On Saturday, the Indianapolis Colts fired GM Ryan Grigson after missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, a failure which had never happened at any point during the Peyton Manning era. The Colts made the wild card round in the 2012 season, the divisional round in 2013, the AFC Championship Game in 2014, and then 2015 happened...
Grigson drafted Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and T.Y. Hilton in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the Colts “lucked” their way to an 11-5 record through a series of narrow victories, interspersed with blowout losses that led Indy to the worst ever point differential (-30) for a 10+ win team in NFL history. He was also the man behind trading a 1st round draft pick for Trent Richardson, the disastrous 4-year, $22 million signing of Ricky-Jean Francois, and the only Colts players to make the NFL’s All-Pro team under his tenure — Robert Mathis, Pat McAfee, and Adam Vinatieri — were all drafted or signed by Bill Polian, Grigson’s predecessor. None of Grigson’s 2013-2016 draft picks have made a Pro Bowl appearance or made the Pro Football Writers’ all-rookie team.
This is as good a time as any to remind Seahawks fans that Grigson actually won Executive of the Year honors in the 2012 season, beating out runner-up John Elway (by one vote!) and third-placed John Schneider. While Seattle and Denver finished 1-2 in DVOA that year, the Colts were 25th, with their defense ranked 31st and their offense 18th. By the way, Grigson won the award one year after ex-49ers GM Trent Baalke took home the same honors in 2011.
Schneider still hasn’t won Executive of the Year honors despite building a team that is one of only three — Green Bay and New England are the others — to reach the playoffs in every season since 2012. Pete Carroll has never won a Coach of the Year award despite a five-year run of 10+ win seasons, three division titles, two Super Bowl appearances, and one Super Bowl win. Only Seattle and Denver (and New England, should they win tomorrow) have made multiple Super Bowls during this span, and both of their respective Super Bowl wins were built on the back of dominant defenses that were considered all-time great.
There is one final thing to note as it pertains not just to Grigson, but the 2012 NFL Draft. Five teams selected quarterbacks who would ultimately start in week 1: Andrew Luck (1st overall, Colts), Robert Griffin III (2nd, Redskins), Ryan Tannehill (8th, Dolphins), Brandon Weeden (22nd, Browns), and Russell Wilson (75th, Seahawks). An additional two teams drafted QBs who would start at least once during the 2012 season: Nick Foles (88th, Eagles) and Ryan Lindley (185th, Cardinals). These were the head coach/general manager pairings of those seven:
Colts - Chuck Pagano/Ryan Grigson
Redskins - Mike Shanahan/Bruce Allen
Dolphins - Joe Philbin/Jeff Ireland
Browns - Pat Shurmur/Tom Heckert
Seahawks - Pete Carroll/John Schneider
Eagles - Andy Reid/Howie Roseman
Cardinals - Ken Whisenhunt/Rod Graves
Guess which pairing is the only one still intact?
You’re damn right it’s Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Go ‘Hawks.