Indianapolis Colts Are Right to Stick with Jim Caldwell


More than a week removed from the Indianapolis Colts’ season-ending 17-16 loss to the New York Jets in a wild-card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium, much has been made about why the team did not advance further into the postseason and about what it should do this offseason.

A good portion of those discussions has involved Colts coach Jim Caldwell and his questionable timeout with 29 seconds remaining in the game. The Jets were aiming to get in field-goal range, and Caldwell’s timeout was followed by New York quarterback Mark Sanchez’s 18-yard pass down the sideline to receiver Braylon Edwards that set up kicker Nick Folk’s game-winning 32-yard field goal. Folk had been shaky at best from long range all season.

The timeout drew the ire of Colts fans, many of whom began calling for Caldwell to be fired immediately after the loss.

Let’s be frank. That’s not going to happen this offseason.

By Drew Allen

We’ve seen how such a move has worked out numerous times in the last decade. The San Diego Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer after the 2006 season, a year in which the coach led the team to a 14-2 record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs only to suffer a home loss to the New England Patriots in the divisional round. Schottenheimer’s replacement, Norv Turner, saw the Chargers miss the playoffs in 2010 despite a career year by quarterback Philip Rivers and having league-leading offensive and defensive units. The Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins change coaches seemingly every two seasons, and we all know where such a practice gets those two franchises.

Indianapolis will not consider such a rapid coaching change. The franchise’s rare continuity has led to nine straight playoff appearances, eight seasons with 12 or more wins, seven AFC South titles, two Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl title since 2002. An organization doesn’t achieve those things by making knee-jerk reactions.

Caldwell is 24-8 in his first two seasons as Colts coach (two losses came in meaningless games in which the team rested starters) and is 2-2 in the playoffs with an appearance in Super Bowl XLIV. He has made several head-scratching calls in addition to his timeout against the Jets (he made an eerily similar call in Indy’s fourth game of the season at Jacksonville), but the results are much the same as those of former coach Tony Dungy as of now.

And while we’re on the topic of suspect game management, was New England’s fake punt on fourth down late in the first half Sunday against the Jets not a blunder by Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who many consider one of the greatest (if not the greatest) to ever coach in the NFL? Should Belichick not come under similar fire for his team’s early playoff exit at home, the second in as many years?  

Colts owner Jim Irsay has addressed the issue publicly, saying Caldwell is his coach. Apologies to all Colts fans who are disappointed, but there’s no reason Irsay should consider anyone else. Not right now.

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  1. I agree that firing Martyball was STUPID! dumb dumb dumb…and I hate Norv Turner, there’s no way that man should have ever been anything more than a coordinator in the NFL.

    I think Caldwell did a better coaching job in 2010 than 09, just because of all the injuries. it was amazing how he held it all together

  2. damn right Belichick deserved to be criticized! I hope you read my two peices on that. if not please check the archives

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