NFL

Jim Irsay: Chris Ballard is best GM candidate to come in 21st century

Michael Dixon
Written by Michael Dixon

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is excited about new general manager Chris Ballard. In fact, Irsay feels that Ballard is the best general manager candidate in the nearly two full decades of the 21st century.

Clearly, Irsay likes his guy. In fact, the Colts’ owner added that Ballard was chosen over a group of incredibly qualified candidates.

If only he stopped there. Roughly one day after Ballard was hired, well before he’s had time to do anything with the roster, Irsay stated that he thinks his team is better than it was before.

For the record, there’s nothing wrong with having confidence in your guy. Indianapolis fans and players certainly wouldn’t want to hear the owner second guessing himself so quickly after making such an important hire.

Of course, there’s a problem with being so bold.

These comments don’t go away.

Shortly after Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers “mutually parted ways,” team CEO Jed York said the compared the transition from Harbaugh to then new coach Jim Tomsula to the one that the Golden State Warriors had made from Mark Jackson to Steve Kerr. You can read about the whole thing here.

Those comments were made after the Warriors went 67-15 and won an NBA title and right before they went 73-9 and made a return trip to the final. Tomsula, meanwhile, went 5-11 lasted one year, and was replaced by Chip Kelly, who went 2-14 in his only year on the San Francisco sideline.

People haven’t forgotten those comments.

If Ballard doesn’t work out, people won’t let Irsay forget about these comments, either. Conversely, very little praise will be heaped upon Irsay if the move does pan out. It just doesn’t happen that way with owners.

Ballard is an experienced NFL executive, but has never been a general manager before. He may end up as good as Irsay says. For Irsay’s sake, he better. If that doesn’t happen, Irsay will be dealing with a restless fan base that won’t let these comments be forgotten.

About the author

Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon

Bay Area born and raised, I have extensive experience in both the print and online worlds. There are few things in this world I love doing more than talking sports.