Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why Everyone is Full of Crap About the Gene Huey Firing

I've been reading all of the hysterical hand-wringing and conspiracy theories about the firing of Colts Running Back Coach Gene Huey on The Star website as well as several Colts Blogs and I must say they are all full of crap.  A real swing and miss for them.  I exclude in my criticism who had a good and balanced article about this.

The theories so far:

  • Polian needed a "scapegoat" for the poor running game.  This is utter BS.  To even let something like this come out of your mouth is offensive and demeaning to Bill Polian and the entire Colts organization.  You *really* think that the classiest organization in sports works like this?  Really?  If you think this is what is was, then you have to believe that Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell, AND Jim Irsay are the types of people who would do something like that.  Anyone seriously advancing this version of events is no Colts fan.  
  • Money (because of the lockout).  No!  If you believe something like that, what does it say about what you think of Jim Irsay?  This is the same guy who paid Ryan Lilja a 1.8 MILLION DOLLAR bonus after he was cut.  They were in no way required to do that.
  • Upcoming strategy changes.  No.  Gene Huey has been around through multiple different regimes, I'm sure he would have had no problem coaching any style of running out there.
You want to know what happened?  Here goes:

Jim Caldwell was the "coach in waiting" for a couple of years under Tony Dungy and I am sure he had his own ideas about each of the other assistant coaches currently there.  Dungy was a VERY loyal guy and to my knowledge never once fired a coach during his time in Indianapolis.

Once Caldwell took over, he decided to fire both defensive coordinator Ron Meeks and Special Teams Coach Russ Purnell.  I'm guessing that he also wanted to fire Gene Huey at that time, but was talked out of it.  

Gene is a long time favorite of Jim Irsay and I believe that each incoming Head Coach was asked to keep Huey on his staff if he had no serious objections.  It may have been put to Caldwell that firing Huey would be too much turnover.  Whatever.

So Caldwell gave it a year, and it didn't work for him.

So why did it come out the way it did?  Because of how classy the Colts are.

You see, the Colts care so much about their people that they are in the habit of not announcing that assistant coaches are fired as a matter of course.  They tell them that they are not to be retained and so the coach in question is free to look for work elsewhere without the stigma of being fired.  If he finds a job then it is simply announced that he changed jobs.  This is what they tried to do with both Ron Meeks and Gene Huey.

I guess that there is so little class out there nowadays that people cannot recognize it when they see it.

So some reporter gets a "tip" and starts nosing into it - and messes up the whole process.  Nice.

The only thing unusual about Huey being fired is that it did not happen last year.  Period.

So was Huey a bad coach?  Certainly not.  Owner's favorite or not, he would not have survived through multiple coaching changes if he was not good at his job.  But it would take a pretty superior person to not become stale in a job that long, especially if he never felt the pressure to perform his best due to a seemingly lifetime guarantee of employment.

We will never know the full story, because this is the Indianapolis Colts.  The Classiest Organization in Sports.

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