After cutting Manning, other decisions needed to be made. Irsay decided to shake things up in the front office. He decided to fire Chairman Bill Polian, who had been the former GM. He also fired his son Chris Polian, who was the current GM.
Bill Polian had been the architect of the best era in Colts history. It came as a shock when they got rid of him. Irsay then decided to hire a former scout with the Eagles, Ryan Grigson. Grigson was the new GM and had some big decisions to make.
Early on, his decisions were spot on. He drafted Luck over Robert Griffin III with the number one overall pick, and also got T.Y. Hilton in the third round. His moves in his first season were so well received that he was voted as the Executive of the Year.
But those decisions quickly would falter. He spent reckless amounts of money on aging veterans who didn’t pan out. Players like Andre Johnson, LaRon Landry, and Trent Cole were signed to big deals. All of them performed extremely poorly while with the Colts.
Eventually, Grigson’s inability to protect Luck up front cost him his job. Luck got hurt, and Grigson was good as gone because he hadn’t invested draft capital on the offensive line. That led Irsay to hire Chris Ballard who has ushered in a new era of Colts football.
This next moment was the defining draft moment of Irsay’s entire career of owning the team, and led the Colts to the most successful run in team history.