It was obvious by Tuesday of last week that the Colts were not going to fire Jim Caldwell during their bye, but for any of you holding out any kind of hope that he would get the boot before the Colts play the Panthers, sorry. Caldwell is here to stay for the reminder of 2011.
I won't go into reasons why he wasn't fired because, well, we know what those reasons are. Bill Polian always seems to dedicate 20 minutes of his weekly radio show to gushing how wonderful Caldwell is. Don't ask me why. All this does is separate Bill Polian further and further from the reality the rest of human civilization lives in. Jim Caldwell is winless after eleven weeks of football, and the team has effectively given up on him. Anyone praising him for anything at this point is either a raving lunatic or lives in a world constructed of false promises and lies.
Or, in Bill Polian's case, all of the above.
I will say that folks stating Caldwell should have been fired during the bye week are, in my opinion, correct. Caldwell's done a terrible job coaching this season. That's obvious. Look at how the Miami Dolphins responded after starting 0-7 and everyone was singing the swan song for head coach Tony Sparano. They've reeled off three straight, including a dominant win over the Buffalo Bills (aka, the flavor of the month in September) yesterday.
For the Colts and Caldwell, after starting 0-7 (including the crippling humiliation that was 62-7 against the Saints), the Colts have gotten waxed against Tennessee, Atlanta, and Jacksonville. They were barely competitive in any of those games. The last contest where the Colts showed any true semblance of life was Oct. 9th against the Chiefs.
When you hear Caldwell talk about 'staying the course' and doing 'the little things,' you just shake your head and wonder if this moron really gets it. When you're 0-10, you're not screwing up a little. You're f*cking up ALOT!
Yeah yeah, yeah. I know the team has been 'playing hard,' and giving 'good effort.' No one gets brownie points anymore for effort. Not at 0-10. In general, effort is expected and not rewarded, especially when fans are dropping $200 a ticket to watch this train wreck of a franchise lose by a combined 137-27 the last five games.
When it's all said and done, those wanting Jim Caldwell's head will likely get it when the season ends. Caldwell's gone, and I think he knows it. He's just playing 'good soldier' at this point so he won't destroy any future job chances within the NFL or the college ranks.
The reason I know he's gone (other than the fact that he's 0-10 this year) is that his contract is up after 2012. This means the Colts either need to extend him after the 2011 season, or fire him. Lame duck coaches don't win (just ask John Fox in Carolina). Extending him would make Indianapolis the laughing stock of the NFL, especially if the Colts go 0-16. That would be rewarding failure, and it would crush whatever flimsy argument remaining that the Colts are an 'elite' franchise.
'Elite' franchises often have elite coaches begging to work for them. They also don't give contract extensions to coaches who can't win games.
PFT's Mike Florio confirmed for me last week that Penn State's interim head coach Tom Bradleycontacted Jim Caldwell last week about some kind of job. Don't rule out Caldwell returning the the school where he used to be the QB coach next season, trying to salvage the now-decimated reputation of the football program.