Jim Irsay Colts Notebook: Owner Promises Another Super Bowl Trophy For Indy
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INDIANAPOLIS – Just over a month before his 60th birthday, Jim Irsay is a staunch believer in his franchise winning, at least, another Super Bowl.
Irsay met the media on Saturday afternoon, for his annual draft press conference.
Here are a few highlights from Irsay’s presser:
- On Chris Ballard and Frank Reich: “It’s just really exciting to see the energy of Frank and Chris Ballard. They are really harmonious in singing from the same choir book. Tremendous enthusiasm, excitement. They’ve just had a blast the last few days in watching us get better…(Chris) and Frank make it a lot easier for an owner to step back and watch the process unfold without having to intervene…It’s no secret what it was with Ryan (Grigson) and Chuck (Pagano). I love both men and think the world of them, both talented guys. But for whatever reason, there was some clashing and that meant a lot of time on my part to try and resolve that and ultimately, we moved into where we are in the present day. It’s a beautiful thing, I can’t deny that, as an owner, when you have greatness and harmony.”
- On Ballard working in the draft room: “Chris Ballard has done an incredible job as usual. His innate aspect, you can see it in every fiber of his body that he knows these guys. He knows this draft. He knows what he’s doing. He’s not overconfident but he’s extremely talented, almost to the level of a savant in the draft room… I can’t tell you the incredible passion he brings to the seriousness, but what a fun time he’s also having. If they could bottle the type of fun that he’s had the past three days, the type of real belly laughs that can cure diseases. That’s catchy. He said it coming in here. I want everyone to have a great time, while we climb this mountain. He impresses me more every year. From what I thought I would see from Chris Ballard, I’ve seen more.”
- On the goal for the franchise going into 2019: “We are talking about wanting to be two games away from the Super Bowl and staying at home (for those two games). That’s what we want to do. That’s not easy. If you do that, it really sets you for a tremendous opportunity for greatness. Every game matters because you can’t have many losses if you want to be one of the two top seeds… We have to be great every single day in the offseason. We have to demand more from everyone in this organization and we can’t have any weak links. End of story. Period. If there are, then we have to make changes and iron them out and go forward. Everyone here understands how hard it is just to win, or just to be a playoff team, or be an elite playoff team, who does get homefield advantage and is two home games away from a Super Bowl. That’s where we are trying to get.”
- On Quenton Nelson being a leader: “We got an All-Pro rookie in Nelson who is looking for all the phone numbers of the guys that have been drafted because he wants to make sure that they understand what it means to wear the Horseshoe. You have to have players that are engaged to want to be great and that will go past just their side of the street. Leaders lead and great players look after the whole football team. And great coaches make sure that we keep getting greater…”
- On his belief in the franchise moving forward: “We have not gone backwards competitively as an organization on the field. We have something going special with a lot of young guys and we are just adding to it. It’s really exciting when you think about what we did in free agency and now in this draft. We know it’s a hard football team to make because it’s a good football team. We’re just a lot better than what we were 4 or 5 months ago. And that’s really exciting because we were pretty damn good. Obviously, we have to learn to play with expectations now because that wasn’t the case for a few years… I just have a certainty in my heart that this organization is going to bring a parade and that Lombardi Trophy is going to be risen again down Main Street. It will happen, gentlemen. I promise it will. I have never felt so certain about something in my life. At the same time, when I’ve said three (Super Bowl victories) in a row. How can you get up and go to work without wanting to be the absolute best. No other thinking makes any sense to me…That’s the vision I have. I have the vision that the Indianapolis Colts are going to be known as one of the greatest franchises that ever existed. For us to do that, we have to be generationally successful and we are onto the new generation. There’s no secret on that. It’s still hard. It’s still hard to win in this league.”
- On Indianapolis hosting the draft down the road: “Indy has to get the draft. We’ve got to get the draft. But to have that, Indy has to have the hotels and in talking to everyone in town, I can’t discourage the great work they do in making sure they book a ton of great events and eat up a lot of our hotel space. Anytime we have a new hotel go up downtown, it’s a win for our city and for the state and for the Colts and Pacers and for everyone else…”
- On learning from the Kansas City Divisional loss: “I had some really fierce discussion in this league about trying to even play better than we did in the playoffs because I worry when it really got to that highest hurdle…in hindsight, I think in Kansas City we ran out of gas. We are on a tight rope with no net for 4 months. One slip and it was over. That’s a lot of pressure to be under. That game to me we weren’t in control of it. We’ve talked a lot about why. We want to be more prepared this time.”