INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “Look, I failed.”
The message was simple from Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard Tuesday morning: He’s to blame for the terrible 4-12-1 season.
“I’m not going to sit up here and make excuses. I failed a lot of people,” Ballard said. “Highly disappointed about where we’re at, how the season went. I never take lightly what’s at stake here. It’s not the wins and losses, but people’s lives are on the line – players’ families, coaches’ families, front office, people in this building. I never take that lightly. I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in where we’re at. Ultimately, it falls on my shoulders.”
Ballard wasn’t shy about listing off the things that went wrong this season. First on that list – the quarterback carousel.
“When you’re changing quarterbacks every year, it’s tough. It’s tough on everybody. It’s tough on the team. And not getting that position settled has a little something to do with it.”
The fans haven’t let Ballard off the hook at all, and he understands why.
“Our fans deserve better. They deserve better. And I’m thankful for them, thankful for their passion. I’d rather they be passionate than apathetic. And I want to do good for them, and I’m sorry I let them down.”
One of the main points of discussion was who will be the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts next year. Ballard says he will be the one leading the search. And yes, Jeff Saturday is a candidate for that job even after finishing with a 1-7 record. However, all of that doesn’t matter to Ballard.
“It’s a tough spot [that he came into], man. I’m not judging him on that,” Ballard said. “What I will judge, the things I did like were – he stayed positive. He kept working. He held the team accountable. Sure, he’s got things he’s got to grow. We all do.”
Ultimately, owner Jim Irsay will have the final say in the next head coach. However, according to Ballard, he hasn’t been overreaching.
“Mr. Irsay lets me do my job. I love working for him. He’s a good man, a good owner. He has a lot of experience in this league,” Ballard said. “There’s a lot of decisions that I’ll make and he’ll say, ‘Good, Chris, I don’t entirely agree with that but lets move forward.’ And there’s some decisions that he’ll make that I’ll say, ‘Look, I don’t completely agree with that but let’s move forward.'”
One major decision that they will have to make is what to do with the fourth overall pick – and will it be moving up to get a quarterback.
“We understand the magnitude of where we’re at in the draft, and we understand the importance of the decision,” Ballard said. “I’ll do whatever it takes. If we thought there’s a player that we’re driven to get that makes the franchise and the team better, that’s what we will do.”
It is clear — Ballard wants to stay in Indy and fix the Colts.