Colts general manager Chris Ballard joined us on the Colts Audio Network this week to discuss a wide range of topics, from where the team is in evaluating how the 2021 season ended to why members of Ballard's front office are again being considered for general manager jobs.
A few highlights of our interview:
Where the Colts' postmortem process stands
The Colts' season ended a week and a half ago in Jacksonville, and the front office and coaching staff's postmortem of how and why 2021 ended the way it did began soon after exit interviews were conducted with players. But also: Not every player has exited after those interviews.
"I've been places where guys, you know, cut their check – like season's over, I'm out," Ballard said. "But we actually got a lot of guys still hanging around here trying to wrap their mind around what happened and how we don't allow it to happen again."
Ballard said the postmortem process – which, again, the team just started – takes four to six weeks. And as for what it looks like:
"Being objective, working through each and every area, having some really honest, hard conversations," Ballard said. "Whether you win or you lose, I think it's important for any organization — like the hardest thing to do, I think, for any organization os to self-evaluate. Because everybody's got bias. That's real. And being able to understand what your biases are and have people around you that they've got some bias too, but all of you look at it objectively and really make a final determination on what are the issues, what are the problems, how do we fix them and how do we move forward."
What's next for Jonathan Taylor
Taylor exploded in Year 2 with the Colts, leading the NFL in rushing by a massive margin with 1,811 yards and 20 total touchdowns. But what's next for him in Year 3? Can he be even better? And how will Taylor handle the expectations that come with trying to repeat as the league's rushing champion?
"I don't expect anything different from Jonathan just knowing how he works, how he prepares and his mindset — like, he wants to be great," Ballard said. "And he's driven to be great, and he's driven to do whatever it takes — he'll do whatever it takes to be great. And I'll tell you the other thing that he's driven to do is win. So if Jonathan rushes for 900 yards in a season and we win 14 games and go win a Super Bowl, Jonathan Taylor is going to be as excited as anybody.
"I don't think he'll feel any more pressure than he puts on himself to perform. This kid's a rare competitor. And he rises to the occasion of whatever it is what you need him to do, whatever the team needs to do for us to win, he will do it. So I don't think that you're going to have any kind of expectations that the outside pressure's going to put on him that he doesn't put on himself."
Why Ed Dodds and Morocco Brown are getting opportunities to interview for open GM positions
Dodds and Brown are, once again, reportedly on the radar of teams looking to hire a new general manager this year. So why are teams consistently drawn to two of Ballard's top lieutenants?
"Well, they're good," Ballard said.
There's more, of course.
"When you're on the road, people get to see you work," Ballard said. "And they know who works and who doesn't work and then your personality shows. Both fo them have really strong leadership traits. They're excellent, excellent evaluators and team builders. We're very fortunate for them to be here in Indy right now and I know about some point, we're gonna lose one if not both those guys.
"We want people to grow. We want them to hit their ceiling of whatever their career aspirations are. I think both of them are very, very talented evaluators and leaders and I think that's why people are attracted to them."