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Irsay Leaving 4th-Pick up to Ballard and Steichen!


philba101

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In a typical offseason this headline wouldn't even make the news. That's what a good owner should do right? Let the GM and Coach that he hired do their job without interfering. However, as the articles noted below suggest, this is not a typical offseason for the Colts. This offseason comes after the Colts fired their head coach midseason, hired an unproven interim coach, and moved on from him after finishing the season 4-12-1. The Colts front office claimed to all be onboard with the mid-season changes, however, it is not a stretch to imagine that Reich's firing, and certainly Saturday's hiring, were at the prompting of owner Jim Irsay.  So where does Irsay stand when it comes to acquiring the next quarterback for the Colts? Earlier in the week Irsay said the following:

 

“I mean, the issue is, what’s the right thing to do for the franchise, in terms of what helps us win in the long run? I mean, you need more than just a quarterback,” Irsay said. “When you have a rookie quarterback, it gives you the opportunity to build a franchise for the first three or four years. If you have a rookie quarterback, you know, you’re going to have a chance for those years to really have extra dollars to make your team better so.” These comments came along with Irsay's views on guaranteed contracts, a reference to the possibility of the Colts pursuing Lamar Jackson. "For me, for the good of the game, boy, I don’t believe fully guaranteed contracts would be good for our game at all, at all,” Our game is great and it’s great for a number of reasons, but I don’t think guaranteed contracts make our game greater, I think it makes it worse.” It is pretty clear where the owner stands on how that 4th pick should be used. He has announced his thoughts on this publicly, as I am sure he has done with Ballard and Steichen privately. Irsay even went on record publicly as saying that he was against the deal to acquire Carson Wentz: “I did not want to do it … I wasn’t for it, and I voiced that,” Irsay said. But he allowed his management team to execute that trade anyway. After Ballard doubled-down and did the same thing last year with Matt Ryan, It’s unlikely Irsay is going to allow that to happen again.

 

The real question now becomes does Chris Ballard and Shane Steichen feel the same as their owner? Yesterday, Jim Irsay suggested that he would leave the decision about the next Colts QB up to his GM and new coach: "I know they will line up together, there’s no question, and I’ll line up with their thinking (unless something was very unusual,”) Irsay told reporters at the NFL owners’ meeting this week.  Irsay did not elaborate on what "something very unusual" would be. Maybe Steichen and Ballard not agreeing on what approach to take? One would assume that Ballard and Steichen are on the same page with each other over what to do next about QB. After all, Ballard was given the freedom to hand-select any new coach, and he chose Steichen, with Irsay's blessing of course.

 

If we are to believe Ballard's public comments, we already know that he doesn't feel any of the top 4  QB's were worth trading up for: "Didn’t wanna make a blind decision without all the information,"; “And I know people might not understand that. But I think just history kind of tells you that, when you do that, you better know what you’re getting, and we weren’t quite ready to do that at that time. And then we feel like there’s enough depth in the draft that we were going to be OK.” In the past, Ballard said the following about taking a QB at #4: “You got to be right. We got to be right; “We understand the magnitude of where we’re at in the draft. And we understand the importance of the position.; "To get one that actually you can win with and to be right is the most important thing, not if we take one or not. It’s being right.’’ This is largely the justification that Ballard has used the past three years when he passed on drafting a rookie QB and instead traded for or acquired veteran QB's Rivers, Wentz, and Ryan, the last two ending with losing seasons. Ballard also stated at the draft combine that: “I think we’ll get the best player in the draft, to be quite honest with you,’’ he said. “Why? Because we’re at 4. I mean, that’s a great position to be in. Notice Ballard didn't say he thinks the Colts will get the best QB at #4, he said the best player in the draft instead. Since the Panthers have moved up to #1, are we to believe that the 3rd, or possibly the 4th QB to come off the board, will be the best player in the draft? All this leads me to believe that Ballard and Steichen may not draft a QB with the 4th overall pick. If they decide they don't want to spend the 4th pick in the draft on a rookie (whether they trade it or select a player of another position), will the Colts fans be okay with this decision? More importantly, will Jim Irsay be okay with that decision for another year? If not, then what?

 

https://www.outkick.com/indianapolis-colts-owner-gm-seem-at-odds-about-what-to-do-at-quarterback/

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2023/03/27/chris-ballard-on-lamar-jackson-anytime-a-special-player-is-available-youve-got-to-do-the-work/

https://fox59.com/sports/colts/colts-need-a-qb-and-everyone-has-advice-how-no-4-draft-pick-can-solve-it/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well ironically if there were a QB the likes of Burrow or Lawrence at the top the Colts would be even more unlikely to be able to move up.  In those years it can be impossible.  The best years to move up are the ones where the top of the class has unknowns and the smart team has to identify the traits they want, prioritize them, and go get the guy who fits.

