It's only a matter of time before Colts' Caldwell on hot seat

October 10, 2011
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The Indianapolis Colts are winless after five games this season.

It’s no secret by now that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is out—possibly for the season. The defensive secondary and offensive line also are decimated by injuries.

But that hasn’t stopped the talk about Colts Coach Jim Caldwell being on the hot seat. Caldwell has had his share of detractors since taking over for Tony Dungy following the 2009 season.

In some circles, Caldwell wasn’t given much credit for the Colts run to the Super Bowl during his first season as head coach. Now that the team is losing, there is no shortage of fans willing to credit him with the team’s on-field failings.

And the hiring of former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel probably won’t help Caldwell’s situation. Though Tressel was hired as a replay review consultant, it’s pretty clear he’s a solid head coach—at least on the college level. The man in the sweater vest hired to help Caldwell might in fact turn up the heat on Caldwell.

Tressel is finishing up a six-game suspension imposed by the Colts and endorsed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for misdeeds at Ohio State.

It will only be a matter of time before disgruntled, some would say spoiled, Colts fans are howling ever louder for Caldwell’s dismissal. It’d be easy for some fans to leap to the conclusion that Tressel should be the new head coach. Questions are bound to arise about Tressel's hire by Colts owner Jim Irsay and president Bill Polian.

The notion that Tressel could be the head coach in waiting is bound to surface. And given the way the Colts are playing, probably sooner rather than later.

If the Colts can’t win at least three of four games this year, the heat might be too much for Caldwell to handle.

  • Caldwell
    Caldwell has never impressed my as a head coach. His decision making skills and clock management skills are horrible. Colts probably wish they didn't release Justin Tryon now.

    However, Tressel may be a good coach, not sure I'd want a known cheater as a head coach. Thoughts?
    • Seriously? Tressel?
      No issue about Caldwell being on the hot seat and probably not here next year...but replaced by Tressel? Yikes! I thought the hire was dirty in the first place.

      (And what is with the comment box wanting to stop spam by me typing Hebrew letters! LOL)

      Why him? Why not Jeff Fisher? There are bound to be other candidates.
    • Tressel...really? Not!
      Unless our Colts need a tat or need to cover it up, there is no way Tressel gets any consideration in this situation.

      Tressel's hiring came as much from Caldwell...a favor from one coach to another...and there is nothing in Tressel's background to suggest he's qualified to be an NFL head coach. Besides, there are plenty of guys out there that would jump at the chance to coach Peyton assuming he comes back. might as well as "Suck for Luck" and hire Jim Harbaugh at the end of the season.
    • Disagree
      Like most of your articles, I disagree with your assessment. I believe Caldwell is Irsay/Polian's guy and until the Colts culture is consistently bad, he will still be the coach. Assuming the rest of the season continues to be a disaster, and that is followed by another year or two of disappointment - then I could see a coaching change. "Luck" could change all that...

      As for Tressel as potential coach, you've got to be kidding. He has zero NFL experience and is a proven cheater. I don't even think he would be on the list of possibilities.
    • won't get Harbaugh
      Neither Harbaugh will be available after this season, unless the Colts trade for one of them.

      I've been thinking and saying "Jeff Fisher" for a couple of months now. Caldwell's game management is just not good enough for a top-rank NFL franchise, and that's evident in the repeated mistakes since the 2010 Super Bowl.

      Fisher's strong in game management, and he always seems to get more out of a team than just their talent and matchups would suggest.
    • Caldwell
      This year's situation just elevated the obvious that Caldwell just not the right guy. Solid citizen, just not right for a high profile situation like the Colts. I like Fisher but why not go after Gruden while we are at it.
    • Class act
      The Colts have become a class act and should have a top of the class head coach, and Tressel has proven he can not fit the bill. however Bill Cowher would be the perfect head coach for the Colts. It would not take him long and the Colts would be a balanced, tough football team.
    • Fisher for coach
      Fisher would be a great choice as he is well respected by all. He is a proven winner and would do a great job. Jim Harbough already has a head coaching job with the 49ners and is winning on his own terms. Who would give that up for Polian?
    • Gruden
      If Polian can stay out of the coaches way, hire Gruden. He could breathe life back into this team. Maybe Polian should go, remember 2009? Could have had the perfect season, but Polian likes to sit and rest players when the players want to play.
    • Don't you remember
      When Jeff Fisher wore the Peyton jersey. Colts, you have a couple of options in my either go with Jeff Fisher, Bill Cowher or Brian Billick, anyone else, be prepared to dwindle into non-existence..the before Peyton-era.
    • Haha
      The colts should play on the Comedy Channel they are so horrible its funny. I'm not saying its Caldwell's fault. He may not be the best coach but even the best chef can't make something taste good with crap ingredients. The terribleness of this team reflects a lot more on Polian than Caldwell.

