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Jim Irsay describes meeting that led to Pagano and Grigson staying

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts talks with general manager Ryan Grigson before the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagano has been sidelined on medical leave for three months with leukemia. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Colts owner Jim Irsay said he thinks his franchise is about to enter a third “gilded era,” with quarterback Andrew Luck leading them the way Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning did.

But speaking in depth about his other major offseason decision — whether to retain coach Chuck Pagano and General Manager Ryan Grigson — Irsay admitted he didn’t know if he was going to fire one or both when they walked into his office on Black Monday.

As he recounted the series of meetings between himself and Pagano, himself and Grigson, and Grigson and Pagano, Irsay said the decision to tie his coach and G.M. to each other through 2019 came “organically.”

“Let me tell ya — tears fell, voices were raised, but they both came out different people,” Irsay said, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. “There are times, and this is one of them, where you go into it, and people think from the outside that someone knows what’s going to happen, [that] they’re just not telling us, meaning the public and the media. Not true. Not true. Sometimes, the decision-maker, which is the owner in this case, you have to be able to hear, and hear the things at the right moment, at the bewitching hour, and then you will make that decision at that flashpoint moment in the 11th hour. That’s the truth. It’s not always pre-decided. Sometimes it is. A lot of times it is. But in this case it wasn’t.

“This case organically came together. It showed me that the football gods, whatever you want to call it, the powers that be, created this correct synergy that said, ‘OK, Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, they are going to be our guys going forward and there is no question about it.’ ”

While that sounds a little hippie and kum-ba-yah for the normal football decision-making process, this is still Irsay we’re talking about, so it also makes a degree of sense.

Irsay said the two insisted on their contracts being lashed together, since Grigson having a year more than Pagano helped fuel some of the initial speculation (and perhaps problems). And Irsay said he also consulted with Luck, who was going to be there and be rich whether one or both of Pagano and Grigson remained.

“Good working relationship, both have matured,” Irsay said. “I’m banking in the investment of what I put into Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson. There’s been a lot of time, money and many hours of investment and conversations and mentoring and talking to these guys, and that’s what I’m banking on. . . . Ryan and Chuck are closer than ever and more understanding of each other’s positions than ever. They’re giving each other more room to operate. It’s a great working relationship and yes, it’s grown.”

“Ryan and Chuck are closer than ever and more understanding of each other’s positions than ever. They’re giving each other more room to operate. It’s a great working relationship and yes, it’s grown.”

Irsay’s counting on that organic growth translating into wins, having committed to the direction fully once he gave Luck the gigantic contract.

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38 Responses to “Jim Irsay describes meeting that led to Pagano and Grigson staying”
  1. tonyzendejas says: Sep 7, 2016 11:01 AM

    Grigson is laughably bad at both identifying team needs and drafting, and Pagano is perpetually overmatched by opposing coaches.

    Jim Irsay must be content owning a second-tier NFL franchise, because as long as Ryan & Chuck are around, that’s what Indy will be. Andrew Luck, of course, will be the ultimate casualty of this clown show.

  2. clashpoint says: Sep 7, 2016 11:05 AM

    After reading this interview I’m pretty sure he’s back on the pills and booze again.

  3. truthfactory says: Sep 7, 2016 11:12 AM

    Sorry, but I just don’t see an inspired Colts team.

    O-Line: Terrible
    D-Line: Terrible
    Rush Defense: Terrible
    Rush Offense: Terrible

    You can’t always blame the GM. Look what Jim Harbaugh did in his first year in SF (and even Michigan). Coaches should be able to coach players up. Not just blame lack of talent on GM.

    This is the same crap Manning dealt with. The only thing they might be good at is Passing. Everything else will stink. Sorry, but it’s the truth

  4. chuckshontaspads says: Sep 7, 2016 11:14 AM

    The “Football Gods created the correct synergy”. Put down the glass and close the medicine chest. if the Football Gods gave this trio their blessing I just became an Atheist.

  5. TB12RALLYCRY says: Sep 7, 2016 11:15 AM

    Just think of all the participation banners that will be hung………..

  6. Indybear says: Sep 7, 2016 11:18 AM

    I’m shocked that he could remember. Or thinks he remembers. Anything.

  7. nflgtcfl says: Sep 7, 2016 11:21 AM

    Should have dumped them both.

    Especially Grigson. Horrible

  8. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 7, 2016 11:21 AM

    They came to my office, Grigs dumped out some big fat lines, I got high and it suddenly made sense to extend both of them.

  9. cwludwig says: Sep 7, 2016 11:24 AM

    When Jim Irsay says it came to him “Organcally” does he reall mean when he was smoking Pot?

  10. terripet says: Sep 7, 2016 11:24 AM

    Should of lt both go Colts will never win these two look at grigson drafts there terrible

  11. zoxitic says: Sep 7, 2016 11:31 AM

    Tears fell?

  12. intrafinesse says: Sep 7, 2016 11:31 AM

    >>“Good working relationship, both have matured,

    What has Grigson done right, other than the very obvious move of selecting Andrew Luck #1?

  13. 6ball says: Sep 7, 2016 11:32 AM

    .
    For years the Colts have padded their record by sweeping their woefully downtrodden brethren in the AFC South. Finally, those teams have improved. And, each one of those coaches is on the hot seat. Gus Bradley, Malarkey, and Bill Obrien should all be dismissed if their teams are not competitive this year.
    .

  14. 700levelvet says: Sep 7, 2016 11:43 AM

    Johnnie Walker mediated this meeting….

