Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat: this wasn't as bad as the previous tweet criticisng the team after the first preseason game. I'd hope there are many obvious reasons why.
But once again, Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay has taken to twitter to "criticize" his team. Here's what the ever active and complex twitter user had to say today on his account, regarding the Colts vs. Raiders game (that the Colts won, I might add):
Raider/Colts/ 1) you're a good team,when u win but there's grumbling that u didn't win by enough Pts. 2)Gonna win 12+ games,giving up 17 Pts— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 11, 2013
Raider/Colts-- we gotta protect #12 better..and that includes more than just OL...it's backs,TE's,coaches on blitz pick ups..I DEMAND better— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 11, 2013
Dolphin/Colts-Make no mistake about it/The Fish CAN and WILL bring the HEAT...We gotta MAN-UP and confront HEAT with a NASA-like Heat-Shield— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 11, 2013
Regarding the first tweet, he is absolutely right. He's actually being the voice of reason (a rarity for Irsay on twitter, I assure you), saying that a win is a win no matter how close and that surrendering only 17 points, which the Colts did on Sunday, will win you 12+ games over the course of a season. Especially with an offense like the one the Colts have, that is an incredibly true statement and the way Irsay looks at both aspects is a breath of fresh air. I love the fact that he's defending his team and the fact that he's realizing that a win is to be celebrated, no matter how close that victory was. As I often say, this isn't the BCS: style points don't matter. I'm glad that Irsay is defending that as well.
The second tweet has drawn quite a bit of attention, however. Many people see it as "calling out" his coaching staff, and in a way, he did. He said that the Colts need to protect Andrew Luck together, and that it goes beyond just the offensive line but to the running backs, tight ends, and coaching staff as well. He drove his point home by saying, "I DEMAND better." Welp. So much for him defending his team.
But really, this tweet wasn't that bad. What Irsay was tweeting is pretty much common sense. If it was an academic paper, you could pretty much just write "the offensive line was terrible" without it being an opinion, because it's a fact, and it was indeed terrible yet again on Sunday. After upgrading it through the free agency and draft this year, Irsay expects it to be better - especially because the franchise player is playing behind it (sorry, Pat McAfee, but Luck is the true franchise player).
In case you think I'm afraid to criticize Irsay, just remember what I wrote last time he took to twitter to "call out" his staff after a preseason loss - I blasted him, and many fans didn't agree with me. That's ok, and I still would write the exact same thing over again. So when I say that I don't see this as that big of a deal, know it's not because I'm afraid to criticize the team's owner.
It's because it's really not that bad.
EVERYBODY can see that the Colts offensive line is bad and EVERYBODY can see that they need to protect Andrew Luck better. It's not like Irsay is just blindly calling people out, he's stating an opinion (fact) known by everyone else. If the coaching staff doesn't realize that this line is bad, then there is plenty of reasons to wonder whether that person needs to be removed. The Colts' coaches aren't stupid. They know it's bad. So Irsay saying so isn't as bad because it's not a surprise to anybody. Are there some that would rather him keep it to himself? Absolutely, and I'm one of those people. But since we know he's not going to and that he is going to tweet, we have to adjust our expectations and realize that this isn't that bad from Irsay.
Especially because he wasn't calling anybody out in particular. He didn't place the blame solely on the offensive line, he said that the running backs and tight ends need to protect better and that the coaching staff need to coach blitz pickups better.
Vick Ballard blocked very well on Sunday and Dwayne Allen is a very good all around blocker, but he left the game early on Sunday with an injury. As a whole, however, they need to get better, and Irsay's point is that it's a team effort.
And that's absolutely how it should be. Chuck Pagano said in his press conference today that the number one priority this week is to "Protect 12" and that every door in the building has a big circle with the words "Protect 12" in it.
Going along with that, Irsay also could be in a way showing support for his head coach, showing that he's fully behind Pagano's emphasis this week. Again, don't just jump to conclusions of Irsay being critical before looking at the whole picture. And with Pagano's theme of the week being to "Protect 12," Irsay tweeting the very same words identifies himself as in agreement with and in support of his head coach.
Either way, the big point remains the same, and that is that the leadership of the Colts is unified acccross the board about needing to protect their franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck.