Ever since the regular season ended, Colts fans have been waiting to hear from owner Jim Irsay. That finally came today, nearly three weeks after the season finale, as Irsay held a press conference to announce the firing of general manager Ryan Grigson.
In doing so, he offered a message to Colts fans and made it clear that he thinks this is the move that they needed to make to begin moving forward. He defended some of what Grigson did during his tenure with the Colts, but ultimately he maintained that firing Grigson was the move the Colts needed.
“I want to say to Colts fans that we are extremely fired up going forward, whereas I don’t think we ever celebrate a fire,” Irsay said. “Ryan was a good man, and anyone who can’t see that is unfortunate. Look, I know emotions go into our game and all that sort of thing, but this man slept at the office. He just gave his sweat, blood and tears, Colts fans should know, to desperately try to bring us the best game, the best season, the best year he could and I believe his record speaks for itself.
“I’m excited about the future,” Irsay continued. “Colts fans, this is the move that we needed to make. I made it slowly, cautiously, prudently, because it’s a big decision. I prefer continuity, but this move was the right move. There’s excitement in people’s eyes in the building today in talking to Chuck Pagano and Jimmy Raye and others. There’s a lot of excitement and a tinge of sadness with leaving someone behind who worked so tirelessly to try to bring Colts fans a championship. They should know that we are really excited for the season and we look to take back what is rightfully ours and I’ll just leave it at that when it comes to starting to play ball again.”
Some may wonder why Irsay spent so long defending Grigson before explaining how this was a move that needed to be made, but it shouldn’t be that confusing. On the surface level, Irsay surely didn’t want to bash the guy on the way out, and saying anything negative right there would be unnecessary. So Irsay likely wanted to stay respectful and thank Grigson for his contributions to the franchise, which is a normal occurrence in these situations. But on a deeper level, Irsay’s comments all throughout his press conference, added with comments from current and former Colts players yesterday, paints a picture of more going on beneath the surface than fans could see. In other words, it seems this move was about more than simply the on-field accomplishments. So Irsay defending Grigson’s accomplishments and thanking him for them doesn’t have to be viewed as contradicting his follow-up comments about it being the right move the franchise needed to make.
Irsay’s expressing confidence to fans that this is the move that will help the team turn things around and start moving forward in the Andrew Luck era, and Colts fans are surely hoping the owner is right.