Yeah, I really am going to blog about football, too.
A number of you (zero… zero is a number) have asked me who I think should be the next GM of the Colts.
Side note: one of you asked me what I thought about the Polians being fired. I think it was time. Bill has been riding on his reputation and his past, much like Paul McCartney with Wings. And, much like Paul McCartney with Wings, an occasional good result doesn’t justify the continuation of the role. Chris has been riding on Bill’s coattails, and Chris, in my opinion, is half the reason the Colts were in the mess they were in. On the other hand, if Bill gets a job with another team and comes to visit us in Indianapolis, I say we give him a ten minute standing ovation for the first several years of his career. He’s earned it. But he needed to go.
So. Who to hire?
Obviously, Jim Irsay does things his own way and he definitely isn’t going to make his pick based on what one fan says in a blog that he’s never heard of. But for a moment, I’m going to pretend that he’s just batty enough to do that.
So, Jimmy. You listening? Good.
First, you should be looking at Tom Gamble. You remember Tom, don’t you, Jimmy? He was a college scout for you several years ago. In fact, he was a scout for you the year you drafted Peyton. He eventually went to the 49ers and has been their director of pro personnel and director of player personnel. No, I don’t know exactly what the difference between those positions is, Jim, but the point is that under his guidance, the Niners picked up players like Takeo Spikes and Justin Smith. Yes, it’s possible that he may have helped the Niners pass on Aaron Rodgers for Alex Smith, I know that — but Alex Smith isn’t looking terrible right now, is he? Gamble has worked in six of the eight divisions, and he knows his players, and he knows you. One added incentive — there are rumors that you want to keep Peyton, AND there are rumors that the Niners would like to GET Peyton. Get Gamble, and the odds are better that you won’t end up losing Manning to San Francisco.
Now, if Tom isn’t available, you still have options, Jim. Think about Eric DeCosta, the director of player personnel for the Ravens. He’s helped build that team for well over ten years. He knows how to hire players and coaches. (That’s a hint, Jim. Caldwell needs to go.) DeCosta is partially responsible for the hiring of Flacco and of Coach Harbaugh, and while both have been occasionally criticized (especially Flacco), consider the options that were available to him, consider the fact that Flacco has actually produced fairly well before this year, and consider the fact that even when Flacco is NOT producing, the Ravens are the second seed in the AFC for this year’s playoffs. The man understands personnel.
I’ve heard a couple people mention Steve Keim. I’m not going to tell you NOT to choose him, but I am a little wary of his record with the Arizona Cardinals. Yes, he helped put together the team that went to the Super Bowl, but that seemed to be a bit of a fluke, now, didn’t it? I know he got Darnell Dockett and Anquan Boldin, but he couldn’t hold the team together too well. He’s a decent enough choice, but not a great one.
Instead of Keim, if you really want to take a leap of faith, try John Dorsey from Green Bay. A lot of people thought it was Jeff Ireland who was responsible for the personnel in Green Bay over the past several years, but his poor track record in Miami and Green Bay’s continued success point to either Dorsey (their director of college scouting) or Reggie McKenzie (their director of football operations), and I’m betting that the new organization in Oakland — which plans to introduce a GM role — is going to throw scads of money at McKenzie. Dorsey might not be ready for that sort of jump in responsibility, but you could do a lot worse if you’re looking for someone who understands the draft. (Just in case, keep an eye on McKenzie, too.)
I’m not as big as others are on Les Snead, the director of player personnel for the Falcons. I don’t understand what people see in him, other than his longevity in a scouting role for the Jaguars and then Atlanta. He’s not a bad guy, but just look the other way.
For the love of all that’s horseshoe, avoid Ryan Grigson. He has a reputation as a hard worker, and he helped Philly put together their “dream team” (which, incidentally, has something in common with the Colts — it’s ALSO not going to the playoffs)… but he doesn’t listen to others. It’s his opinion only that matters when he makes decisions. That’s all well and good for his current role with the Eagles (director of player personnel), but not for a GM who needs to be open to his staff’s wisdom. Also, I have to ask why he’s bounced around the NFL, CFL, and even the Arena leagues if his decision-making is as good as some people suggest.
Finally, if none of those guys work out for you, take a look at Dave Gettleman (director of pro personnel for the Giants) or Terry McDonough (director of player personnel for the Jaguars), both of whom are relentless watchers of film. Despite the Jags’ struggles, their drafts have been better than many think, and the Giants have definitely drafted well — thanks to these two guys.
And, Jim? If I were you, I’d get moving. The Bears and Rams also need a GM. (Ignore both Angelo and Devaney. Please.)
We’ll talk about coaches another time, okay, Jim? Get some sleep. You look exhausted.