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Kravitz calls for Irsay to start over


Once upon a time, there was a perception that the Indianapolis media kowtowed to the Colts.

Not anymore.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, whose recent critique of the father-son exercise in front-office nepotism prompted Bill Polian to indirectly call Kravitz a rat (and Bob adjusted his Twitter avatar accordingly), has now called for owner Jim Irsay to use the looming acquisition of the first pick in the draft as the occasion to clean house.

Kravitz makes his case in the context of the decision to give quarterback Curtis Painter another shot.  “With Bill in particular, it’s all about being ‘vindicated.’  It’s all about being able to say he was right.” Kravitz reasons.  “Which is why Jim Irsay has to use the chance to draft Andrew Luck as a springboard to clear the decks, jettison the front office and the coach and start over.”

Kravitz’s broader point is that, for the second time in three years, the franchise has abandoned its fans.  In 2009, the ridiculous (and clumsily defended) decision not to pursue an undefeated season sparked a loud and extended mutiny.  Now, Kravitz believes that the Colts simply aren’t trying to win.

Kravitz doesn’t mention arguably the best evidence to support the conclusion that the Colts care not about winning.  By failing to submit a waivers claim for former Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, the Colts let it be known, in a roundabout way, that they’re not going to try to win games.

See, the “Suck for Luck” concept isn’t about convincing the players who are on the field to not try to win.  It’s about putting players on the field who are less likely to win.

For the Colts, that means not using Dan Orlovsky.  And it means not acquiring Kyle Orton.

With a loss to the 2-8 Panthers on Sunday, the Colts essentially will clinch the first overall pick, barring an expected run of good luck down the stretch.  Once the right to reel in Andrew Luck has been secured, Irsay must decide whether to clean house.

He may have to do it in order to dissuade the current Stanford blue-chip quarterback from doing what the last one did.  In 1983, John Elway told the Baltimore Colts to get bent.  Early next year, Andrew Luck could decide that he doesn’t want to work for an organization that arguably is dysfunctional on several different levels.

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57 Responses to “Kravitz calls for Irsay to start over”
  1. bearsrulepackdrool says: Nov 25, 2011 10:39 PM

    That’s a little drastic. I would clean house on defense but that offense is fine just need Manning back and some O-linemen.

  2. gscheelar says: Nov 25, 2011 10:46 PM

    Kravitz has it right. As a Colts fan, giving up the perfect season run was a real pi$$er. It has gone downhill since. The entire organization needs to be assessed. The failure of this team to win more than one SuperBowl with arguably the greatest QB in history is proof enough. They drafted poorly but got lucky with a couple of undrafted guys. The defense has been a joke for years but was never addressed seriously through draft or FA acquisitions. Now all of those birds–and more!–have come home to roost.

    Blow it up and start over.

  3. trbowman says: Nov 25, 2011 10:51 PM

    How about you help the greatest player to ever play for your team out by trading down & acquiring picks to give him another chance at a Super Bowl?

  4. permiepoo says: Nov 25, 2011 10:53 PM

    Why would we put a waiver request in for Orton? Completely agree on the Orlovsky vs Painter call… not sure what’s going on there. We need to see who is the most suitable backup for next year at the very least.

    Orton wouldn’t be an answer next year anyway, he should be starting somewhere, and the Colts will have their starting QB situation answered one way or another after the season.

  5. trbowman says: Nov 25, 2011 10:58 PM

    Not like Painter isn’t the worst starting QB in the league right now, but what real reason is there to believe Orlolsky gives them a better shot to win?

  6. Soulman45 says: Nov 25, 2011 10:59 PM

    Frist to say
    The Colts is tanking it for the first pick not a bad idea they will have Manning and a player or pick that can bring in two or three starers.
    The can always trade Manning to the Jets for the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING and a few more picks.

  7. dabeloved says: Nov 25, 2011 11:01 PM

    Ridiculous organization. Where did all the bandwagon fans go? It’s easy to support a team when they win, not so easy when they lose. Posers!!!!!!!!!

