sure his kids get cushy jobs working in the Colts front office. As a general manager, Chris Polian has done a pretty piss poor job. He's not well-respected within the organization, or outside it. As Bob wrote two months ago, Chris Polian is viewed as 'toxic.'
With these kinds of 'toxic' elements in place, what truly established coach is going to want to work in Indy should Jim Caldwell be fired?
Then there's the problem of moving on to a new coach with the Polians in charge: Irsay has to know, there's not a big-name coach out there who will come to Indianapolis and take marching orders from the Polians. They can get some no-name assistant, a college coach, maybe a retread who will do anything to get back in the business, but they will not get the kind of guy Irsay wants.
Again, this stuff is nothing new for our readers. Morons like me have been screaming this stuff for months now. But, the importance of Kravitz saying it means that the narrative is getting out there, and since Kravitz likely has the attention of Irsay (Irsay often uses Twitter to directly respond to Kravitz articles), it means that maybe, just maybe, the Colts owner could indeed do the right thing and fire the obnoxious redhead and his 'overmatched' son.
For Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, it's time to seize back control of his football franchise and make a clean sweep of the front office and coaching staff.
As we've often said, the perception is that Jim Irsay does not control the Colts. Bill Polian does. If Irsay wants to change that perception, he should follow Kravitz's advice. Just as we offered up a list of strong replacement candidates last week, Kravitz noted Baltimore player personnel director Eric De Costa and Green Bay director of football operations Reggie McKenzie as possible people who could run this franchise better than the Polians.
Perhaps change is in the wind. Perhaps, after this season is over, we might see something happen that can finally put our favorite franchise back on track. Right now, it's a dysfunctional disaster; the worst Indy Star reporter Mike Chappell has seen it in 27 years of reporting on the team.
Things must change, and the change must come from Mr. Irsay. Hopefully, he'll do the right thing.