I was sitting at my cubicle today when I was given the news that Jim Caldwell was canned. I guess, as an avid Indianapolis Colts fan, my fellow co-workers expected me to be taken aback by the news. To be honest? I wasn't. At all.
The Colts did not just have a bad season. They had a TERRIBLE season. Watching a perennial playoff team fall so hard in one season was something of disbelief. And yes, it was very easy to place all the blame on a certain missing quarterback, and the fact that the Colts had the worst backup quarterback in the league.
But the absence of Peyton Manning was not the only problem the Colts had. The offense as a whole was not clicking. When an offense falters, the workload is then intensified for the defense. The defense, experiencing a large increase of time on the field, tires quickly and loses the game.
Maybe it was time to clean house in the Colts organization. That seems to be Irsay's take going into 2012. He canned Bill and Chris Polian the day after the regular season ended, relieved Caldwell of head coaching duties today and has the No. 1 pick on his plate. While it is hard to imagine the Colts without Peyton, Irsay's trend for cleaning house could also include dropping Manning's pricey contract and seeing where things go with Andrew Luck. Things typically come in threes, right?
It is hard to ignore the fall of Caldwell's Colts in his three years of coaching. He started out so strong, bringing the Colts to their second Super Bowl in four seasons. The Colts ended up falling to the Saints, 24-17, thus starting the downward trend.
The Colts went from 14 regular season wins in 2009 to 10 in 2010, and then to two wins in 2011. Caldwell's typical stoic self gave us glimpses of happiness in his two wins this season, possibly seeing these wins as saving him from being unemployed in 2012. Obviously, this was not the case.
And to be honest, besides the trip to a losing Super Bowl in the '09 season, what other electrifying moments can you think of under Caldwell's watch? I'm struggling myself.
So I bid farewell to you, Jim Caldwell. I never grew attached to you as a head coach, and I have yet to contemplate who will take your place. Unless it's Tony Dungy, because what Colts fan doesn't love some Dungy?