  8. sporkdevil says: Nov 25, 2011 11:11 PM

    Far be it from me to be a defender of the Colts organization, but I was under the impression they were pressed up against the cap pretty tightly.

    Even if they wanted Orton, they couldn’t bring him in. But when has Orton turned a team into a winning machine?

  9. 6ball says: Nov 25, 2011 11:12 PM


    Colts are just laying in the weeds for their impending beatdown of the Patriots when they play @New England next week.

    I pity the Pats


  10. dadeyemi says: Nov 25, 2011 11:20 PM


  11. thefiesty1 says: Nov 25, 2011 11:28 PM

    Caldwell needs to go. Coach in waiting never works. A couple of guys on the defense would help. Then let Peyton tudor Luck for a year or two.

  12. bearsrulepackdrool says: Nov 25, 2011 11:34 PM

    They need to do like the Pats and abort that “build through the draft” mentality and start bringing in some big free agents. Get Manning some help on the defensive side of the ball.

  13. bearsrulepackdrool says: Nov 25, 2011 11:35 PM

    6ball says:
    Nov 25, 2011 11:12 PM

    Colts are just laying in the weeds for their impending beatdown by the Patriots when they play @New England next week.

    I envy the Pats



  14. hypocriticoaf says: Nov 25, 2011 11:40 PM

    When the Colts returned from their Super Bowl loss to the Saints, they were greeted by eleven fans at the airport. Eleven. Unless you’re a cow or a pig, an ear of corn or a soybean, you’re beyond the ken of a Hoosier.

  15. trbowman says: Nov 25, 2011 11:44 PM

    I gotta give you props though Mike, because it’s happened pretty much like you said.

    That the teams in the running for the first pick wouldn’t bother to make many, if any personnel changes to help them win.

    And furthermore, that there’d be plenty of talk and speculation that a team was in tank mode. And sur enough, you’ve got a team beat writer who says flat out that they’re losing on purpose.

    We’re not even in December yet. It’s only going to escalate.

  16. trbowman says: Nov 25, 2011 11:46 PM

    To clarify, the players aren’t losing on purpose. These guys want to put good things on tape, make impressions to the coaching staff etc. It’s how they feed their families. And at the end of the day you’re a competitor and you want to win. I can only imagine how hard this season has been for the old pros like Wayne, Freeney, Mathis and Manning – who, worst of all, has to watch it unfold knowing he can’t do anything to help it.

    The finger gets pointed at the Polians

  17. rubbernilly says: Nov 25, 2011 11:47 PM

    See, the “Suck for Luck” concept isn’t about convincing the players who are on the field to not try to win. It’s about putting players on the field who are less likely to win.

    In some circles, stating the obvious passes as cleverness.

    Like you, I originally held the point of view that Indi would say a lot about their intentions this year by whether they put claims in on Orton or not.

    Unlike you, I went on to find a number of reasons why the Colts would pass on Orton.

    1) They’re heading into week 12, and are clearly not making the playoffs this year. Why invest in a one year QB who is a free agent at the end of the year in order to make some sort of run?

    2) Did I mention it’s week 12? How long would it take Orton to get acclimated, learn the offense, and develop a rapport with the receivers? Two weeks minimum? Now you’re talking week 15 before he really delivers results. You’d end up getting 3 games TOPS out of Orton before he became a FA.

    3) The price tag. Orton’s $2.5 million salary is a lot of money for a franchise that already committed $4 million to a QB they pulled out of retirement (and subsequently placed on IR), not to mention the big bucks they have on Manning.

    4) Player evaluation. Is Painter the backup they want? What about Addai? Can he run and be effective when the Defense isn’t respecting the pass as much? The answers to those sorts of questions help them evaluate their entire draft strategy, not only their first pick.

    That’s four reasons right there, and I haven’t even broken a sweat. I know the Suck for Luck thing is a media darling, but it’s time to retire that story. NFL teams are big boys, with their own big boy scouts. They’re all over Luck (and all his faults) and understand he’s no Tebow first-year savior.

  18. changsteinelgamal says: Nov 26, 2011 12:04 AM

    I would say Orlovskly makes you less likely to win, not more.

  19. duffer58 says: Nov 26, 2011 12:18 AM

    1. The Colts made correct decision resting starters. They got to Super Bowl.
    2. There is no guarentee Luck will come out. Plus he is not coming out to sit behind Manning.

  20. barklikeadog says: Nov 26, 2011 12:20 AM

    Serves the colts right fir tanking against titans in ’07 and every other year they didn’t try to win! Karma, mo fo’s!!!

  21. skolvikesskol says: Nov 26, 2011 12:25 AM

    This just confirmed what we always knew about the colts. Their d was built for playing with a lead. They have no depth. Rode manning to all their wins. The front office built great teams to win, but never addressed life without manning. They will be rebuilding for years.

  22. Stiller43 says: Nov 26, 2011 12:27 AM

    Or maybe they decided paying an average qb 2.5 mil for AT MOST 6 wins and a nothing season was too much.

    Pretty sure ortons doesnt even go .500 during his starts in indy since qb isnt the only problem (62-7 anyone?). So paying a guy 2.5 mil for 2-3 useless wins does nothing to improve the franchise.

  23. skulz fontaine says: Nov 26, 2011 12:32 AM

    Irsay’s Baltimore, oh whoopsies on my part I meant to say Indianapolis, fielding a team with NO incentive to win NFL games? Nah, that’d never happen.
    Peyton Manning? Feeling disgusted yet?

  24. philyeagles5 says: Nov 26, 2011 12:40 AM

    put in a claim for kyle orton??? why in gods name would they do that??? they have peyton manning and will probably have luck/barkley. i just dont see the point of them getting orton at 0-10.

  25. bulldogslc says: Nov 26, 2011 1:20 AM

    If they beat my panthers this week, I think I’ll hang myself with my shoelaces…in my closet.

  26. 1stngoal says: Nov 26, 2011 1:43 AM

    I disagree. I think there is a wee bit of over-reaction on the part of many both inside and outside that organization. Mannings’ absence just highlights how vitally important it is to have a franchise quarterback if you want to win in this league. I think the Polian led front office has done a good job bringing and sustaining a winning culture to Indy. I think Mr. Irsay would be wise to take a deep breath,and , much like Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers, draft Luck, sit him behind Manning for a couple of years and groom him as Mannings replacement. What I would change however, is the coaching staff. With a new franchise QB coming in this would be an ideal situation for a guy like Gruden, or maybe even Brian Billick to come in and develop the young QB on a path to success….

  27. tdotbronco says: Nov 26, 2011 2:35 AM

    I hope they draft luck then he decides to request for a trade…sellout fans wearing luck jerseys already, giving up on Payton.

  28. thephaedo says: Nov 26, 2011 2:48 AM

    Cold Cold reason says the last time the colts were bad (the manning rookie year) – they went 13-3. The last time the Carolina Panthers were bad, they went to the NFC championship game.
    I think Mr. Kravitz is right in suggesting things are not appearing very good recently, and when you consider the front office is not kind to him, as well as they just called him the name of a mammal slur, it’s easy to see how he can suggest the front office deserves to boot.
    But I would not be surprised if the return of the best football player in the history of the game, as well as the return of most of our starters (whom polian wisely quickly puts on IR for cap reasons) will be so many catapults to a contrast thats impossible the Colts won’t go from 0-16 to at least 10 wins, the playoffs, or the super bowl. There’s too many things like injuries that can stop this, but there’s a reason why so many players were put on IR so soon, Manning alone returning is sufficient.