 

Ballard btw I think is a really good GM.  His problem is he is a bit too conservative, though I think in part that is driven by Irsay.  But this is a passing league now.  Last season he could have done better with the things that play in to that, from the protections to the quality of the weapons to the QB.  It's become a trend in fact now for him.  So he has to get this right.  If by this time next year they are not in love with whomever they take at QB he will almost surely be fired.

 

I am hoping the draft breaks our way here.  To me that would be Levis is sitting there at 4.  But if not then they need to be ready to turn the page and get it right, which might be too difficult for Ballard.  It is entirely possible he is incapable of adjusting to the new NFL, and the realities of it, where the QB by virtue of the position is going to need to be taken earlier than you think.  Because the other options for QB if that happens are the guys like OConnell, Haener, etc who will go off the board earlier than they should simply due to supply and demand.  Is he ready to navigate that minefield?

 

We'll see.  Gonna wait and see who we get before I worry too much about this but where we're sitting right now is hardly ideal.

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10 minutes ago, throwing BBZ said:

 Ballard gave into Reich's intuition and pov over and over. Lessons learned!

 He now has a much better mind to plan with. Irsay gets this. They are all sleeping better knowing what they know.

 We will make a move if it is the right thing to do.

I agree that Steichen is probably a better mind to plan with in terms of developing a new young QB they are confident in that choice. What I am not convinced of is that Ballard has learned his lesson. None of his comments make it sound like he wants to draft a new young QB again? Can he really just take BPA and maybe draft a rookie QB in the 3rd or 4th round again? If we roll with Minshew and a mid-round rookie and only win 4 or 5 games next year, Ballard will get fired. Doe Irsay really want to go through that all again?

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Just now, Boondoggle said:

Well ironically if there were a QB the likes of Burrow or Lawrence at the top the Colts would be even more unlikely to be able to move up.  In those years it can be impossible.  The best years to move up are the ones where the top of the class has unknowns and the smart team has to identify the traits they want, prioritize them, and go get the guy who fits.

 

Ballard btw I think is a really good GM.  His problem is he is a bit too conservative, though I think in part that is driven by Irsay.  But this is a passing league now.  Last season he could have done better with the things that play in to that, from the protections to the quality of the weapons to the QB.  It's become a trend in fact now for him.  So he has to get this right.  If by this time next year they are not in love with whomever they take at QB he will almost surely be fired.

 

I am hoping the draft breaks our way here.  To me that would be Levis is sitting there at 4.  But if not then they need to be ready to turn the page and get it right, which might be too difficult for Ballard.  It is entirely possible he is incapable of adjusting to the new NFL, and the realities of it, where the QB by virtue of the position is going to need to be taken earlier than you think.  Because the other options for QB if that happens are the guys like OConnell, Haener, etc who will go off the board earlier than they should simply due to supply and demand.  Is he ready to navigate that minefield?

 

We'll see.  Gonna wait and see who we get before I worry too much about this but where we're sitting right now is hardly ideal.

Smart teams are also lucky teams.   If there isn't a Manning or Luck.  If there is a guy that has question marks,  the ones that hit are as lucky as they are smart.   Most top 10 qbs don't make it.  You never know what a kid is going to become once they become an instant millionaire.

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This is how it should be. Irsay hires the people he trusts and truly trusts them when it comes to football questions. Of course he should have the final say because this is huge investment and potentially franchise changing pick, so I don't mind him having the final say, but IMO he should overrule his GM and coach only if there are force majeure circumstances or some serious issues with the chosen pick. None of those QBs IMO have any known issues that rise to that level.

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7 minutes ago, Restinpeacesweetchloe said:

Wow no wonder Reich got fired for that Wentz trade. Not reading into him saying they will get best player in draft. Don’t think that means anything.

 

Wentz has the fantastic record of getting both Pederson and Reich fired from their HC positions. Both of them got hired again too. :dunno:

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2 minutes ago, jvan1973 said:

Smart teams are also lucky teams.   If there isn't a Manning or Luck.  If there is a guy that has question marks,  the ones that hit are as lucky as they are smart.   Most top 10 qbs don't make it.  You never know what a kid is going to become once they become an instant millionaire.

Most QBs period don't make it.  So not a surprise that by extension that also applies to top ten signal callers.

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1 minute ago, chad72 said:

 

Wentz has the fantastic record of getting both Pederson and Reich fired from their HC positions. Both of them got hired again too. :dunno:


That’s funny.  I don’t think Wentz alone got Frank fired.  
 

The complete regression of the Oline (which includes the decision to go with Pryor and Pinter), and Ryan’s arm and fumbling played more into it.  

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I don't disagree with this sentiment.  But whose fault was that.  Is the OL on Frank.  Or was Ryan doing precisely what he did in Atlanta on Frank.

