There are rumors swirling around who really gave the “green light” to hire Frank Reich as the new Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts. The true answer seems to be many.
Yesterday, the mill began churning when Brad Wells tweeted that, “It is pretty much confirmed that Manning is working for the Colts in an unofficial capacity. Reich was his guy, not Ballard’s.” This began speculation that Irsay and Ballard were not on the same page in who to hire.
Wells fueled speculation when he commented about an “Interesting observation about Ballard not being there (when Reich signed his contract).” Many pointed out that Ballard was, and still is, actually in Atlanta to support the late Edwin Jackson’s family at today’s funeral.
Today, former GM and now ESPN analyst Bill Polian appeared on the Dan Dakich show on ESPN 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. Here, Polian helped to dispel rumors of a rift. Polian has stated that the Colts, “Got the better end of the deal here.”
As Indiana Sports Coverage has reported earlier, this crop of potential hires was totally different from the initial group. Polian told Dakich when asked why he (Reich) wasn’t on the Colts radar in the first round of interviews that:
“Frank is not a self-promoter… He and I talked just before the playoffs. (Reich) told me he wasn’t going to chase any interviews. He told his attorney and his agent he didn’t really want any interviews because it would interrupt his preparation for the playoffs and hopefully, the Super Bowl.”
Polian also stated, “When this (the Colts) job opened up, it was time for him to be a candidate. I and many others recommended him strongly.”
Polian was then asked by Dakich, “How involved were you? How involved were you and Peyton? There are a lot of rumors going around that you and Peyton were very involved?”
Polian responded with: “Listen, people that know Jim and know Chris like myself and Peyton and I think Coach (Marv) Levy and know Frank were happy to recommend him. That happens all the time in the National Football League.”
Dakich then got to the heart of the rumors and asked Polian of this scenario, “Is there anything to this… Irsay went to you, went to Peyton and said I’m gonna take this out of Ballard’s hands. Any of that?” Polian was direct in his answer:
“No. Absolutely not. Conversely, I went to Jim only because I was so shocked when I happened to get off a plane in Hartford, Connecticut and my phone blew up with people calling and asking for comments. I didn’t even know what had happened… So I called Jim right away and he said, ‘Great, call Chris.’ And that’s what I did.”
Polian discussed whether we should worry about Reich not calling plays. He stated that play calling, “Is 1/10 of a head coaches job… Marv Levy never called plays.” Let’s not forget Polian was Levy’s GM in Buffalo.
Polian also commented on retaining the already-signed coaches, fixing the talent issues, using the Colts cap room in free agency, and on Reich’s ability to focus the team.
Listen to Polian’s entire interview from 1070 The Fan here. Stay tuned to ISC for more updates.