  29. thephaedo says: Nov 26, 2011 2:53 AM

    I hope someone is piqued by this IR enigma that is Polian is well – (pro football talk guys anyone?) – the whole corner back cut isue this year – anthony gonzalez in years past when he says hes ready to play and polian puts him on IR – others saying they are about 4-5 weeks out, we’re 10 weeks away from the playoffs, and Polian IR’s them, the recent IR of Gary Brackett, and others (the offensive line was IR’d quick). I’m telling you he’s doing this on purpose, the quicker these players go to IR, the quicker their more stable financially wise and good business sensing pawn backups can get experience, and, once the season is over, they also allow us to get better draft picks. The fans won’t like it at the end, but now is just the past when August comes around, and how much a contrast will it be when draft picks + returning starters come back.
    It’s actually a brain kink when you swap out a good starter so soon for a backup.. the turn around will cause such a ‘oh my gosh’ in the brain that the coach/GM will get undue credit.

    Anyway, someone look at this IR phenomena with Polian and his cutting moves – I don’t know that other GM’s do what he does (he also holds onto financially straining players more so – see Ugoh, jerry hughes, Brown, etc)

  30. bearsstillsuck says: Nov 26, 2011 4:11 AM

    I beginning to hope that luck will be a bust. shaping your team around an unproven college player is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, and the colts will become the new lions because of it.

  31. zaktmt says: Nov 26, 2011 5:40 AM

    I feel like the defense is easily the worst in the league and that the issues with the defense need to be fixed first and foremost. This team has never been a stellar defensive squad but they’ve had productive years. And to be honest I think the Colts would be doing pretty bad even with Peyton as QB.

  32. TheWizard says: Nov 26, 2011 5:48 AM

    Marty Shottenheimer.

  33. dave1961 says: Nov 26, 2011 6:51 AM

    It’s becoming apparents that NFL owners are taking the easy way out and turning the league into a bunch of quitters…. Owners Robert Irsay, Randy Lerner endorse losing…. If the NFL isn’t a wwf event and a prearranged fake affair both owners need to be sent a heavy fine and message that fans will not be abandoned by the NFL offices and take teams away from owners that are not trying to win. Unless of course the whole league is just a joke of corrupt rich owners robbing loyal customers of hard earned money.

  34. jagmania65 says: Nov 26, 2011 7:17 AM

    Many people would wish their team was so dysfunctional that they could go to the playoffs nine years in a row…

  35. majbobby says: Nov 26, 2011 7:18 AM

    It would make me laugh if all the young QBs stay in school next year.

  36. hoosierdude says: Nov 26, 2011 7:25 AM

    The cynical “Suck for Luck” behavior of the Colts organization should be condemned by the Commissioner as being detrimental to the integrity of the NFL Further, the Colts should be penalized by forfeiting their rights to select players in the first two rounds of the 2012 draft.

  37. ytsejamer1 says: Nov 26, 2011 8:26 AM

    How quickly the tide has turned for what was thought was a top tier organization. They deserve the mess they have on their hands after how then run their organization. Quitting on a perfect season was horrendous.

    This Kravitz guy is pretty good…he’s really tearing into the heart of issues with that team. Gotta tip my cap to him.

    Manning to the Jets would be scary…and I wouldn’t put it past the NYJ to give it a whirl. At least that way, they’d have a real offensive coordinator.

  38. j0esixpack says: Nov 26, 2011 8:35 AM

    Kravitz has never shied from telling it like it is.

    Lacking the balls to go for 19-0 was an insult to Colts fans and football fans everywhere – if you’re on the cusp of football history you have an obligation to go for it.

    The Patriots knew how much pressure that was putting on Brady and the team, but never considered turning their back on history. Obviously they didn’t think Manning could handle the pressure.

    While this may be a wise effort to pick up the next Franchise QB by tanking an entire season, it’s very unsportsman-like and just as much of an insult to Colts fans and football fans everywhere.

  39. jpb12 says: Nov 26, 2011 8:40 AM

    Kerry Collins = Kyle Orton.
    Been there.

    If the players on the current roster aren’t good enough to win even one NFL game, they don’t belong in the league.

    Colts players have QUIT.

