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Colts cut longtime personnel adviser's job in front-office restructuring

INDIANAPOLIS -- Apparently, even Bill Polian's closest friends aren't immune from the Indianapolis Colts' economic cutbacks.

The team announced Friday that the jobs of longtime player personnel official Dom Anile and several others in its scouting department have been eliminated in recent restructuring efforts.

Anile, 71, often has been praised by Polian, the team president. Polian also has credited Anile with being a key to the Colts' string of successful drafts and their ability to find undrafted free agents -- such as running back Dominic Rhodes and center Jeff Saturday -- who later became contributing players.

"He played a major role in our success and in the development of an outstanding department and staff," Polian said of Anile in a statement released by the team. "We will miss him greatly. On a personal level, I will miss him greatly as well. He is one of my closest friends in football."

Anile was director of football operations for the Colts from 1998 to 2003, then was assistant general manager for scouting in 2004 and 2005. Since then, he had been a consultant for player personnel.

But it's another big change for the Colts in an offseason that has been surprisingly turbulent for one of the league's most-stable franchises.

Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl with the Colts three years ago, retired as coach in January and was replaced by his hand-picked successor, Jim Caldwell. Defensive coordinator Ron Meeks left to take the same job with the Carolina Panthers and was replaced with Larry Coyer, and special teams coach Russ Purnell was replaced with Ray Rychleski. Later in February, the Colts released wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who had spent 13 seasons with the team.

Colts owner Jim Irsay also announced in late January that the team was cutting jobs.

The latest announcement comes on the heels of two other potentially damaging moves.

Longtime offensive line coach Howard Mudd is expected to retire following changes in the NFL pension plan, and offensive coordinator Tom Moore is reportedly pondering retirement now, too.

If Mudd or Moore leave, it would mark the first time after 11 NFL seasons that three-time league MVP Peyton Manning has had a change in coordinators or offensive line coaches.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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