The Colts, via their team blog, announced that Head Coach Jim Caldwell has been released of his duties:
The Indianapolis Colts have released Jim Caldwell of his duties as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
This ends a wild few days where we had multiple reports saying it was all but certain that Caldwell would be returning to the Colts, even after Bill and Chris Polian were fired after the 2-14 season. This does validate, however, that Owner Jim Irsay is ready to start a "new era" of Colts football, and it would have been a silly slogan if the Head Coach of the 2-14 2011 version was kept around.
It was a credit to Caldwell to keep the locker room playing hard despite the horrid season, and as it's been said over and over by people in the Colts organization, Caldwell is a nice guy who has the respect of a lot of people. It just didn't translate over to being a Head Coach in the NFL. It's one of the most specialized jobs in America, and some of the best people just aren't a fit for it. We wish Coach Caldwell the best.
An interesting note about the seemingly endless "sources" that said Caldwell was to be retained, from Sports Illustrated's Will Carroll:
Something makes me think that the Caldwell "flip-flop" was Grigson running a leak test. Well played.
The Colts have set a 4 pm ET press conference to announce the firing. Once we get a video link, we'll put it here.
[UPDATE]: From FOX Sports' Jay Glazer and ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Interesting timing of Caldwell firing. Yesterday Steve Spagnuolo interviewed there for def coord position w Caldwell and team brass— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January 17, 2012
Add one more team to the Steve Spagnuolo mix. Spagnuolo spent Monday visiting with the Colts about their DC job.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2012
Well, we got that part of our earlier report right. Makes me wonder if the Caldwell firing was in reaction to fan uproar. The same people who told us Spagnuolo interviewed with the team also told us Caldwell would remain as head coach.