  40. frenchy121212 says: Nov 26, 2011 9:01 AM

    The colts aren’t trying to win because they didn’t claim a quarterback not good enough to beat out Tim Tebow? Seems like weird logic.

  41. indianaviking says: Nov 26, 2011 9:01 AM

    Kravitz has always been the one member of the Indianapolis media with the balls to call out the Colts. It will be news when someone else does the same.

  42. nfloracle says: Nov 26, 2011 10:17 AM

    The problem for Indy is that the Colts — even though they’ve mailed in the season — will still most likely defeat the Panthers on Sunday because the Cats are not led by a quarterback with a winner’s heart.

    On Sunday, I’m sure we’ll get to see Cam doing his Superman BS and he’ll no doubt put up some nice numbers for his own stats, but we won’t get to see a +1 in the win column.

    In my neck of the North Carolina woods, we’re looking to get Andrew Luck, and Sunday’s Panther loss to the Colts will be the next step to doing just that.

  43. CKL says: Nov 26, 2011 10:19 AM

    1stngoal says:
    Nov 26, 2011 1:43 AM
    I disagree. I think there is a wee bit of over-reaction on the part of many both inside and outside that organization. Mannings’ absence just highlights how vitally important it is to have a franchise quarterback if you want to win in this league. I think the Polian led front office has done a good job bringing and sustaining a winning culture to Indy. I think Mr. Irsay would be wise to take a deep breath,and , much like Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers, draft Luck, sit him behind Manning for a couple of years and groom him as Mannings replacement. What I would change however, is the coaching staff. With a new franchise QB coming in this would be an ideal situation for a guy like Gruden, or maybe even Brian Billick to come in and develop the young QB on a path to success….
    As long as Bill Polian is in charge, any HC with a sack and who wants to make any important decisions will never ever EVER be hired. That’s why Polian has to go first. Remember how Jim Mora the elder got let go by Polian because he refused to scapegoat Vic Fangio after 01? Looks like Mora was right…Fangio is coordinating one of the league’s best defenses.

    Also, Kravitz making a rat his avy is AWESOME.

  44. pspring63 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:04 AM

    Ah, the old Rachel Phelps move. My compliments to the Irsays for the art imitating life reversal. If the script is followed then this should somehow blow up in their faces. Stay tuned.

  45. interloper63 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:05 AM

    Two words. DRAFT LOTTERY.

  46. terrellpryorstattooartist says: Nov 26, 2011 11:07 AM

    I’m not a colts fan so when they decided to rest players that year I didn’t care but what I thought was a real scumbag move was how they send Reggie wayne and Dallas Clark out and force feed them the ball to get their receptions up like they care about those meaningless stats but didn’t wanna make history it really left a bad taste in my mouth for the whole organization as if living in Baltimore wasn’t enough to make me hate the colts

  47. dave1961 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:43 AM

    Kravitz should be nominated for a pulitzer … I wish we had some writers with the balls to take on the owner of the Cleveland Browns. He refuses to speak to us and is absent and endorses losing every year.
    We fought to get our team back it landed in the lap of a spoiled billionaire rich kid who hires people to tell us he loves us and our city. If the NFL fines players for not speaking to the press they outta take clubs away from owners who refuse to speak to their fan base….Randy Lerner is running a scam on Cleveland ripping off fans every year. Our press is afraid he’ll leave town witrh our team… so they refuse to write the truth about the loser.

  48. bsizemore68 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:44 AM

    What do you expect from an owner who sneak out of Baltimore in the middle of the night? If they do grab a QB in there first round I bet that will come back and bite them in the butt. Bill

  49. tgold20 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:44 AM

    One way to know that a person has no clue what they are talking about—They waste all their time talking about bandwagon fans(dabeloved)

