Could Colts owner Jim Irsay be targeting Nick Saban to replace Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano?

By Jesse Reed

It’s no secret the Indianapolis Colts are in disarray, with head coach Chuck Pagano likely leaving after the season. Adding a bit more intrigue to the mess, there is now some buzz that owner Jim Irsay could be targeting a big dog like Nick Saban to take over for Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson.

Speaking with Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio on Thursday, longtime Colts beat writer Bob Kravitz spoke about what he believes could be Irsay’s end game. Kravitz tols Schein that Irsay “does not believe that Chuck Pagano is the guy who can take him to where he wants to go” and that the owner wants not one but “multiple Super Bowls in the Andrew Luck era.”

Kravitz elaborated:

“Jim Irsay is going to make the next coaching hire,” Kravitz said. “If he brings in a guy who demands full power, like, say, a Nick Saban, who I think he’s going to go after, if he brings in a Nick Saban, he’s going to have full power and that means that Ryan Grigson will either be kicked to the curb or he’ll have a different role in the organization.”

This sounds an awful lot like what Albert Breer reported a couple months back when he said Irsay was ready to do some “big game hunting” in his search for the franchise’s next head coach.

Indianapolis, at 4-5, does lead the AFC South by a half-game over the Houston Texans (3-5). However, given Luck’s recent injury, which could keep him out upwards of six weeks, it seems the 2015 campaign is destined to fall short of Super Bowl expectations by a long shot. And, given the longstanding discontent between Grigson and Pagano, perhaps Irsay really is ready to move on from both of them.

Pagano, at his best, was extremely inspirational and helped his players achieve much, despite many holes on the roster, thanks to a plethora of poor personnel decisions made by Grigson. Whether the current collapse is due to one, or both of them, likely matters not at this point. Based on the way the season has unfolded, nobody should be surprised if both men are looking for work following the 2015 season.

Editor’s note: This story originally credited Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports for the “big game hunting” rumor. We have correctly attributed this rumor to Albert Breer of NFL Network.