It’s possible that an optimistic Colts fan could have found some hope in yesterday’s 27-21 loss to the Saints, which featured the Colts nearly coming back from a 27-point deficit before running out of time. But that would require one to ignore the first half, as well as the “heated conversation” that owner Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson got into after the game.
The Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer reported that Irsay and Grigson exchanged words right in the middle of the Colts’ locker room:
It’s what led to a heated conversation between owner Jim Irsay and General Manager Ryan Grigson in the locker room after the game. It’s what led to their desperate coach, Chuck Pagano — whose seat seems to be warming by the minute — giving an impassioned postgame speech to his players.
These Colts are no strangers to behind-the-scenes drama, but the rift has always been between Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano, with Irsay tacitly in Grigson’s corner. The Fake Punt Heard ‘Round the World was likely the beginning of the end for Pagano, but he deserves credit for rallying his team after a truly embarrassing first half yesterday. There’s really nothing good that can be said about Grigson’s handling of the roster, though, and yesterday’s confrontation could be a sign that Irsay is getting fed up.
He’d have good reason to be. None of Grigson’s big offseason signings have panned out, and his decision to put Andrew Luck’s health in the hands of a makeshift offensive line looks worse every day. Luck has been getting crushed all season, and his play has clearly been affected by the shoulder injury that has already kept him out of two games. Against a Saints defense that scares nobody, Luck was hit 10 times and sacked four times.
Luck is an absolute rarity in the NFL—a young franchise quarterback—and putting him in an offense that can’t keep him from getting smacked around every Sunday is an unconscionable fuck-up. Luck’s in his prime and the Colts should be staring at a wide-open championship window, but instead they’re struggling to not get embarrassed on a weekly basis. Pagano’s mistakes are more visible, but Grigson deserves an equal share of the blame.