When people think of the most hated man in Indiana sports, they typically think of Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, LeBron James, or Paul George. All of those people ended seasons for hoosiers but, there is one man worse than them all. His name is Ryan Grigson. Ryan Grigson has ended the hopes of more Indiana sports fans than anyone in history. Let’s learn about all the reasons Grigson has hurt hoosier sports fans.
Ryan Grigson was hired to replace Bill Polian as the General Manager of the Colts on January 11th, 2012. He started his career with the Colts with the simplest pick in NFL history. He drafted Andrew Luck, the highest rated quarterback in the last 25 years, with the first pick. The only other player drafted this year to be of any value to the Colts was T.Y. Hilton. This was a solid first draft consisting of two players that were consistently elite throughout their careers. The problem comes in the following four drafts. Grigson picks one high level starter in Ryan Kelly, one average safety in Cleaton Gaethers, and a below average journeyman wide receiver in Phillip Dorsett. Every other draft pick was either a bust or a late round pick that just wasn’t good enough to make a difference.
Most people believe that the General Manager’s only job is to build a team, but that is far from the case in the NFL. The General Manager needs to build a winning culture. It’s very easy to see the teams throughout NFL history that have had good cultures. These teams win a lot of games and regularly win their divisions. One team that fits that mold is the 2000’s Colts who won the most games of any team in a decade ever up to that point. Grigson simply had to copy what his predecessor, Bill Polian, did and bring in high character players, and keep the great players on the team for as long as possible. Grigson did the opposite. He went solely after players with gaudy combine numbers and impressive stats. It may seem smart to go after players with great stats, but players’ skill sets don’t always translate from college to the NFL. That’s why high character players are important. A high character player will do whatever they can to improve the team. Grigson also spent years ignoring or failing in drafting offensive linemen. During Grigson’s time with the Colts he drafted only one offensive lineman at a starting level in the NFL. His neglect of the O-line is a massive portion of why Andrew Luck had so many injuries and ended up retiring early.
NFL general managers can be poor drafters, not make good trades, and overpay in free agency, but if they are loved by the players they have a chance at keeping their jobs. Grigson was not one of those people. He came into a franchise coming off of the greatest decade in NFL history and tried to throw everything they did to achieve that, out the door. He painted over murals of the team, ignored team leaders, and acted as if he was better than everyone else. Reggie Wayne, who is one of the all-time great Colts, said that a majority of the locker room hated him but won’t say anything. But that’s not how Pat McAfee, the Colts punter, lives his life. Pat McAfee has spent the past three years talking about the terrible ways in which Grigson treated players on his podcast, The Pat McAfee Show 2.0.
Ryan Grigson was one of the worst General Manager choices of the last decade. He was a failure in the draft, building a culture, and in the locker room. He also wasted many all-time great players’ careers, and made them feel unwelcome in their home stadium. I’m just glad that the Colts got the general manager right in their choice of Chris Ballard.