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Colts owner Jim Irsay met with Frank Reich, Chris Ballard after loss to Jacksonville

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INDIANAPOLIS — When the Colts got back from one of the worst losses in franchise history, a loss that abruptly ended a season that seemed destined for the playoffs, Colts owner Jim Irsay held a meeting with head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard.

The conversation lasted a couple of hours.

Irsay, who has been famously single-minded in his desire to get the Colts back to the ranks of the league’s elite but has also been steadfast in his belief in Reich and Ballard, broke down the season with his top two employees.

“Love his approach, how demanding he is,” Reich said. “It was a good conversation, a supporting conversation, but also demanding and wanting answers, wanting to hold us accountable.”

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Owner of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, holds a press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.

Owner of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, holds a press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.

The way the Indianapolis season ended, crashing down with back-to-back losses in winnable games after the Colts knocked off Buffalo, New England and Arizona to put themselves firmly in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth, is going to leave a mark on the franchise.

“It was hard to imagine after the Arizona game, we get to 9-6, we feel like we’re one of the two or three teams to beat, a team everybody’s talking about,” Reich said. “When you think about how all this was going to end, certainly, no one including myself, really, ever thought it would end like it did the last two weeks. That’s something that can’t be undone. It’s part of our record. It’s part of my record. … It’s a scar.”

By the time the conversation ended, Ballard and Reich left intent on making sure the Colts do not repeat the mistakes of the 2021 season.

“Chris and I walked out of there with the resolve: ‘We’re going to get better,’” Reich said. “We walked out of there saying, ‘We’ve got a lot of the right pieces in place.’”

Both Reich and Ballard have always valued the input of an owner who knows more about the football side of the building than any other owner in the league, given his background as an owner and general manager.

“Mr. Irsay, he’s been around the game a long time,” Reich said. “And every time I walk out of his office, I realize how true that is. He’s got a very unique football mind, and he’s always got something insightful to say. … I always walk out of there saying, ‘That’s a good insight. I just learned something from that, I’ve got a new perspective on it.’”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts: Jim Irsay met with Frank Reich, Chris Ballard after loss to Jaguars

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