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Irsay tweets an NFL sideshow

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For more on the Colts, follow Reggie Hayes on Twitter at reggiehayes1.

Colts owner talks GMs, Manning

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 1:11 am

I can't decide which is more entertaining, the NFL playoffs or Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay's tweets.

If you have any interest in the Colts' ongoing, unending intrigue, it's a close call. It's fun to see Drew Brees' excellence (RIP, Detroit Lions' postseason) and Tim Tebow's renewed magic, but the playoffs will eventually end with the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Irsay's addiction to Twitter has no expiration date.

Over the weekend, Irsay tweeted about the team's general manager search (says he has seven candidates), denied Peyton Manning negotiations and engaged in a dust-up (tweet-up?) with members of the national media trying to reveal/guess the Colts' plans.

The most fun was the Twitter exchange between Irsay and ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.

Schefter reported that the Colts didn't get their initial GM choice, saying “first candidate the Colts tried to hire for vacant GM job was New England's director of player personnel Nick Caserio.”

Irsay responded, not denying an interest in Caserio, but saying there is no one he wanted to hire that he hasn't interviewed. He said to leave the Colts out of a “shell game” where people try to boost their stock by turning down interviews. Schefter fired back by arguing that NFL told him Irsay emailed an interview request to the Pats.

Irsay shot back: “Adam, don't say I wanted to hire someone I never talked to or met..MISLEADING. come on, (you're) better than that..get your head in the game, son!”

To which Colts punter Pat McAfee tweeted: “Our owner is cooler than your owner… Putting media members on blast #ILoveit”

Irsay also disputed the idea that he had met with Peyton Manning about extending the March 8 deadline for the Colts to pick up the $28 million option to keep Manning from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen also said Irsay has already decided to pick Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Irsay previously said the Colts would likely take a quarterback if the right one was available. Luck will be available. But he hasn't committed to Luck on Twitter, so he's not committed.

Irsay tweeted: “There has been no discussion of a deadline push, n just like '98 with Manning/Leaf..u have 2 go thru a long, disciplined process of evaluation.”

Back in the real news world, Irsay's general manager candidates appear to include the following: current Colts director of player personnel Tom Telesco; former Colts scout David Caldwell, who's now director of scouting with the Atlanta Falcons; Falcons director of college scouting Les Snead; New York Giants director of scouting Marc Ross; Philadelphia Eagles player personnel director Ryan Grigson; Dallas Cowboys assistant director of scouting Tom Ciskowski; and Montreal Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp.

Irsay tweeted that all seven – and the real list could vary slightly from the presumed list – will have been interviewed by the end of today.

I'd put Telesco at the top of the list. He's a known commodity, having already worked for Irsay. And it seems telling that Telesco, who worked for Bill Polian and alongside Chris Polian, was not fired along with the Polians. Promoting Telesco would fall in line with Irsay's preferred method of maintaining continuity of sorts, even in a big transition.

On the other hand, Caldwell has roots with the Colts so he could qualify as “continuity” of sorts. That would be an interesting hire. Would (David) Caldwell fire or retain (Jim) Caldwell? Could we really have Caldwell & Caldwell Construction for the Colts' rebuilding project?

The Falcons' disappointing performance in their 24-2 loss to the Giants in the wild-card game Sunday doesn't reflect as much on the front office as it does coach Mike Smith, but bringing in David Caldwell or Snead wouldn't exactly qualify as inspiring.

If Telesco is promoted, does it help Jim Caldwell? In the aftermath of the Colts' 62-7 loss at New Orleans, I was convinced Caldwell was finished with the Colts. His players appeared to surrender. Yet he regrouped them and had many of them playing better in late-season wins over Tennessee and Houston.

Caldwell could conceivably coach more effectively without either Polian looking over his shoulder. It probably depends on what other coaches might be available. My guess it's now 60-40 that Caldwell returns as coach, especially if Manning is healthy.

Maybe we can get someone at ESPN to tweet that Jim Caldwell is definitely back (or out) and get Irsay's fingers typing again.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. E-mail Reggie Hayes at rhayes@news-sentinel.com