Colts fire WR and OL coaches

Posted Jan. 18, 2012 @ 5:11 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Colts GM Ryan Grigson has been in Indianapolis for only a week, but he hasn't wasted time cleaning house. After announcing the dismissal of head coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday, he fired offensive line coach Pete Metzelaars and wide receivers coach Frank Reich on Wednesday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The Indianapolis Star reported that these moves are likely to be followed by others, as Grigson continues to pick up the pieces following a 2-14 season, the Colts' worst since 1991. Grigson said during the announcement of Caldwell's firing that he wanted to sit down and meet with every assistant coach, but that certainly didn't happen with Metzelaars, who was out of town.

Metzelaars, a longtime tight end with the Bills' Super Bowl teams of the early 1990s, had spent the past eight seasons with the Colts, first as an offensive quality-control coach, then as their assistant offensive line coach and finally as their offensive line coach. He was fired after only two seasons as the offensive line coach, in the last of which Indianapolis gave up 35 sacks and 80 QB hits, which put the line at 16th and 22nd in the NFL, respectively.

A person claiming to be Metzelaars' son helped break the news of Metzelaars' dismissal on Twitter.

"Asking for prayers as my Dad begins searching for a new job," Jonathon Metzelaars tweeted.

Meanwhile, Reich was fired after a breakout season for WR Pierre Garcon, who posted career highs in receptions and receiving yards with his 70 catches for 947 yards. WR Reggie Wayne, however, posted just 960 receiving yards, the first time he failed to crack the 1,000-yard mark since 2003, as Indianapolis struggled without longtime QB Peyton Manning.

The way we see it

The dismissal of Metzelaars and Reich, two guys closely connected to former Colts vice chairman Bill Polian, doesn't come as a surprise on the heels of Caldwell's firing. Ironically, Metzelaars actually did a very fine job while working with a revolving door of linemen this season. Reich, who was demoted to WR coach before the season, was as hamstrung as the Colts' skill-position players without Manning. Still, it is worth noting that Garcon had his finest season to date working with Reich.