The Indianapolis Colts suffered a crushing and devastating loss on Sunday night, giving up a 14-point lead in the final three minutes of the game to lose in overtime to the division rival Houston Texans. The loss dropped the Colts to 2-4 on the season and to last place in the AFC South.
Despite what owner Jim Irsay called a “gut-wrenching” loss, he told media in Houston this week that he still has “full confidence” in the team’s leadership, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. So yes, the Colts owner is still very much backing general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano.
“Of course, we are disappointed,’’ Irsay said, according to FOX59’s Mike Chappell. “That being said, I feel confident that we have the right group of leaders, of guys – the quarterback, head coach, general manager. I feel confident we have those pillars in place and through time, it will show.’’
Irsay also said that his decision in January was thought out and for the long-term, meaning that it doesn’t sound like he’ll be making a change too soon after giving both Grigson and Pagano contract extensions.
“I have patience and nothing has changed,’’ Irsay said. “When I made the decision in January, it was a decision that was well thought out and a long-term decision. Both of the guys have accomplished a lot in their careers. We could be 6-0 if the ball bounces a little differently.’’
That’s a lot different than what Irsay has said in the past about his decision to bring back both men. In February, he said, “on Monday [January 4], I did not - there was no one - that had the for sure answer how this was going to go." In September, he said, “Sometimes the decision-maker, which is the owner in this case, you have to be able to hear, and hear the things at the right moment, at the bewichitching hour, and then you will make that decision at that flashpoint moment in the 11th hour. That's the truth. It's not always pre-decided. Sometimes it is. A lot of times it is. But in this case it wasn't.”
So in the past, Irsay has maintained that he didn’t know whether he was going to bring back the same group of leaders, but this week he said that the decision to do so was well thought out. Now certainly, both can be true, but Irsay’s most recent comments give a much, much different impression than what he has said previously about the topic.
But nonetheless, this is what Irsay has to say. He can’t just come out and say that he’s lost all faith in his general manager and head coach, as he doesn’t have to and shouldn’t say that until he decides to fire them, in which case his actions will convey all that needs to be said. So no one should be surprised that Irsay said he still has “full confidence” in Grigson and Pagano, but I’m sure a lot of Colts fans aren’t exactly thrilled to hear it.