The news that Colts owner Jim Irsay made a run at Jon Gruden coupled with the fact that Irsay still hasn’t publicly confirmed that coach Chuck Pagano and G.M. Ryan Grigson will be back in 2017 invites plenty of speculation.
The most obvious bit of speculation is this: Who else has Irsay called?
From our January 3 item regarding Irsay’s silence: “Whether it’s Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh, Jon Gruden, Sean Payton, or even Peyton Manning, Irsay could indeed be in the process of finding out whether he can knock it out of the park before he officially picks up the bat.” Indeed, Irsay was.
So who else beyond Gruden got a phone call? One league tells PFT that Irsay hasn’t made a run at Saban (yet). As to the others on our spitball list, and as to anyone not on it, whom did Irsay try to hire? Who is he still trying to hire?
Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding Gruden, how many other cats are still inside? The longer Irsay goes without speaking or tweeting that Pagano and Grigson will be back, the more the speculation will increase.
Given that Irsay apparently has yet to find anyone who’ll take the job, the next question becomes whether he’ll try to get Texans coach Bill O’Brien. Sure, the Texans would want draft picks before letting O’Brien stay in the division. Given what the Colts have done with most of their draft picks since landing Andrew Luck, they could do as lot worse than give up a first-rounder or more for O’Brien.