Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Jim Caldwell parts with a second assistant
By Paul Kuharsky
It may be a while before we know if Jim Caldwell will remain in place as the Indianapolis Colts coach.
If he does, he will have a new special teams coach. The team announced it will not renew the contract of Ray Rychleski.
“I felt we needed to make a change and head in a new direction,” Caldwell said in a statement released by the team. “Although the special teams unit made some improvement as the season progressed, it was not enough to continue our current situation. We appreciate Ray’s service and hard work during his three seasons with the team.”
When Caldwell took over the top job following Tony Dungy’s departure in 2009, the new coach made two significant hires. Defensive coordinator Larry Coyer was fired late in the season and now Rychleski will also be replaced.
Jim Irsay spoke highly of Caldwell in his Monday news conference discussing the firing of vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian. While Caldwell remains with the team, a new general manager will likely have a hand in determining the coach’s fate. That’s an awkward situation and most incoming executives given full powers prefer to hire their own coach.
In that news conference, Irsay praised Caldwell for his accountability and said he had admitted Coyer was a poor fit to run the Colts' scheme and it amounted to a mistake.
It does not say a lot for Caldwell that both the coaching hires that qualifies as his guys are no longer on the staff.
Bill Polian de-emphasized special teams and it's an area that a new regime should pay more attention to.