  15. nhpats says: Sep 7, 2016 11:43 AM

    Why would Andrew Luck have even considered re-signing with this inept franchise? He could have played out one more year and then taken over in Denver and played for an actual contender. Instead, he will wallow away in mediocrity for the remainder of his career…..

  16. zoxitic says: Sep 7, 2016 11:46 AM

    OK, Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, they are going to be our guys going forward and there is no question about it.’ ”

    Until they finish last in the South this year. Then, buh-bye.

  17. megnailsit says: Sep 7, 2016 11:50 AM

    This is the more lucid part of the interview. The rest sounded like he was insane or under the influence. And having a coach and GM that needed to mature and be mentored? Nice work if you can get it.

  18. ampats says: Sep 7, 2016 11:53 AM

    Maybe they can hang an Grigson/Pagano banner as the Colts like to celebrate any accomplishment with a banner.

    How much oxy did Irsay take before that meeting?

  19. clelek05 says: Sep 7, 2016 11:58 AM

    Pathetic franchise

  20. margoadams says: Sep 7, 2016 12:01 PM

    Irsay drug addicted owner. Stashes girlfriends at a safe house. Pumps noise into the stadium. Sucks For Luck. Dome Teams are Soft Teams.
    You’d think Luck being a Stanford guy and Pagano would be smart enough not to re-up with these low life’s. #DeflateGate Karma

  21. lifetimefan says: Sep 7, 2016 12:14 PM

    Irsay had to keep Grigson. If not for his concocted deflategate story Brady would be playing the first 4 games of the season and the Dolts would have no chance. At least now the playing has been leveled so they have a better shot at something, maybe even making the playoffs.

  22. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:16 PM

    “There’s been a lot of time, money and many hours of investment and conversations and mentoring and talking to these guys, and that’s what I’m banking on. ”

    I missed this part earlier I was laughing so hard at what came before.

    If you’re being hired at the top of the highest level of your profession you should not need “mentoring”.

    SMH

    Softest team in the league and an embarrassment to NFL fans everywhere.

  23. chimps000 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:18 PM

    Grigson and Baalke should have a cage match to determine worst GM in the league.

  24. orange and blue own the nfl says: Sep 7, 2016 12:18 PM

    Drugs and hookers and everyone gets along, lmao. I know how that “meeting” went down.

  25. MichaelEdits says: Sep 7, 2016 12:25 PM

    Now that Grigson and Pagano have read these comments, whenever either one has a meeting with Irsay, he’ll call it “the bewitching hour.”

  26. tastethejace says: Sep 7, 2016 12:25 PM

    clashpoint says:
    Sep 7, 2016 11:05 AM
    After reading this interview I’m pretty sure he’s back on the pills and booze again.

    He was off??

  27. ricko1112 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:26 PM

    Larry, Curley, and Moe deserve each other.

    Indy is such a dishonest, cheating franchise. Piping in phony crowd noise, tanking seasons to land the #1 pick (PEDton and the Suck for Luck Campaign), hiding broken ribs and lacerated kidneys, sporting inflation needles on the sidelines, admitted tampering of opponents’ footballs, etc.

    A case a Scotch and a 100 oxy tables probably did the trick.

  28. cardinealsfan20 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:29 PM

    Every poster making fun of Irsay would trade lives with him in a heartbeat. Most of them would then party heavier than Irsay allegedly does.

  29. jasons81 says: Sep 7, 2016 1:22 PM

    Falcons fans trash talking the Saints extending Brees… LMAO!

    You do realize your QB is Matt Ryan don’t you?

    Now let that thought settle in a bit and see if you’re still so eager to talk crap about Brees.

    And to the guy who predicts 4 year/$65mil… uh no… just stop.

    Yeah I see him taking less than Osweiler… yes that makes sense.

  30. redclaw1314 says: Sep 7, 2016 1:35 PM

    Jacksonville,Tennessee, and Texans are building better teams than the Colts (without intentionally tanking seasons and without cheating). Colts will never recover with the Irsay-Grigson-Pagano combo.

  31. torebear says: Sep 7, 2016 2:14 PM

    Pot is better for you than pills and booze. So this definitely seems to be a step in the right direction for the Colts.

  32. newsletterczar says: Sep 7, 2016 2:14 PM

    We will trade you our Dan Snyder for your Jim Irsay even up; but we get to keep out Scot (with one t).

  33. sportsarepredetermined says: Sep 7, 2016 2:59 PM

    Well say what you want, but wen he wins a Super Bowl this year he will have the last laugh.

    Colts v Vikings – Super Bowl 51 – Colts Win v Kaepernick.

  34. dispozblcopy says: Sep 7, 2016 4:30 PM

    After their extensions, a roar of relief was heard from the rest of the AFC.

  35. harril3 says: Sep 7, 2016 10:36 PM

    chimps000 says:
    Sep 7, 2016 12:18 PM

    Grigson and Baalke should have a cage match to determine worst GM in the league.

    ……………….

    As the under card for Irsay and York fighting to be worst owner!

  36. harril3 says: Sep 7, 2016 10:45 PM

    “…both men insisted upon the other man to be hitched to them.”

    Translation: “If you fire me, you better fire him, too.”

    Lolololololol

  37. tonebones says: Sep 8, 2016 10:18 AM

    Andrew Luck is a Stanford kid who was raised by a Rhodes scholar. He’s one of the brightest NFL players. He could have walked away and signed elsewhere, but he not only chose to stay, he insisted on keeping both Pagano and Grigson around. I think Luck has a better perspective than most.

  38. indyjoshmo says: Sep 8, 2016 7:28 PM

    Who cares if they are a good coach or good GM. As long as they get along, the Colts should be fine… We are doomed…

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