During Wednesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, we tuned into the press conference held by Colts GM Chris Ballard following the roster cut down deadline.
Ballard spoke for almost half an hour, and was asked repeatedly about the ongoing drama between the team and All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor. Ballard was forceful and seemed a little emotional when discussing his thoughts on Taylor.
“I care deeply for Jonathan Taylor. I have great respect for Jonathan Taylor. My relationship I will tell you is, look, even when it gets hard, I won’t quit on the relationship. I won’t do it. I think too much of the young man. I think too much of what he’s given our organization, and how hard he’s played for us.”
Ballard emphasized that he didn’t think things had passed the point of no return with the running back.
“Relationships are repairable. They’re repairable.”
During the press conference, Ballard was asked about what the unwillingness to extend Taylor might say to the locker room. It was a question he didn’t appear to be too fond of.
“Go ask Ryan Kelly, go ask all the other guys in the locker room, I mean go ask them. We’ve extended a bunch, and we’ve done them all at different time levels. Quenton Nelson went all the way into his 5th season, we’re about to start the season. I mean, everybody’s a little bit different, every situation’s a little bit different. I mean to sit here and say and try to make a statement that we don’t take care of our players? Don’t agree with that one.”
When asked if Taylor not playing would stunt the growth of rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, Ballard invoked the name of the last Colts quarterback to be drafted in the 1st round and start as a rookie.
“Did it stunt Andrew’s [Luck] growth without a special back?”
Finally, when James Boyd of The Athletic pressed Ballard on why the Colts refuse to extend Taylor, despite his greatness, and importance to the team last year and the years before, Ballard was blunt.
“We won four games last year. We won four games.”
Ballard made multiple attempts throughout the press conference to state his appreciation and respect for Taylor, both as a player and a person. However, his comments at the end could be perceived as a slight against Taylor. In a situation as volatile and unpredictable as this one, even remarks such as that can do damage.
The only thing that seems certain in this mess is that it is going to continue for who knows how long. What fun.
Before Ballard’s press conference, JMV spoke to Robert Mays of The Athletic, as well as Kevin Bowen from the morning show The Wake Up Call w/KB & Andy. Listen those conversations below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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