Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay addressed the team's future Monday during a press conference in which he announced the firing of vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian.
Bill Polian joined the organization in 1998 after spending four years as the general manager of the expansion Carolina Panthers and seven years of the Buffalo Bills. The team made two Super Bowls during his time in Indianapolis, winning once in 2007.
Irsay said it was a tough decision to make because of how close he was with Bill Polian, also noting that he possessed "a magical and rare talent for evaluating players."
"I talked to both of them this afternoon," he said. "This is the tough part of this business."
No decision was going to be made on staff members until after the team finished its season Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Irsay said.
Irsay said the search for a new GM will begin immediately as he will contact other teams beginning Monday night, but it will not be a quick process.
"This is not like 1997 when I removed Bill Tobin and replaced him with Bill Polian in a matter of hours," he said. "This could take multiple weeks."
Later, being interviewed by Colts play-by-play voice Bob Lamey, Irsay also commented that it is "highly probable" that the next GM will be someone who has not held that position in the NFL before. He added that the timetable may be delayed by current candidates being involved in the playoffs.
Irsay also said no decision has been made on head coach Jim Caldwell's future with the team. He and Caldwell have met and his status will not be closer to a final determination until a new general manager is hired.
"I anticipate the GM being here when I make a final decision on the coaching staff and the head coach," he said.
Quarterback Peyton Manning's status was also addressed during the press conference. Irsay said the two of them have yet to talk since the end of the season and will in the next week or so.
"I've always said to me that this is first and foremost a medical and a health situation," he said. "The key thing to me is since the fusion, is it safe for him to go on the field. Is he safe enough to resume his career."
When talking of unforeseen future occurrences in searching for a new coach or player, there was a strong notion of what a cornerstone player means for the team's future plans from Irsay. Should he declare for the draft, Stanford junior quarterback Andrew Luck is likely to be the team's first selection.
"If you have a chance to get a great one, you get it," he said, referring to the team's number one pick selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.
No matter what the team decides to do with its draft picks, who it selects to replace Bill Polian or if Caldwell is retained or not, times have begun to change in Indianapolis.
"I'm excited about our direction," Irsay said. "It's a new era."
Tags: Bill Polian, Chris Polian, Football, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, Jim Caldwell, Jim Irsay, NFL
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