Colts Owner Jim Irsay Parts Ways with Polians

Brett Mock anlyzes the implications of the pending announcement removing the Polians from the Colts front office.


No more significant change could occur in Indianapolis than what has just been reported by Chris Mortensen at ESPN. Mortensen tweeted minutes ago that Colts owner Jim Irsay will be cleaning house, including letting go Vice Chairman Bill Polian and current General Manager Chris Polian.

The implications of such a drastic change cannot be overstated. If rumors of a rift existing between Peyton Manning and the Polians were true, it could increase the likelihood that Manning will return with new leadership at the wheel. It could also mean that the team is entering a total rebuild phase and veteran players like Manning may be moving on.

The IndyStar’s Phil B. Wilson indicates that Irsay will be holding a press conference at 5:00 PM this afternoon, which will likely include a ton of answers. If there is anything that can be said about Jim Irsay, it’s that he marches to the beat of his own drummer and has spent much of the last year attempting to be more accessible Colts fans. With the Polians out, there is a very real chance that significant changes to the way the team handles public relations and the media are also on the way.

No matter what long-term impact this move will have on the Indianapolis Colts, either from a player personnel perspective or a media relations perspective, it is time for fans in Indianapolis to take a deep breath and accept the fact that getting back to the level of sustained success the team enjoyed under Polian leadership will not be an easy process. There is only a handful of folks who are even remotely close to the level of success Bill Polian has achieved over his long tenure in NFL management, and most of those folks are happily employed for their own successful and competitive franchises.

Allowing the team to sit without high level management and leadership at this point is also not an attractive situation. There are major contract decisions to be made and probably major coaching staff changes that will follow the selection of a new general manager. The longer the team waits to address these immediate issues and begin formulating a long-term plan to get the team back to success, starting with the 2012 NFL Draft, the more difficult it will be for the the Colts to be prepared for and successful in that endeavor.

Do not be surprised if that familiar feeling of Colts fandom takes a major blow after the press conference later today. It’s anyone’s guess what Irsay has in mind for the future of the team. Hopefully he has put significant time into planning for this transition and will provide a very detailed and meticulously prepared plan of succession for his front office that has been in the works for weeks behind the scenes. If he doesn’t, Indianapolis will be left without a direction and in a far greater state of disarray than any member of the media or any member of the Colts community could have ever complained about during the season.