Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson believes everyone in the organization has to do a better job in keeping the franchise cornerstone quarterback Andrew Luck upright, himself included.
Grigson joined The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday and said, “I need to do a better job in terms of the players and so forth,” Grigson said. “We’ve had some buzzard luck in the past with guys with injuries and things like that, but then again, we’ve just got to keep [Luck] upright, because he is so vital to our whole process out there.
“So we got to do better we invested four draft picks this past year in the offensive line. We have Joe Philbin here now, and I do see the arrow is up with that group.” Grigson said before adding, “Our offense is still giving us a chance to win we just got to tighten some things up, and definitely tighten some things up front, but I am bullish on our young players we have up there, but they’re going to have their bumps along the way.”
Former Colts great Reggie Wayne was publicly critical of the team’s decision making over their player personnel last week. It was all chatter that Grigson says he can’t get caught up on.
“I got great respect for Reggie as a player. I mean he’s on the other side of the fence now. He’s an analyst, so he’s going to have his opinions,” Grigson said. “But I think at the end of the day, it really only comes down to the belief of those guys in the locker room. Coach and I believe in this locker room and team, and again, that’s just noise outside the building.
“We just have to focus on what we can control. We can’t make mistakes that we’ve made, again coach and I believe in this team, and right now potentially we’re going to Houston with a chance to be on top of our division.” Grigson also added that it’s “not a time for panic.” The GM added, “I mean still the season’s young and you can’t let that stuff start creeping into your psyche, because you will be dead before you even get started.”
The 44-year-old says criticism is part of the job, as are the high-level expectations owner Jim Irsay has for the organization.
“I think it’s a bottom line business. The bar has always been set so high here in Indy because of all the success that’s been here. I think it’s a great place to be. Our owner demands excellence. He’s always like, good is the enemy of great,” Grigson said of Irsay. “When you look at things in its totality, whether it be our drafts or our free agent pickups, we’ve had our misses, there’s no doubt about it, but we’ve had our extreme bright spots as well. So I think you have to look at things in a fair and objective way, and at our place, the only thing that matters is winning, and that’s all Jim cares about regardless.”
Grigson talked about his working relationship with Irsay, and the misconceptions outsiders have of the owner.
“Just like anything, I felt prey to things, even before I came here about the misperceptions Jim Irsay is. I don’t know if there’s a more knowledgeable football owner in the NFL. He’s been a general manager, he’s been a scout, he walked on at SMU,” Grigson said. “The guy worked in the equipment room when he was eleven years old, he’s seen it all.
“He’s been in my office one time in five years, ok. He’s not in coach and I’s faces or anything like that. He will give a suggestion here and there and a lot of times it makes a lot of sense. And when he does give a suggestion, you got to look at it because it’s not all the time that he does that. We totally respect Jim’s thought process.”
Grigson says Irsay’s track record with Indianapolis speaks for itself.
“Jim Irsay knows football. He knows how to be successful as an owner. It’s obvious in the record over the course of time since he’s been here,” Grigson said. “So to me, the proof is in the pudding in that way. He’s always made good decisions with football, and he will continue to do so because he’s a great football man.”
At the end of last season, there were reports of friction in Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano’s working relationship. When asked if he and Pagano were on the same page now, Grigson didn’t hesitate, “100 percent… 100 percent.”
“Heck, he was in here a half hour ago and we were going over some things and trying to merge both of our thought processes together, and this whole thing is about meeting in the middle on things,” Grigson said. “A lot of people don’t even understand either of the jobs really in its totality. It’s something that a coach is going to look more short term no matter what, because he has to win that week and he has to have the best team on the field that week, in the near term. Where I’m always trying to balance that world and give him that, along with what ownership needs and that means sustained success big picture thought process.
“So it’s a tough job, but as long as you have good dialog, open dialog, a good delivery, and you’re both honest and you can accept honest talk, that’s what it comes down to, because we both don’t beat around the bush. We both tend to wear our emotions on our sleeves a lot to the times, and we also know how to eat crow, so were both good like that.”