      Do people really think if peyton thinks he's going to play 4 more years that Luck will be drafted #1 and be willing to be backup for the next four years. Indy fans are on crack.
      • What does "spoiled" mean?
        Does it refer to fans that want to win and want to feel confident that the front office is making the right decisions to get the team back to winning? Call us spoiled if you want but I've seen the bad old Colts. I have no interest in going back to that. No team should go from Super Bowl contender to winless bottom-feeder because of one injury. That indicates bad depth and bad roster decisions.
      • are you kidding
        What do you mean, he wont be willing to sit, he doesnt have a choice but to sit, its not like he can say if you dont trade me I wont play, if he's not playing for 4 years he won't have a choice.
      • cold on Caldwell
        His(Caldwell) sideline demeanor, or lack thereof quantifies his complacency. Where is the fire, grit, and compassion of Gruden and Cowher? Jim Caldwell looks like a deer in the headlights, and even in its current dilema, the Colts deserve better.
      • Are all of you serious?
        The Colts are nowhere near the title of a "horrible" team, they have the number three toughest schedule based on W-L records from last season and 4 out of 5 of their losses have been by 7 points or less. The defensive problems aren't really even a lack of talent, it's lack of coaching and their defensive scheme. Larry Coyer's lack of adjustments in-game are the problem. As far as Tressel being a "cheater" and not a candidate to be an NFL head coach...sorry but that's just wrong. Any college head coach would and probably is doing what Tressel had done at Ohio State. It's not like he willingly helped players secretly get agents and receive huge benefits. They traded little trinkets for tattoos. The only reason people even care, or seem to think Ohio State is the worst of any college in terms of violations is because of the media bias. How long did the Miami violations last in the media? A few days? What about Boise State's repeated violations? Yeah, that got a lot of coverage. Look at Harbaugh, already being looked at for Coach of the Year for the 49ers. You're telling me Jim Tressel couldn't have the same effect on the Colts? Get real.
      • NEW COACH
        Caldwell is no good he never has been with out Manning who abouisly was the real offensive coach he is nothing, we need someone like John Gruden someone who can fire up the colts and get them going, no more not going for it on 4th and inches that is horrible coaching either you want to win or not. Caldwell needs to go
      • Caldwell
        Jim Caldwell brings nothing unique to the table. He offers no tangible benefit based on his own abilities. The quality and value of a great head coach are best put on display when his abilities are challenged and his leadership and skill set are needed most and the man rises to the challenge and exceeds expectations. Caldwell's chance to shine is now. The odds are against him now. His abilities as a leader are needed now. The results speak for themselves. The poor man looks to me that he needs to be collecting dollars at a toll booth or teaching 8 year olds at Sunday school. I watched Pete Carol and Mike Tomlin bring fire and energy this past Sunday and at least give the appearance of leadership. Caldwell will be remembered for losing the SB, quitting on a chance at perfection, and this years disaster. If Peyton had played since 1999 in New England, he'd have six rings. A great coach, and a great player, can make history. Peyton sadly has missed the other half of that equation. If he gets healthy, give him a great coach. A leader.
      • Hugh
        I'm not a colts fan and i'm still smart enough to know that Caldwell had nothing to do with the decision not to go for the undefeated season. That awful mistake is on Polian's shoulders. Just shows you how little he cares about fan opinion. I can't wait for him to outsmart himself again in this years draft.

        So i guess colts fans just want a new coach who screams and yells and shows some fire on the sideline. Is this really what makes caldwell a bad coach? I can't wait till next year when peyton is back and the team is still awful and you have a 'cowher' on the sideline spittin' and yellin'. then what is going to be the excuse.

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      1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

      2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

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