Indianapolis Colts: 2 Best Options to Replace Jim Caldwell as Head Coach

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIOctober 12, 2011

Indianapolis Colts: 2 Best Options to Replace Jim Caldwell as Head Coach

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    I'd like to first say that I never like to see people get fired, especially in this economy, but I think it's about time Colts head coach Jim Caldwell goes.

    At 0-5 you can't blame this horrible start on the absence of Peyton Manning.  They should be 4-1 atop of the AFC South right now.  There's absolutely no excuses anymore for Caldwell.

    The scheme isn't working anymore.

    Teams have drafted year in and year out to beat this scheme that Tony Dungy brought in 2002.

    I honestly don't think Jim Caldwell knows what he's doing.  He never shows emotion or rarely have I ever seen him actually coach someone.  He just inherited a team and scheme from Dungy, led by the best player to ever play this game.  Sorry, Tom Brady, but Peyton is better.

    What can be blamed on the absence of Manning is the mistakes from the coaching staff that Manning hid. 

    He was so smart is his play-calling that there was nothing the coaching staff had to say or do.

    That's why it's time for a new voice in the Colts locker room.

    After inheriting everything from Dungy, Caldwell went 14-2 and a trip to the Super Bowl, but now that he has the reins for himself, the Colts as of today are 10-11 in the season-and-a-half after.

    These are the top two best scenarios for a new head coach for the Indianapolis Colts.

Jon Gruden

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    Jon Gruden is the best head coach available right now for the Colts.  Not only did he graduate high school in Indiana, but I think he would gladly come coach.

    Gruden currently is an analyst on ESPN's Monday Night Football, but he could leave and return to coaching after the season.

    Gruden's son that currently plays for a Tampa high school and will be attending the University of Dayton to play football.  Dayton is a little over an hour away from Indianapolis, so Gruden can easily visit his son and watch him play.

    Also, Gruden's youngest brother Jay is currently the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.  He could be closer to him as well.

    Those are just some intangibles, but let's get to why this makes football sense.

    Gruden replaced then head coach Tony Dungy in Tampa in 2002.  He vowed to revamp the offense and fix the defensive scheme.  He didn't disappoint. Gruden went on to take the Bucs to three NFC South division titles while in Tampa.

    After a 12-4 regular season and the No. 1 ranked defense, the Buccaneers went on to win the Super Bowl that season.

    Gruden did this with Dungy's players and just revamping Dungy's scheme.

    Why can't he do that here?

    The Colts right now are still running Dungy's scheme and system.  No one would be a better fit to revamp it than the guy who did it before.

    The Colts still have talent like the Bucs did in 2002.  All they need is a makeover.

    Gruden also is known as a quarterback's coach.  He currently hosts a quarterback show on ESPN before the NFL Draft showing potential draftees their strengths and weaknesses and helping them out.

    Don't forget Gruden help a guy named Brett Favre get to where he is at by helping him in Green Bay in the early 90s.

    Think of how good he can help Manning get, and also how good he would be to groom Manning's replacement.

Jim Harbaugh

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    If the Colts can't get Gruden, Jim Harbaugh would be the next ideal option.  I know it would be tough since he's in his first season as San Francisco's head coach, but it could happen if the money and deal is right.

    Harbaugh has turned everything he's coached into gold.

    He started his coaching career for the San Diego Toreros in the NCAA in 2003.  In his first year, he was 7-4.  The two years after, he was 11-1 in both season with two conference championships.  He left after those seasons in 2005 and 2006 for a struggling Stanford Cardinal team.

    He took Stanford to two bowl games, including an Orange Bowl win last season and the highest ranking ever for Stanford at No. 4.   Stanford ended up 12-1 that season.

    His career coaching record in NCAA is 58-27.  That's pretty impressive since he inherited two bad programs.

    This is his first season in the NFL, and he turned the San Francisco 49ers franchise around instantly.  The 49ers are atop the NFC West standings and off to a 4-1 start.

    Let's not forget Jim Harbaugh was the former quarterback of the Colts prior to Peyton Manning.

    He played for the Colts from 1994-1997 and had his best seasons then.  He set career highs while with the Colts and was a Hail Mary pass against Pittsburgh in the 1995 AFC Championship Game from taking Indianapolis to the Super Bowl for the first time ever.

    Also, don't overlook Harbaugh's relationship to the potential No. 1 pick in next season's NFL Draft, Andrew Luck.

    Harbaugh taught Luck everything he knows and made Luck what he is today.  I can't think of a more perfect scenario than Harbaugh coming back to Indianapolis to help guide this city and franchise to back to what were accustomed while coaching his main guy Andrew Luck all over again.

    After all Harbaugh got the nickname "Captain Comeback" while playing for the Colts.

    Harbaugh's brother-in-law also is the current Indiana Hoosiers basketball coach Tom Crean.  Why would he not want to come back to Indiana where he has family?

    Harbaugh's brother, John, is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens.  Think of the media surrounding that: the Colts move from Baltimore in 1984 and now both franchises have a Harbaugh coaching them.