Don’t ever accuse Jim Irsay of tanking because he will explode over it.
Despite benching starting quarterback Matt Ryan, firing a head coach in Week 10 and hiring an interim with zero NFL coaching experience, the Indianapolis Colts are not purposely trying to have a bad record to secure a high draft pick.
When asked this week about his team’s recent decisions and if they are a plan to tank the rest of the year, Irsay lashed out to The Athletic’s Bob Kravitz and called the accusations “the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard.”
“That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard, that we’re tanking. That’s bulls**t. We’re in this thing; 9-7-1 get us in, no question about it. . . . We’re not tanking the season,” Irsay told The Atheltic.
“Whoever says these things, that we’re not playing [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] because [of an effort to tank], that’s all bullshit. That’s not true. . . We’re going to do what it takes to win. I don’t know who people think we are, they don’t know us. We don’t tank in Indianapolis.”
The team’s significant offseason quarterback acquisition, former league MVP Matt Ryan, was benched after a 3-3-1 start to the year in favor of Sam Ehlinger. Two more losses would proceed that and then the team fired Frank Reich and brought on ESPN’s Jeff Saturday, a former Colts center with no NFL coaching experience, as interim coach.
Tanking is an extremely taboo subject in the NFL and not a single owner would ever own up to it, even though it is something that is clearly done every year.
“We’re in this thing; 9-7-1 gets in (the postseason). We just have to look at the Raiders game and get back on track. We’ve always felt we’re in things,” Irsay said.
At 3-5-1, the Colts have no direction on the offensive side of the ball, but it’s not like the team is in a juggernaut type of division. Three teams, including them, are under .500 while the Titans lead it all with a 5-3 record.
The Colts will need to finish the season 6-2 to hit Irsay’s magical mark of 9-7-1.
They’ll have a shot at moving towards that record this Sunday when the Colts take on the Las Vegas Raiders.
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