Jim Irsay Jim Irsay

Jim Irsay: ‘Bill Polian’s Gone to the Hall of Fame, But Ryan Grigson Has Outdone Him’

Nov 29, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson (right) and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay talk before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson (right) and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay talk before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had high praise for his general manager Ryan Grigson during Monday night’s press conference announcing both Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano‘s new contract extensions with his team.

In fact, Irsay went as far in the team’s press conference to proclaim that Grigson has been more successful in his 1st 4 seasons with the team than former Colts Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian:

From purely a win-loss perspective, that is true. In his 1st 4 seasons (2012-15), Grigson has finished 41-23 (.641) and made the playoffs in 3 of his 4 seasons–including an AFC Championship game appearance.

Meanwhile, Polian in his 1st 4 seasons (1997-2000) finished 29-35 (.453) and made the playoffs in 2 of his 4 seasons–having never made it past the Divisional Round during that span.

In Polian’s defense, during 1997-2000, he also had 3 1st round picks that are arguable future Hall of Famers in Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, and Reggie Wayne–setting up the makings of a future NFL juggernaut.

On the other hand, Grigson’s 1st 4 1st round picks have been Andrew Luck, Bjoern Werner, the Trent Richardson trade, and Phillip Dorsett–so it’s not exactly a fair comparison.  

Still, there’s no doubt that the Colts have won a lot of games under Grigson as general manager, and he has subsequently been rewarded by Irsay with a new 3-year extension to coincide with head coach Chuck Pagano‘s new deal:

However, at the same time, it seems like an unnecessary jab by Irsay against one of the franchise’s Hall of Famers in Polian–who proved it over 13 seasons and won a Super Bowl with the franchise.

After all, there’s a wise saying that goes something like, “If you don’t respect the past, how can you appreciate the present.”

It’s not the first time that Irsay has taken a slight shot at one of the franchise’s former greats, as beloved quarterback Peyton Manning has been the recipient of some past unprovoked comments.

Nevertheless, Irsay is clearly happy with Grigson’s performance and clearly thinks he has the makings of a future elite general manager–although he still has a ways to go to become a future Hall of Famer such as Polian.