In many ways, the Sporting News brand has seen its influence diminish dramatically in recent years. In one specific way, the Sporting News retains a significant amount of sway in NFL circles.
The Sporting News awards annually the one postseason award not among the Associated Press collection of honors that is regarded as the unofficially official NFL designation: Executive of the year. This year, the winner is first-year Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized for this award and I’m thankful to all of my peers who considered me for this accolade,” Grigson said in a statement released by the team. “Our success this season encompassed the entire organization, including the unwavering support from Mr. Irsay, the dedication of the entire scouting department, the leadership of the coaching staff and the gutsy performance of our players week in and week out. I also owe a big debt of gratitude to my wife, Cynthia, and my five children who sacrificed so much in my first year as general manager. This was a very special season and the courage shown by Chuck and this team will be etched in me and the entire Colts family for a lifetime. This year was a stepping stone en route to our ultimate goal — hoisting the Lombardi Trophy together. We’re going to continue to work tirelessly until we reach that objective. ”
The executive of the year is determined by a vote of coaches and executives.
Grigson presided over a stunning reversal for the Colts, who went from 2-14 to 11-5 and a wild-card berth. Blending rookies and veterans and role players, the Colts became a team in the truest sense of the term, responding admirably to the adversity arising from coach Chuck Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis, and finding a way on multiple occasions to win games in which they trailed in the second half.