Mike McCormack, the beleaguered coach of the Baltimore Colts, said he held a team meeting today at which he explained his position concerning owner Robert Irsay reportedly calling the plays in the second half of Sunday's 38-13 Colt loss in Philadelphia.
"We talked about the whole situation and I just don't want to share it outside the team," McCormack said. "I asked them afterward if they had any questions and no one did. I hope they understand what I said, but we'll just have to see if it has results."
McCormack would not confirm that Irsay called the plays in the second half, but he spoke as if that were understood.
"I don't expect to have a repeat performance from Mr. Irsay," McCormack said. "I think the one thing that he (Irsay) established Sunday was that he wants to win.
"This is a trying situation. We've got the worst record in football (1-10). It's the frustration of losing that is so bad. We weren't put here to be losers, but the only thing wrong with losing is if you learn to accept it and learn to live with it, then you're in trouble."
One Colt player said that what McCormack told them "was something we needed to hear." On Irsay, the player, who asked not to be identified, said, "It's his (Irsay's) team, so he can do whatever he wants, I guess, and that includes calling the plays. What we think and say as players doesn't really matter. We're supposed to do what the coaches tell us and I guess Mike does what the owner tells him."
In the third quarter of Sunday's game, Irsay reportedly told McCormack to bench quarterback Bert Jones, and later in the game to alternate him with Greg Landry. Irsay has long been in favor of giving Landry more playing time.
McCormack said today, however, that, "Bert will be our starter" Sunday when the Colts face the St. Louis Cardinals. "We'll get both quarterbacks ready, but there won't be the switching there was this week," he said. "We're going to do everything we can to win this game, which means we might try some new things."
In light of the Irsay controversy and because of injuries, McCormack called off today's practice.
"I just decided to give them this day to mend," he said.
He was hoping that more than just bumps and bruises will heal.