Colts Roundtable Offseason Edition: What To Make of The Jim Caldwell Hiring

Corey McSweeneyAnalyst IJanuary 15, 2009


Note: Well, Colts Community, we are back! As some of you remember, earlier this season a few of us in the Colts Community introduced a roundtable-style discussion that featured some of the best writers in the community and their thoughts on certain subjects that was released weekly. The discussions, featured here and here were a smash hit, with one even winning the weekly award for “Best NFL Roundtable”, but due to some extenuating circumstances, it ceased to exist for the last month of the season or so. However, a few of us have decided to bring it back, and we will begin with an offseason version, hopefully coming out every few weeks or so. The plan is to have four different writers submit their thoughts each time, but that might fluctuate. For instance, this inaugural (well, reborn) edition will feature only three writers. It feels good to be back.

This offseason has started off leaving a little different taste in my mouth. Usually the Colts don’t do anything exciting, which aggravates me. I’ve probably gone against my better judgement and hoped and prayed something huge happened.

Year after year, nothing.

I mean, when the biggest offseason move from the Colts the last five years involves a kicker, you know your team likes to keep the status quo. Well not this offseason, kind of.

As we know by now, Tony Dungy has retired and Associate Head Coach Jim Caldwell got the nod to take his place. I’m torn.

There’s part of me that really wanted the Colts to postpone hiring Caldwell and at least give big names like Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan a whirl in the interview seat. The Colts have this major decision to make and they have already made it. It makes me crazy. It’s always what they do. God, for once, mix it up a little.

When they do things like trade a future first round pick to take an offensive tackle in the second round (Yeah, I’m talking to you, Tony “Hugo” Ugoh) it makes me want to throw my remote at the TV, and the real maddening thing is that these “insignificant” moves they make usually turn out to be right. This brings me to my point.

Like always, the Colts probably did the right thing. The best possible thing for the Colts next year and beyond would have been for Dungy to stay. That’s obvious. We all know how much he means to the franchise. So what is logically the next best alternative? Bringing in a guy who will keep the franchise’s image as close as it was when Dungy was running the show. That guy is Caldwell.

He has been around for a few years and knows all the players and other personnel well, so that relationship should stay the same. He will keep the same system going, so that should help out. Basically the only thing that changes is the coach, nothing else. That is probably best. At least for now.

The Colts definitely have some work to do this offseason, but coaching is not part of it. Cowher would have been interesting, but his style is very different from what is in place. I’m excited to see what personnel moves are made.

A few big free agents are out there, and the one I’m keeping my eye on is Albert Haynesworth. There’s a chance he becomes available, and I got to believe the Colts would make a run at him. They have had some serious DT issues lately (step up to the plate, Ed Johnson, Corey Simon, and my man Booger) and could use a real mainstay at the position.

I mean, Keyunta Dawson, seriously? He’s a good player, but he’s smaller than Peyton. That’s not going to work. I doubt the Titans let go of Haynesworth, so this is probably wishful thinking, but DT has to be at the top of the offseason to-do list. I would also look to CB if Kelvin Hayden leaves, offensive line, and maybe a big receiver.


Marisa Scolamiero brings a little more sense to the roundtable than me regarding Caldwell.  

Jim Caldwell being promoted as Tony Dungy's successor was a really good move. Caldwell has had the privilege of working under Dungy since his time with Tampa, and should therefore make the smooth transition.

Caldwell has served on the Colts' coaching staff since 2002 and for the past seven years has also been the quarterback coach. It is definitely a plus that he has worked so closely with Peyton Manning because he is the centerpiece of the team.

Manning can definitely help to make the transition move more smoothly. Every year that Caldwell has coached Manning, he has made it to the Pro Bowl.

Caldwell has been on the staff for all the playoff games that the team has played, and was a part of the Super Bowl win and therefore has the experience for those particular situations, and that is beneficial to any team. He is going to do well because he knows the majority of the players, he knows what the organization wants, and that is definitely to the advantage of the team.

In the off season, the Colts need to work on making sure that Joseph Addai and Bob Sanders stay healthy for a lengthy amount of time. Of course injuries can happen at any time, but it is really important that those two stay healthy.

Ryan Michael, another returning roundtable member, published a piece on Dungy’s retirement earlier this week. You can check it out here, or read an excerpt from the article:

Tony Dungy will be missed by myself and fellow Colts fans around the world. I personally could never thank him enough for all that he has done for the organization.

It was Dungy that was able to harness a team full of promise and help them reach their potential.

Yes, the success of the Colts can not be limited to one man, but there is a great deal of credit due to the man who helped organize and lead such a great team to the heights that we have reached.

The NFL will miss one of the finest coaches in the history of the sport. He is without a doubt a future Hall of Famer and it will be a true honor when he is inducted.

He was a great coach and an even finer human being.

Well guys, there you have it, the first offseason edition of the Indianapolis Colts Roundtable. A new editon and a new topic will be tackled over the next few weeks. We all will be very appreciative to hear your comments and thoughts on the re-launch and the first edition.