Pep Hamilton got canned as Colts offensive coordinator. That should only be the beginning. The next logical figure to go should be GM Ryan Grigson after the Colts disastrous start.
There is a lot of blame to go around for the Indianapolis Colts’ troubles. I’m snot sure where it ends, but I do know where it begins. General Manager Ryan Grigson. The Colts fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton this week. It was probably warranted, but it certainly won’t cure all that ails the Colts. Word is now filtering out of Indianapolis that the coaches, including head coach Chuck Pagano, had instructions from Grigson as to who to start, who to play and how much playing time each were to receive.
It has been known for a while that Pagano also didn’t have his choice of offensive coordinators, that Grigson forced Hamilton on him.
The offensive line, which should have been a top priority for years, instead has been a disaster since the Colts drafted quarterback Andrew Luck. It has been patched together with middle round draft choices and bargain free agents. And let’s face it, drafting Andrew Luck was anything but a stroke of genius. I know a few people had Luck and Robert Griffin III as equals on draft day, but most knowledgeable people could see Griffin had some risk to him and Luck was a lock. Congratulations. Grigson made the right, though fairly obvious, choice. Now that Grigson stumbled into one of the most valuable assets in the NFL, he failed in every regard to give him the best chance to win a Super Bowl.
Grigson assembled some good talent at receiver, which can be important. But Tom Brady has made his receivers great, certainly not the other way around. To bolster the running game, Grigson took a big gamble to trade for the Cleveland Browns former first round pick, Trent Richardson. Richardson hadn’t been getting the job done for the Browns, but there were excuses. Aren’t there always? The trade for Richardson was a complete disaster. Again, most inside football people knew it from the start. It was evident from his brief time in Cleveland that Richardson lacked speed and instinct to be a successful running back in the league. Grigson gave away his first rounder to get the dud running back. While Chuck Pagano has to take his share of the blame, I have heard players speak out on behalf of the coach. In fact, I have not heard a backstabbing word hurled Pagano’s direction.
The same cannot be said about Grigson. I saw one anonymous player quoted as saying Grigson thinks he invented football. He garners no respect in the Colts locker room. There was some very poor drafting toward the end of the Bill Polian era. That doesn’t fall on either Pagano or Grigson, but Grigson has continued with head scratching draft choices. The first rounder out of the 2013 draft was tweener OLB/DE Bjoern Werner. He played DE at Florida State, but was immediately slotted to move to OLB. Doesn’t look like it matters much, Werner hasn’t taken well to either position. If it weren’t for the money Grigson invested in him, he probably would have been cut. His tenure with the team is clearly face-saving by the GM that drafted him. The 2014 first rounder was gone for Richardson. This past season, the Colts took Phillip Dorsett, a speedy wide receiver from Miami. Everyone expected the Colts to go for defensive help, but Grigson likes to keep them guessing. While the offense struggled, and Hamilton got canned for it, the defense has been a disaster as well this season. The Colts are 29th in total defense. That first round choice that could have put someone in the trenches sure would have helped.
Believe it or not, all is not lost for the Colts this season. They are tied for first place in the woeful AFC South and are still probably the favorite to win it. If things turn around and the Colts rally for a winning record this season, Grigson might save his job.
If I were a Colts fan, I would hope not. The Colts will never get there with Grigson calling the shots. I don’t know what kind of a hold he has over Colts’ owner Jim Irsay. Logic would dictate Irsay makes a change no matter what. But how can you predict the actions of a billionaire? Especially one who inherited his money.
The jury is still out for me on Chuck Pagano. But take a picture of Ryan Grigson in the Colts front offices. He should never be seen in there again.