With the Colts suffering a 62-7 shellacking in the Superdome, questions have surfaced and/or intensified regarding the future of the organization. The fine folks at StampedeBlue.com summarize the status of a sorry situation for a franchise that entered 2011 with realistic hopes of becoming the first team to play the Super Bowl in its home stadium.
For starters, center Jeff Saturday said after the game that the Colts were “out-coached,” a direct slap at head coach Jim Caldwell, a man whom we had believed to be safe given the Peyton Manning injury but who instead seems to be in serious trouble of being bounced after the season.
The question becomes how high up the ladder the transition would go. Unthinkable as it seems, StampedeBlue.com thinks that owner Jim Irsay (who apologized to fans on Twitter after last night’s debacle, saying “solutions in progress but complex in nature”) could decide to part ways with the Polians, a father-son front-office team that has ruled the roost for a long time in Indy.
In the interim, the question becomes whether Irsay will embrace the free-fall to the bottom of the league, in the hopes of landing the heir to the Peyton Manning franchise quarterback throne, Andrew Luck. Then the question becomes whether Irsay will feel compelled to make significant changes contemporaneously with the arrival of Luck, who could do to Jim Irsay what the last great Stanford quarterback did to Robert Irsay in 1983.
And then the question becomes whether a new regime would prefer a Manning-to-Luck handoff or whether the new regime would prefer to save the $28 million Manning is due to be paid in early March and move on.
Regardless, for a consistently elite team over the past decade, a disastrous 2011 season could spark the kind of overhaul that disastrous seasons often do.