clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jaguars Hire Chris Polian, AFC South About To Get Testy

The Caldwell-Polian brain trust in Jacksonville will only intensify the rivalry with Indianapolis.

Mike Ehrmann

We're not in the habit of reporting on news or events that, on an ancillary level, affects the Indianapolis Colts. We do it now and again, especially if it involves a player, coach, or front office person who signs with another team or who retires. Typically, we do this if the person is considered substantial.

Like, say, Peyton Manning.

When he signed with Denver after getting released from Indianapolis, that was news that affected both the Colts and their fans.

The same can be said of the Jacksonville Jaguars hiring former Colts general manager Chris Polian as their director of pro personnel, but for different reasons.

The move reunites Chris with his longtime buddy, current Jags G.M. David Caldwell. David and Chris went to school together - along with former Colts V.P. of Player Personnel and current G.M. of the San Diego Chargers, Tom Telesco - and both worked together in Carolina and Indianapolis.

Like Chris Polian, Caldwell got his start with the Panthers, back when Chris's dad, Bill Polian, was the general manager there. When Bill was essentially traded to Indianapolis in 1997 and promoted to the title of team president, David Caldwell and Chris Polian went with him. Both Chris and David worked together in Indy from 1998-2007.

Interestingly, it was after 2007 that Chris began to assert more control within the organization, due in no small part to nepotism on the part of his father. It was in 2007 that Caldwell left Indy and joined the Atlanta Falcons, where for four years we worked as their director of college scouting. He spent 2012 as their director of pro player personnel, the same title Caldwell just gave Chris Polian in Jacksonville.

After Chris Polian was fired by Jim Irsay following the 2011 - and, if you all recall, Irsay did not have warm and fuzzy feelings about Chris following the dismissal - Chris found refuge with his old friend David Caldwell, working in the Falcons' scouting staff in 2012.

Now, the gang is back together once again, only this time in Jacksonville.

So, after this long and (likely) boring history lesson, you might be asking, what does all this mean for the Colts?

Well, aside from the fact that the Jags play in the same division as the Colts, the Caldwell-Polian brain trust is, in effect, what the Colts were moving towards in 2011 before Irsay's front office purge.

At the time, we called it "De-Polianization," or "Polianoscopy."

Whether or not David Caldwell would have left the Falcons to join eventual Colts team president Chris Polian in Indianapolis is debatable, but the fact that Caldwell (who owes his entire career to Bill Polian) hired Chris to such an important executive position means that Chris will have sway on roster decisions.

Basically, what happens in Jacksonville over the next two years would likely have mirrored decisions in Indianapolis had Chris Polian not been fired in January 2012.

Since that firing, the bitter divorce between Jim Irsay and the Polian Family has played out like an episode of Jersey Shore, or Real House Wives of Beverly Hills, or [Insert Additively Trashy TV Show HERE]. Irsay hired Ryan Grigson to replace both Chris and Bill in the front office. Grigson had no previous connection to the Polian Family, and one of his first acts as the team's new general manager was to fire Dennis Polian, another member of Bill's brood who was working as Indy's "director of football administration."

In fact, Grigson fired Dennis Polian rather abruptly over the phone!

I think it's safe to say that there isn't much love lost between the Indy front office and the Jacksonville front office. I also think there will be a little bit more extra incentive for Irsay, Grigson, and company to beat the Jaguars and stick it to the Polian Mafia.