On Tuesday morning Chris Ballard hosted his annual end of season press conference and he discussed everything from the past year and how the team will look to move forward. He kicked things off with taking accountability for how things went for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022.
Chris Ballard's end-of-season press conference— Alexa Ross (@AlexaRossTV) January 10, 2023
"I failed. I'm not going to sit up here and make excuses, I failed a lot of people. I'm highly disappointed with where we're at and how the season went. I don't take lightly what's at stake here" #ForTheShoe @CBS4Indy | @FOX59
"I know there's doubt. The criticism, it's warranted... But we live in a world where failure is not allowed. And we're doing it on the biggest stage. Everybody wants your head. But if you're able to go through it and learn from it, you can reach your greatest heights."— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) January 10, 2023
We learned a lot, early on about how the head coaching search will go, who will be considered and who is making the final call:
Chris Ballard will lead the head coaching search, but ultimately Jim Irsay makes the call.— Alexa Ross (@AlexaRossTV) January 10, 2023
"They own the team. We give them our thoughts and Mr. Irsay's a good listener, but he'll learn heavily on our work" #ForTheShoe
On Jeff Saturday as a candidate:
When asked if Jeff Saturday will be a candidate:— Destin Adams (@TheDestinAdams) January 10, 2023
"He is going to be a candidate"
"I shared my concerns when Jim made that decision (hiring Saturday mid year)"
This quote also confirmed that Jim Irsay was the person who made the decision on hiring Jeff Saturday. Chris Ballard never took any responsibility for the move and confirmed what we all believed.
On Jeff Saturday’s 8 games as head coach:
Asked #Colts GM Chris Ballard what Jeff Saturday improved during his 8-game tenure:— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) January 10, 2023
"Sometimes behind the scenes you can do things right and you don't see any -- from the outside -- you don't see those improvements. But just his daily interaction with the team, learning. ... "
He also said they aren’t in a hurry to hire anyone:
Chris Ballard isn't in a rush to find a new head coach for the Colts.— Alexa Ross (@AlexaRossTV) January 10, 2023
"I don't care if it takes until mid-February, as long as we get it right" #ForTheShoe
Ultimately it didn’t seem like Chris Ballard loved the Jeff Saturday experience as several people who watched the press conference came away with impressions similar to this:
My takeaway from Chris Ballard's press conference is that he'll lead the head coaching search, but if Jeff Saturday gets this job, it'll be someone else's decision.— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) January 10, 2023
He took a question that asked if extending Jonathan Taylor and paying top dollar for a running back was a good decision:
Question: Is it the right move to pay a RB top dollar— Destin Adams (@TheDestinAdams) January 10, 2023
"When your a special player it is"
He also talked about Bernhard Raimann’s rookie year:
On Bernhard Raimann's future as a starting LT: Ballard is proud of how he grew over the year, but he struggled with those rookie mistakes like all good linemen do.— Alexa Ross (@AlexaRossTV) January 10, 2023
He feels Raimann played his ass off, but does need to get a little bigger and stronger this offseason #ForTheShoe
This Tweet doesn’t fully encapsulate what Ballard said about the rook. He also said that they feel they have the guy at left tackle and that Raimann played well down the stretch. It’s pretty obvious Chris Ballard feels the Colts are set at left tackle.
Chris Ballard was asked “Would you be as shocked as everyone in this room if you don’t take a quarterback in the first round” and with a smirk on his face he gave this answer:
Chris Ballard said he wouldn't be surprised if the Colts don't pick a quarterback in the first round.— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) January 10, 2023
The next question about selecting a quarterback was phrased a little differently asking about trading up to the number one overall pick and Chris Ballard told us everything we really need to know about the 2023 NFL Draft:
Chris Ballard said he'll trade up if he believes the right QB is there in this draft.— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) January 10, 2023
"I'll do whatever it takes."
Over the next few months we’ll find out if Chris Ballard believes there is a special quarterback in the 2023 class. And if there is it seems like he’s willing to do almost anything to go get that guy. And he might have to if he wants to save his job.
And with that the Indianapolis Colts 2022 season is officially in the books. According to Chris Ballard the first order of business will be to find the next head coach. The draft will follow not long after that and it’s safe to say, no matter what happens this off season is going to be wildly entertaining.