Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/28/13
Indianapolis Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson on Monday was named Sporting News' NFL Executive of the Year, the online publication announced. The award was voted upon by NFL coaches and team executives. It is especially noteworthy that Grigson was just in his first season as the Colts' GM. "It’s truly an honor to be recognized for this award and I’m thankful to all of my peers who considered me for this accolade,” Grigson said in a statement. "Our success this season encompassed the entire organization, including the unwavering support from Mr. Irsay (team owner Jim Irsay), the dedication of the entire scouting department, the leadership of the coaching staff and the gutsy performance of our players week in and week out. "I also owe a big debt of gratitude to my wife, Cynthia, and my five children who sacrificed so much in my first year as general manager. This was a very special season and the courage shown by Chuck (head coach Chuck Pagano, who missed 12 games while battling leukemia) and this team will be etched in me and the entire Colts family for a lifetime. This year was a stepping stone en route to our ultimate goal -- hoisting the Lombardi Trophy together. We’re going to continue to work tirelessly until we reach that objective." Added Irsay, "I am thrilled for Ryan Grigson on winning The Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year award. This was a challenging year in anyone’s book, but Ryan is one of the hardest workers I know, and his dedication paid off. We knew we had someone special when we hired Ryan a year ago, and he is extremely deserving of this honor." Grigson was hired Jan. 11, 2012, right after the Colts compiled a terrible 2-14 record. One of the first things he did was release former head coach Jim Caldwell and replaced him with Chuck Pagano and a virtual entirely new coaching staff. The Colts finished 11-5 and in second place in the AFC East before losing in the opening round of the playoffs, a 24-9 wild card defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, who will face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl this Sunday. The nine-win improvement from 2011 to 2012, which tied for the third-largest one-year turnaround in NFL history. The Colts also became only the second team in league history to win 10-or-more games after losing 14-or-more the previous season. "I’m very excited for Ryan and when you consider what he had to do this season from a personnel standpoint, this award is particularly well-deserved," Pagano said. "He compiled a remarkable draft class and consistently maintained our roster with able bodies as the year went on and we had to deal with injuries. "Ryan was steadfast in his decision making and did a phenomenal job through difficult circumstances. He has outstanding vision and passion, which are two essential traits that he’ll use as he continues to build this team for sustained success." Among Grigson's other highlights included drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the team's No. 1 draft pick, along with three others, all four of which became starters on the Colts: tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen and running back Vick Ballard. Luck broke the NFL rookie single-season record for passing yards (4,374) and 300-yard passing games (six). Allen set a new franchise record for the most receptions (45) by a rookie tight end. Hilton led all NFL rookie receivers with five 100-yard receiving games, despite being the 13th receiver selected in the draft. Luck and Ballard led the team in passing and rushing, which made the Colts one of only three teams in NFL history to reach the playoffs with rookies leading the team in those two categories. In addition, the Colts rookie class accumulated the most total scrimmage yards (3,108) in a season since the 1970 merger, breaking the previous NFL record set by the Colts in 1999. Grigson also signed several key free agents including defensive end Cory Redding, nose tackle Brandon McKinney and safety Tom Zbikowski. He also added to the Colts' offensive line by acquiring tackle Winston Justice in a trade and signing center Samson Satele and guard Mike McGlynn. Also on offense, he executed a trade for quarterback Drew Stanton and signed wide receiver Donnie Avery. He also re-signed veterans in wide receiver Reggie Wayne and outside linebacker Robert Mathis, both of which were selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl. Wayne recorded one of the best seasons of his 12-year career, posting 106 receptions for 1,355 yards and five touchdowns. Mathis registered eight sacks on the year and intercepted his first career pass, while adding 51 tackles (31 solo), two passes defensed and one forced fumble. Other key acquisitions included cornerbacks Darius Butler and Vontae Davis, who combined for seven interceptions. Butler was signed on September 25 after being waived by the Carolina Panthers prior to the start of the regular season, while Davis was acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins on August 26.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Report: Kirk Cousins does not want to be with Redskins

Hall of Famer Goose Gossage says it’s ‘insulting’ to be compared to Mariano Rivera

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

12-year MLB veteran Nick Swisher announces retirement

Report: Chiefs, Broncos among teams that interest Tony Romo

Report: Pistons, Magic have discussed Reggie Jackson trade

Andrew McCutchen Googled himself to keep up on trade talk

RB Trent Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge

Anthony Davis to be ‘very involved’ in efforts to re-sign Jrue Holiday

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker