Indianapolis Colts

Irsay to Colts fans: ‘Bottom line is we failed’

Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay rides in a golf cart prior to an NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 4, 2022, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay says the 2022 team “failed to live up to the hope and excitement we all felt at the start of the season.”

Irsay made the comments in a letter emailed to fans Friday afternoon, less than one week after the team finished the season by losing its last seven games.

“I share your frustration,” Irsay wrote. “I can’t stand losing, and I hate letting down our fans, and we had too much of both last year.”

Irsay fired head coach Frank Reich mid-way through the 2022 season, replacing him with fan favorite Jeff Saturday as interim head coach.

“As I’ve always said, the responsibility for making us better ultimately falls on me, and our offseason work has already begun,” Irsay wrote.

As of Friday morning, the Colts had interviewed three candidates for the head coaching position: current special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone, Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, and current Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

The Colts hold the No. 4 overall pick in this spring’s NFL Draft.

Irsay and Chris Ballard, the Colts general manager, must also decide what to do with quarterback Matt Ryan, who has one year left on his contract but was benched twice this past season.

“No one can ever guarantee wins or losses. But as long as I’m owner, I can guarantee that winning championships will always be my goal, and I’ll be doing everything I can to help get us there,” Irsay wrote in the letter.

Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay at Ring of Honor ceremony for Tarik Glenn Oct. 30, 2022. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Dear Colts Fans:

As always, thank you for your loyal support and for your love of the Horseshoe. Over the past 39 seasons in Indianapolis, you’ve stood with us – investing your precious time, money, and energy – through all the ups and downs that come with being a fan. But that’s what makes Colts Nation the best fans anywhere, and I appreciate each and every one of you more than you will ever know.

The Colts have a proud history with proud fans everywhere, so I know how tough the 2022 season was for you all to endure. All of us had the highest hopes for a division title and a deep playoff run. But the bottom line is we failed to live up to the hope and excitement we all felt at the start of the season.

I share your frustration. I can’t stand losing, and I hate letting down our fans, and we had too much of both last year.

But please know this – no one is more unsatisfied than I am. No one has higher expectations than I do. And no one wants to win for our fans and our community more than the people in our organization wearing the Horseshoe every day.

So as I’ve always said, the responsibility for making us better ultimately falls on me, and our offseason work has already begun. That includes our search for our next head coach, preparing for an important draft in April and continuing to bolster the talented core of players already on our roster.

No one can ever guarantee wins or losses. But as long as I’m owner, I can guarantee that winning championships will always be my goal, and I’ll be doing everything I can to help get us there. That’s what you deserve, and that’s what we’ll be working hard to deliver.

Sincerely,

Jim Irsay, owner and chief executive officer, Indianapolis Colts