INDIANAPOLIS –Midway through the final day of the NFL Draft, Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay spoke with local media about how the week had run, what the time ahead should hold and how his organization handled the selection process.
He was pleased with the course of operations and is optimistic the spring will proceed in a productive manner.
"It's been great," said Irsay of the way General Manager Ryan Grigson administered the draft room and headed the entire process. "He and Chuck (Pagano) work well together. The thing I loved about Ryan coming in was his experience and expertise in working the draft. He and (Vice President of Football Operations) Tommy Telesco and Chuck, I think it's a great working relationship as it's been and should be.
"When it works well, the general manager and head coach are on the same page. There's a union in terms of knowing which way they want to go all the time. They talk things through. That's when it works best. It's been great. It's been a great first draft."
The draft started off on a high note for the Colts with the selection of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the top overall choice. Luck headlined the 10 rookies who were taken by Indianapolis.
With a wage scale in place courtesy of the league's labor agreement, Irsay believes getting financial matters concluded with the newcomers, Luck included, should be a relatively smooth process.
"It really shouldn't (be tough). It's really spelled out clearly, and really with all the draft picks," said Irsay. "I really can't imagine (it would take long). It's something that should be done swiftly and quickly. We want to be consistent in the way we do it this year and years going forward. There shouldn't be a difficult process with that. We're not going to deviate off the way it should be done in fairness and trying to split up the money. We're really going to stay the course on that. I think it's important early on that people see with our new negotiating team…it's important that people understand the way we operate and understand the consistency."
Given the more straight-forward direction with the scale, Irsay would not mind quick resolutions to the process.
"The sooner the better on all the draft picks. We're going to present all the picks and say, 'This is the deal, period.' It's not complicated," said Irsay. "There are no incentives. It's very clear how it's done. We're not going to deviate. We're going to be fair and consistent. It's not something that should take any time in getting any of them (pick) done."
The Colts will hold a rookie camp next weekend. There will be a series of organized team activities before a mandatory mini-camp in mid-June. Training camp will start around the first of August.
The Colts have trained at Anderson University the past two years. All plans are not completed yet for a return, but Irsay believes that process should run as smoothly as negotiations.
"I see us going back there, and I don't think anything is going to stand in the way of those plans. I think there may be a few things to finalize," said Irsay.