Popp-luck for Colts?

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck (12) walks off after congratulating Oklahoma State head...

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck (12) walks off after congratulating Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy following the 2012 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona January 2, 2012. (REUTERS/Rick Scuteri)

Bill Lankhof, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 PM ET

A new candidate has popped onto the radar for the general manager’s job in Indianapolis.

Colts’ owner Jim Irsay has confirmed interest in Montreal Alouettes’ general manager Jim Popp.

“Jim Popp! Look at this man’s accomplishments!” wrote Irsay on his Twitter account. “Does he deserve NFL shot or not a good fit in NFL??”

Popp has made his reputation as a team builder, finding talent that has kept the Alouettes a perennial Grey Cup contender for 16 seasons, and winners of the Canadian Football League championship three times.

“Twitter world says Popp just might have right stuff! Holy (expletive)!” said Irsay, indicating there are seven candidates. Aside from Popp, they include Dallas’ assistant director of player personnel Tom Ciskowski, Falcons’ director of college scouting David Caldwell and Philadelphia director of player personnel Ryan Grigson.

Whoever gets the job faces difficult decisions with a roster in transition. As well, Irsay wants a GM willing to integrate himself into the community. Popp has proven an ability and willingness to succeed in both areas. Before his success in Montreal, he was responsible for putting together the 1995 Baltimore Stallions, the first American-based CFL team to win the Grey Cup.

The Colts face similar restructuring. Fortunately they do have the No. 1 pick in the draft and Irsay was Friday reported to be “certain” to select Luck. Still, this is a team with no GM, a lame-duck coach, a lame-duck quarterback and facing the loss of its two top receivers, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon, as free agents. Garcon has indicated he’s looking at other offers.

Even with Luck, there’s trouble looming on the O-line with veteran starters Jeff Saturday, and guard Ryan Diem, contemplating retirement. Guess the team motto next year could be: Luck & Duck.

Some have suggested Peyton Manning will restore the club to relevance in 2012. But there is no certainty he will return. Ever. Even if he does its unlikely to be the Hall of Fame version. Rebuilding the Colts is about a lot more than Manning.

“Clearly we are in a rebuilding stage, there is no sugar-coating the fact that there are areas of talent that we need,” Irsay told reporters this week. “So the decisions that are coming up are crucial, and obviously, when you’re looking at general manager, head coach, having the number one pick in the draft and knowing that you’re rebuilding in some areas, that is about as massive as it gets. But ... I’m excited about the future.”

And, there may be no better way to step into the future than by serving up a little Popp-Luck.

Luck is a consensus franchise-quarterback and Irsay has seen up close what can happen both when a team squanders, or cultivates, the chance to select such a potential jewel.

In 1983, the Colts drafted John Elway before, regretfully, trading him. The Colts kept Peyton Manning 15 years later and were a dominant force for a decade. Now 14 years later, here is Irsay looking at Popp - and once more contemplating the Luck of the draw.

WHAT’S UP, CHIEFS?

Oh, Romeo wherefore art thou?

When it comes to Romeo Crennel, how about as the Kansas City Chiefs head coach.

He’s expected to be given the job after leading the team to wins over the Packers and Broncos during a three-game stint as a fill-in for the fired Todd Haley.

The club also interviewed Jack Del Rio, but after failing to lead the Jaguars to a winning record in his last four seasons before he was fired this season, the Chiefs decided he might be a hard sell to the fan base.

Not that Crennel has had a lot of success. In four seasons with the Browns, he went 24-40 and never made the playoffs. Of course, it was Cleveland. The Browns never make the playoffs. I think it’s a rule. Still checking.

QUICK HITS

The Dolphins have signed Ticats’ kick returner/reciever Marcus Thigpen and B.C. defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell ... There is talk Jeff Fisher is on the verge of picking the Rams over the Dolphins, Somewhere Miami owner Stephen (I Won’t Be Out-Bid) Ross just spit up a martini through his nose ... ESPN reports the Patriots will hire Josh McDaniels immediately as an offensive assistant and that he will assist Bill O’Brien (recently named head coach at Penn State) during the playoffs ... Bucs’ Ronde Barber had surgery to repair a broken arm Friday ... Cory Jermaine Brooks, 22, has pleaded guilty in the 2010 shooting of former Toronto Argonaut and Vikings’ lineman Brandon Joyce. He was shot in the head Christmas Eve in a Missouri parking lot. Brooks pleaded guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Prosecutors recommended a 30-year sentence.

Bryant takes Moon shot

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon has seen greatness.

And, Cowboys’ Dez Bryant isn’t it.

In a Seattle radio interview Moon took a back-handed shot at Bryant while lauding Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, who is skipping his senior season to enter April’s draft.

“He’s a beast, isn’t he? He’s like Dez Bryant with all of his brain cells,” Moon said. “He’s a guy that has all those skills that Dez Bryant has but he’s not the knucklehead that Dez Bryant has turned out to be. And a much better route runner than Dez Bryant is, but a very tremendous talent.”

Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones defended Bryant, noting: “Dez is everything that we had hoped he would be as a player,” but admitted the receiver could do some growing up when it comes to off-the-field issues.


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