The same ax used to chop wood for the Colts was wielded today to separate the Colts leader in tackles and co-leader in passes defended from the roster.
When a team is 1-3 and leadership is questioned, job security is wobbly at best, and so Colts inside linebacker Sio Moore and cornerback Antonio Cromartie are unemployed tonight.
Failing to meet or exceed expectations in Indianapolis is a precarious business. Owner Jim Irsay wants to win and win now. His expectations, and they are the only expectations that matter, are that the Colts win multiple Super Bowls during Andrew Luck’s prime.
Screw the mediocrity across the roster, strange clock management, and odd decision to maintain the status quo among upper management, the Colts are building the monster. BTM!
Sadly, the NFL is an operation where 31 other teams are building their own monsters, and the monster in Indianapolis is not nearly as scary as many of the others, so the attention of 51 Colts was demanded by the sacrifice of two of its underperforming members.
Nothing causes a little self-evaluation and attitude adjustment like peers being jettisoned like sacks of old clothes pitched into the yard for pickup by Amvets.
In business this is called “shooting a hostage”. The theory, and it’s pretty solid when used appropriately, is that if you want compliance with a group that appears less than cooperative, firing the biggest malcontent will cause a positive attitude adjustment.
The loss of Cromartie will have no meaningful impact on the quality of the Colts defensive secondary, and the tackles Moore made could be made by virtually every legit ILB in the NFL, so the practical impact of their loss will be negligible.
Maybe this gambit pays dividends with a Colts win against a bad Chicago Bears team Sunday. Maybe it won’t. But at this point something needed to be done, and the assumption that things couldn’t be worse is reasonable.
If the Colts lose this Sunday and can’t find a way to rebound during a trip next weekend to Houston for a matchup with the Texans, the season will be lost. No way this group can dig its way out of a 1-5 hole.
In poker, the player with the shortest stack can be the most aggressive because he has the least to lose. The chips in front of Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano have dwindled to a precious few, so lighting a fire under their team by punting a couple of contributors to a 1-3 record represents unassailable logic.
These are desperate times, and if the Colts don’t come out of the chute Sunday with renewed fire and a magical infusion of increased ability, Moore and Cromartie will not be the last sacrifices made in the name of championship expectations unrealized.
Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-6p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.