  50. flmike says: Nov 26, 2011 12:22 PM

    I’m not a Colts fan but their lack of any planning for the future has to be a giant red flag for every team in the NFL.
    First Caldwell needs to go, he is in so far over his head he can’t see the sky for his shoelaces.
    From an outsiders view, the Colts D is abysmal.
    Again, from an outsiders view, your Offense is not much better, even if Peyton played this season, you’d still be looking up at Houston.
    The biggest question hasn’t even been asked, can Peyton Manning even come back, he has had 3 very serious neck surgeries and is there absolutely going to be a loss of range of motion in his neck, if he doesn’t have the range of motion to be able to protect himself, you’d might as well call it a day. I have seen this surgery up close and have seen the results to the range of motion, it ain’t good. If I were a Colts fan, I would be beyond pessimistic if Peyton even returns, get used to life as a second tier team until Luck is ready and you have an NFL suitable defense.

  51. Deb says: Nov 26, 2011 12:25 PM

    Luck’s people have already inquired about pulling the Eli Manning/John Elway move and refusing to dance with the team that drafts him. It would be hilarious if the Colts deliberately tank the season just to get Luck–and Luck won’t be had.

  52. j0esixpack says: Nov 26, 2011 12:56 PM

    In Polian’s defense, it’s never been a secret that he’s spent all his salary cap space on Peyton Manning and his WRs. After that there’s really no quality depth and the Defense is a poor stepchild.

    … and when Peyton goes down he has a very poor team. But he knew that.

    And this season it’s clear to all that as soon as he knew the extent of Peyton’s health he decided to tank the season to get Luck.

    That’s actually a smart move – it’s just very disingenuous to tell football fans he tried to put the best team he could on the field.

  53. zonedogz says: Nov 26, 2011 1:20 PM

    Suck for Luck’ers will be pissed when:
    a) He decides to stay in school to avoid the draft (again)
    b) He forces a trade a la Eli Manning/Elway
    c) He sucks
    d) All of the above

  54. fmwarner says: Nov 26, 2011 4:08 PM

    nfloracle says: Nov 26, 2011 10:17 AM

    In my neck of the North Carolina woods, we’re looking to get Andrew Luck, and Sunday’s Panther loss to the Colts will be the next step to doing just that.

    I had no idea “we” was a singular.

  55. hallcyon says: Nov 26, 2011 5:06 PM

    Does anyone and that includes those here at profootballtalk think the Colts are trying to win games at this point?

    Where is this organization going? They do not seem to have a game plan anymore. They lack talent, strategy and are no longer competitive. If Peyton Manning returned, with the additions of Matt Forte, Patrick Willis, Ndamukong Suh and Joe Thomas to this roster, there would still be blow out losses in every game. How so? This team doesn’t have a legitimate pass defense, can’t block or tackle, let alone rush the passer anymore. When I watched this team play my hometown Saints, everyone I know started pulling for the Colts, as they took mercy on them for being the worst team they have ever seen play football at any level.

    The management, meaning the Polians are chiefly at fault here. They control this team with an iron fist. Keeping them on staff would be an insult to the game itself. This isn’t just a losing season, it’s historically bad football. By putting together one of the worst teams in professional football history, this failure can not be rewarded. That includes firing the coaching staff. If anyone has any doubts about this then watch highlights of the Saints-Colts game, and then watch them again.

    Does Irsay really want to trust rebuilding this franchise with the very people who destroyed it? (Tony Dungy is missed.) It’s time for new voices.

  56. TheDPR says: Nov 26, 2011 5:27 PM

    I wouldn’t work for Polian in any capacity, for any pay.

    Manning has carried that team for more than a decade and the first time they’re without him they can’t win a single game.

    If that isn’t an indictment of Polian’s failed management, I don’t know what is.

  57. backindasaddle says: Nov 26, 2011 6:58 PM

    Chris Son-of-Napolian has not EARNED his station. People resent that sort of thing. What’s worse, Chris Son-of-Napolian has not distinguished himself very well in his job performance, YET, he still moves right on up the ladder. People REALLY resent that sort of thing. It isn’t right that Chris Son-of-Napolian should be handed such a position of power and control since he does not MERIT it. The fans have a right to be pissed about it and Kravitz is spot-on with his critique.

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