All season long I, along with half of Indiana, criticized Jim Caldwell and lamented his coaching staff's play calling and decision making.
When Peyton Manning was ruled out, it drove me crazy that Caldwell's message was to solider on with the same game plan and attitude as if Manning was behind center. When guys like Seneca Wallace, Tavaris Jackson or even Mark Sanchez go down, such a steady belief in your team and game plan is fine. But when Peyton Manning, one of the game's all time best is ruled out, something has to change. Nothing ever did, which is why along with the lack of intensity and often questionable in game decisions, I felt Caldwell needed to go.
Yet I am proud that Irsay kept him through the season. Irsay - and to some extent the Polians - showed patience and professionalism that went against my better judgement. At 0-11 and at the depths of despair I would have sacked Caldwell in a move that would have been imprudent and rash. Instead, as he should have, Irsay let the season play out with Caldwell as coach.
With the season already lost, it made little sense to get rid of Caldwell. For one, wouldn't allow him to prove himself (in any capacity) and secondly, if the Colts were (are) going to fire Caldwell doing so would have shown a recklessness irresponsibility unbecoming of a championship organization that might have turned away and offended potential quality coaches.
Now a day after 'black monday' and a day after Jim Irsay resoundingly reclaimed his organization, Jim Caldwell is still being evaluated.
Until the Colts announce their next GM, I expect it to stay that way. The decision as to whether or not to bring back Jim Caldwell shouldn't be entirely left up to Mr. Irsay. It should be a joint conclusion agreed upon by the owner, his new GM and with input from the players (who still seem to support him).
The process should be lengthy and vigorous and involve everyone's opinions. If it is then determined that Caldwell is still the man for the job then so be it. As long as he this time retains full control of his personnel then we as fans must support him. If the Irsay, the new GM and the players are behind him, then I will be so as well.
If - as I think will eventually happen - Caldwell is let go, Colts fans should wish him well, but whatever is decided should be left up to the new GM.
It's a new era in Indianapolis. That means everyone should be given a fresh look and personnel matters coaching and otherwise should be evaluated fairly.