Report: Colts Consulted with Psychologists to Improve the Grigson and Pagano Relationship
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, team owner Jim Irsay went as far as to bring in psychologists to help improve the communication and working relationship between former general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano:
"“In an effort to stabilize their organization and improve communication at the highest levels, the Indianapolis Colts brought in psychologists to help improve the Chuck Pagano-Ryan Grigson relationship,” writes ESPN’s Adam Schefter.“The focus primarily was on ways Pagano and Grigson could improve their communication, but ultimately Colts owner Jim Irsay determined the relationship was unworkable and he made the decision to part ways with Grigson on Saturday.”"
While both Grigson and Pagano ‘made up’ in a meeting of the minds last offseason–which included Irsay, prompting the Colts owner to award each with a lucrative multi-year extension and ‘tie them at the hip’, it appears as though the duo’s working relationship remained unsalvageable until the very end.
In Saturday’s press conference, Irsay alluded to the fact that communication was key at the Colts headquarters, and there were still breakdowns with at least one of the parties’ ends:
"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“There was a lot of work going on within our organization to evaluate how interaction happens, how people communicate and how we get better,” said Irsay. “It wasn’t just sitting and staring outside at the Indiana winter. Through that process, I think both men grew and understood where they have to change.”“Unfortunately for Ryan, as I told him earlier this afternoon, we had to make a change there and that hurts. He is a good man. Like I said, I don’t like to see change happen if we can avoid it.”"
As a result, and along with other failed first round draft picks and free agent signings likely taken under consideration, Irsay made the decision to relieve Grigson of his general manager duties–which appeared to be a tough decision for the Colts owner at least on a personal level.
There’s no question that Irsay believed in the potential of the Grigson-Pagano pairing–despite the prior reports of a ‘toxic relationship‘, and went to great lengths to see that the duo was successful–even using unorthodox means:
"“According to sources, one person compared the meetings with specialists to a couple going to marriage counseling, hoping they could work out their issues with the help of a third party,” added Schefter."
However, it appears as though both men were never able to quite get on the same page communication wise and settle their differences–eventually leading to Grigson’s departure.
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While Irsay can be blamed for believing in the continued pairing of Grigson and Pagano, he can’t be blamed for a lack of effort in attempting to make their working dynamic actually succeed.
However, we now know that change was ultimately needed with ‘irreconcilable differences’ among one of the reasons for Irsay’s decision.