 

So I do think Wentz bombed so badly that he made a significant contribution to Frank's downfall here.  Makes me think something crazy happened like he drank Irsay's scotch or hit on his daughters or parked in his spot.

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13 minutes ago, Boondoggle said:

I don't disagree with this sentiment.  But whose fault was that.  Is the OL on Frank.  Or was Ryan doing precisely what he did in Atlanta on Frank.

 

So I do think Wentz bombed so badly that he made a significant contribution to Frank's downfall here.  Makes me think something crazy happened like he drank Irsay's scotch or hit on his daughters or parked in his spot.


After he was fired they won one more game, right?  Kind of shows he wasn’t the issue.  

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17 minutes ago, Boondoggle said:

I don't disagree with this sentiment.  But whose fault was that.  Is the OL on Frank.  Or was Ryan doing precisely what he did in Atlanta on Frank.

 

So I do think Wentz bombed so badly that he made a significant contribution to Frank's downfall here.  Makes me think something crazy happened like he drank Irsay's scotch or hit on his daughters or parked in his spot.

This team was one of the best scoring teams in the middle of the season . The way it fell sleet was shocking those last 2 games. I am with you something inside that locker room happened. Then it carried over to the 22 season. This team should of had the same record they had with rivers.

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1 hour ago, DougDew said:

What that means is that Irsay already told them that they will pick a QB.  The fact that Ballard and Steichen agreed with him now means that Irsay is free to claim that they will be making the pick.  LOL. 

 

You could be right that he told them that privately.  Maybe it is just smokescreens, but everything Ballard is saying publicly makes it sound like he is going to take the best player available even if that is not a QB. Perhaps they are waiting to see if the guy they want falls to them at #4. If not, they can either use or trade the pick for a lower 1st rounder. Then use that pick to trade for Jackson. Option three would be to roll with Minshew and rookie QB drafted in later rounds.

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3 minutes ago, philba101 said:

You could be right that he told them that privately.  Maybe it is just smokescreens, but everything Ballard is saying publicly makes it sound like he is going to take the best player available even if that is not a QB. Perhaps they are waiting to see if the guy they want falls to them at #4. If not, they can either use or trade the pick for a lower 1st rounder. Then use that pick to trade for Jackson. Option three would be to roll with Minshew and rookie QB drafted in later rounds.

Ballard has to play politician. He has to keep other teams guessing. Irsay had sledge been more straight forward.

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55 minutes ago, philba101 said:

I agree that Steichen is probably a better mind to plan with in terms of developing a new young QB they are confident in that choice. What I am not convinced of is that Ballard has learned his lesson. None of his comments make it sound like he wants to draft a new young QB again? Can he really just take BPA and maybe draft a rookie QB in the 3rd or 4th round again? If we roll with Minshew and a mid-round rookie and only win 4 or 5 games next year, Ballard will get fired. Doe Irsay really want to go through that all again?


I’m sorry…..   you worry way  way WAAAAYYYYYYY too much.   Goodness gracious. 
 

Have you seen the video of Ballard saying we’re going to get the best player in the draft?   Did you not see him LAUGH?   He wasn’t serious.   
 

Did you really need to provide THREE different links to build some case?   Irsay is trying to show some trust in his GM and NEW HC, the QB whisperer. 

 

Did you expect Irsay to publicly say that he promises the Colts will take one of the top 4 QBs?   A month BEFORE the draft?!?  


If you don’t trust Ballard — fine.  I’m not telling you to.   Than trust Steichen.   And if you don’t trust him then trust Irsay.   And if you don’t trust ANY of them then why are you even a Colts fan?  

 

 

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13 minutes ago, philba101 said:

You could be right that he told them that privately.  Maybe it is just smokescreens, but everything Ballard is saying publicly makes it sound like he is going to take the best player available even if that is not a QB. Perhaps they are waiting to see if the guy they want falls to them at #4. If not, they can either use or trade the pick for a lower 1st rounder. Then use that pick to trade for Jackson. Option three would be to roll with Minshew and rookie QB drafted in later rounds.

We'll never really know.  GMs always say that the guy they took was the guy they wanted at that spot.   Polian, every year, used to say "the draft fell exactly as we expected it would"  LOL.

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11 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:


I’m sorry…..   you worry way  way WAAAAYYYYYYY too much.   Goodness gracious. 
 

Have you seen the video of Ballard saying we’re going to get the best player in the draft?   Did you not see him LAUGH?   He wasn’t serious.   
 

Did you really need to provide THREE different links to build some case?   Irsay is trying to show some trust in his GM and NEW HC, the QB whisperer. 

 

Did you expect Irsay to publicly say that he promises the Colts will take one of the top 4 QBs?   A month BEFORE the draft?!?  


