Jim Caldwell Fired: Colts Make Necessary Decision After Earning No. 1 Pick

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 18:  Jim Caldwell the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts watches the action during Colts 27-13 win over the Tennessee Titans in the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

And the axe comes down again opening yet another NFL head coaching job.

According to the Indianapolis Colts' official Twitter account, they have "released" coach Jim Caldwell of his duties:

Colts vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, general manager Chris Polian, were already let go after the 2-14 season.

Caldwell, a soon-to-be 57-year-old, was 26-22 in his tenure with the Colts with two postseason appearances and one Super Bowl loss.

His Colts were beaten up by the New York Jets in the first round of playoffs a year ago, and the trend continued this year.

The biggest difference in 2011 was that the offense couldn't help overcome the defensive shortcomings without Peyton Manning.

No. 18 is said to be recovering finally, and Colts owner Jim Irsay has made some very contradictory remarks regarding what he wants to do with the No. 1 overall pick.

That decision no longer concerns Caldwell.

The coach has worked exclusively with wide receivers and quarterbacks throughout his coaching career, and could opt for an assistant's job or possibly a return to the college game in some capacity.

Although losing Manning is no fault of his own, the inability to fix an ailing run defense or find competitive quarterback play in Manning's absence is.

He knows this and Colts beat writer Jason Spells quotes the former coach as saying:

As the former head coach, this is all he can say.

The Colts, meanwhile, will need to go forward with caution. Who they choose to replace the coordinators, Caldwell and what to do with the No. 1 pick will shape this organization for the next five to 10 years.

Expect the coaching decision to hinge heavily on what the organization wants to do at No. 1 overall.