Jim Irsay’s Plane Reportedly Was in Houston Saturday Night; Leading Speculation to Swirl
According to WTHR’s Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay‘s plane was indeed in Houston, Texas, Saturday night–although whether Irsay himself was on board or the reasons for the plane’s presence are still unclear:
It confirms an earlier tweet from MyColtsAccount that noted the plane’s arrival in Houston and presented its tracking information:
One popular theory is that Irsay was in Houston to recruit former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden–who was already in town to call the Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans wild card playoff game for ESPN along with Sean McDonough.
Regarding Gruden, the former Super Bowl XXXVII winning head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a lifetime 95-81 (.540) career coaching record with both the Buccaneers (2002-08) and Oakland Raiders (1998-2001).
It’s worth noting that Kravitz previously speculated that Gruden could draw the interest of the Colts–as well as from any other NFL team with a potential head coaching vacancy:
"“Another guy to keep your eye on and again, these guys are still employed so I feel a little weird talking about it, but I know Jon Gruden, who I know comes up every year for every opening, has made it very clear that the one quarterback he’d be interested in coming back for is Andrew Luck,” said Kravitz a week ago on ‘The Ride with JMV’ on 1070 the Fan."
Of course, Gruden has previously expressed an interest in coaching Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck–who he has a prior familiarity with from their working relationship from ESPN’s ‘Gruden’s QB Camp’ where Gruden served as a ‘camp counselor’ prior to Luck being selected by the Colts.
The idea of Gruden calling ‘Spider 2 Y Banana’ multiple times a season with Luck may be enough to get the popular ESPN analyst out of the booth and onto the coaching sidelines again:
Another theory is that Irsay could be in Houston to recruit Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips–who despite being the mastermind behind arguably the league’s best defense is currently a coaching ‘free agent’:
Specifically, Phillips may not be brought back should the Broncos choose a defensive minded coach to fill their head coaching opening after Gary Kubiak‘s abrupt retirement.
However, the 69 year old ‘Son of Bum’ is apparently in Houston right now:
Lastly, Irsay’s team plane could’ve been in Houston last night for a completely unrelated football operations reason, as either his family, close friends, or himself could’ve flown purely for their own leisure–as he has that right after all.
The fact is that no one really knows right now besides Irsay and those close to him within the Colts organization. Right now, all we have is potential speculation, and it could be purely a coincidence of the plane’s whereabouts.
It is interesting that Irsay’s plane was spotted in Houston Saturday night though, and that also happens to be the location where two Super Bowl winning coaches Jon Gruden and Wade Phillips were apparently also residing on Saturday night.