If you don’t trust Ballard — fine.  I’m not telling you to.   Than trust Steichen.   And if you don’t trust him then trust Irsay.   And if you don’t trust ANY of them then why are you even a Colts fan?  

 

 

buddy relax. he's just providing evidence for his opinion. 

 

just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean you need to go full tilt each time. 

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3 minutes ago, csmopar said:

No, I just think Reich’s flaws will be further exposed with the weaker Panthers roster. Unless they catch lightning in a bottle at 1

Do you fire a HC the same season you start a rookie QB?  That's kinda harsh.

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22 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:


I’m sorry…..   you worry way  way WAAAAYYYYYYY too much.   Goodness gracious. 
 

Have you seen the video of Ballard saying we’re going to get the best player in the draft?   Did you not see him LAUGH?   He wasn’t serious.   
 

Did you really need to provide THREE different links to build some case?   Irsay is trying to show some trust in his GM and NEW HC, the QB whisperer. 

 

Did you expect Irsay to publicly say that he promises the Colts will take one of the top 4 QBs?   A month BEFORE the draft?!?  


If you don’t trust Ballard — fine.  I’m not telling you to.   Than trust Steichen.   And if you don’t trust him then trust Irsay.   And if you don’t trust ANY of them then why are you even a Colts fan?  

 

 

I don't think I am being WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY too much! I admitted that Ballard's comments could be a smokescreen so that he can get the player he wants. What worries me is that Ballard's current public statements match the same excuses he has used since 2020 for not drafting a rookie QB. Nobody knows for sure if Irsay has mandated that he must draft a QB at #4. Since we don't know that, we cant assume Ballard is going to take a QB. I don't expect the Colts to tip their hand to everyone and let them know what they intend on doing. I trust Steichen but I am not sure I can trust Ballard given his track record over the last three years. Maybe secretly all three are on the same page with each other about who the Colts next QB will be. We have no way of knowing that. All I am saying is that IMO if Ballard follows his previous track record, and doesn't love any of the top 4 QB's, he is more likely than not to pass on a rookie QB for a 4th year in a row.

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1 minute ago, RollerColt said:

The Raiders did it with Carr… Not saying it’s a good idea to do that though unless you want to screw up the rookie’s development. 

?  You mean rookie HC Josh fired the vet QB one year?  That's not the same thing.  Or is there another Carr situation

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1 hour ago, Smonroe said:


That’s funny.  I don’t think Wentz alone got Frank fired.  
 

The complete regression of the Oline (which includes the decision to go with Pryor and Pinter), and Ryan’s arm and fumbling played more into it.  


The Oline, Pryor and Pinter are on Frank?!?  
 

Ryan?    Sure.   Though not alone.   Irsay and Ballard were completely on board.   Honestly, I’m not impressed with Irsay saying he was never on board with Wentz. I don’t believe it and I think it feels like major CYA mode to me.   And even if it’s not, and it’s true, he should not be going public.   To me, it’s a bad bad look. 
 

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4 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:


The Oline, Pryor and Pinter are on Frank?!?  
 

Ryan?    Sure.   Though not alone.   Irsay and Ballard were completely on board.   Honestly, I’m not impressed with Irsay saying he was never on board with Wentz. I don’t believe it and I think it feels like major CYA mode to me.   And even if it’s not, and it’s true, he should not be going public.   To me, it’s a bad bad look. 
 

I agree that Irsay shouldn't have said that publicly, that is a bad look.

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34 minutes ago, csmopar said:

No, I just think Reich’s flaws will be further exposed with the weaker Panthers roster. Unless they catch lightning in a bottle at 1

it will be interesting to see, but it seems like a bold prediction to me. 

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31 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

The owner trusting the football people he hired to make a football decision.  The nerve of him!

 

:sarcasm:

I agree that this should be a given right? Maybe all three (Irsay, Ballard, and Steichen) already made their decision privately and are on the same page with who our next QB will be. Maybe their public words are just smokescreens so that they can get the player they always wanted. What is troubling is that we are seeing some of the same language from Ballard about rookie QB's that we have seen the last three seasons. It just seems odd to me that his owner is publicly out making the case for a rookie QB, while the GM is sticking to his same old mantra about not taking a rookie QB unless he is convinced he can pick the right one. If Irsay is just going to leave it up to Ballard and Steichen as he implied yesterday, we can't  be sure Ballard won't revert to his old norms. I would love to know what Steichen is pushing for at this point. There is a lot at stake this off season. The fact that Ballard and Irsay are saying opposite things publicly makes me wonder if they truly are on the same page going forward.

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1 hour ago, AustinnKaine said:

buddy relax. he's just providing evidence for his opinion. 

 

just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean you need to go full tilt each time. 


That wasn’t full tilt.   Not even close.   
 

And you should have figured out by now that you and I don’t agree on much of anything.   We see most things differently. So no surprise, we see this differently as well. 

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