The Kansas City Chiefs fired Todd Haley yesterday. A few hours later, the Miami Dolphins jettisoned Tony Sparano. Two weeks ago, Jack Del Rio was relieved of his head coaching duties after more than eight years on the job. Both Del Rio and Haley beat Jim Caldwell's Colts this season. Yet, Caldwell remains employed as well as completely winless in 2011.
Yeah. Makes a lot of sense to me, too.
Fortunately, even though Jim Caldwell is pretty clearly a dead man walking the NFL sidelines (and if he isn't, I honestly don't know how the Polians can make any kind of public appearance in Indianapolis without an armed security detail following them), that hasn't stopped people from speculating as to who will be the head coach in Indianapolis next year.
According to Thomas Glower of Football Outsiders, it's probably going to be former-Titans head coach Jeff Fisher.
Will formally handicap chances later in year, but right now see Fisher's likeliest landing spot as Indy IF Peyton will be back
I chatted with Thomas on Twitter about the possibility of Fisher coaching if, say, the Polians weren't in charge of the front office in 2012. He responded:
@StampedeBlue If B.Polian/Peyton aren't there, I don't see Indy as likely landing spot.
Glower isn't the only one who thinks Fisher lands in Indy next year. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco also has mentioned Fisher-to-Colts, according to Glower. I've chatted with Paul Kuharsky at ESPN about Fisher coaching in Indy, and he too doesn't think it's completely ridiculous.
The issue with Fisher is that, according to Glower, he probably won't end up in Indy if the Polians are fired. For me, any coaching change that doesn't also result in the Polians being purged from the front office is simply re-arranging chairs on the Titanic. Bill Polian has lost his ability to objectively evaluate talent, and his son Chris comes off as someone clearly riding daddy's coattails. As we saw with Caldwell, the head coach in Indianapolis doesn't even control who starts on his own roster. He is nothing more than a puppet of the Polians, and most truly great, independent-minded coaches want nothing to do with Bill Polian and his kid.
The sense that there is a feud between Peyton Manning and Bill Polian is one that is gathering steam. I've had several sources tell me that if Jim Irsay had to pick between keeping Manning or Polian, Polian is a goner. Irsay absolutely does not want to part with Manning, and it seems Manning wants absolutely nothing to do with Bill Polian.
Again, all this is being said in whispers and 'Deep Throat'-style covert silliness.
If there is a power play going on between Manning and Polian, and I suspect it is, then Manning will win it. Especially if he is healthy. If Polian is fired, a coach who could come in and smooth things over could be someone like Jeff Fisher.
Manning respects Fisher, and we all know how much Fisher loves to wear Peyton's jersey.
So, regardless of whether the Polians stay or get sent packing, Fisher is still very much a candidate for Colts head coach next year.