Tag:Bill Polian
Posted on: December 7, 2010 7:01 pm

Polian says he made mistake with 1st-round pick

Posted by Andy Benoit

Colts president Bill Polian is one of the best talent evaluators and roster managers in pro football. He has nailed virtually every first-round pick he’s used (Manning, Edgerrin, Wayne, Freeney, Clark, Addai – even Anthony Gonzalez was living up to his billing before injuries set in).
J. Hughes (US Presswire)
But lately Polian is on a bit of a cold streak. He traded a first-round pick in 2007 to move up and get offensive tackle Tony Ugoh in the second round. Ugoh is currently out of the league.

In 2009, Polian chose Donald Brown. The Connecticut running back has been borderline awful. Brown can dart around in the open field, but he clearly lacks the quickness and vision to be a quality NFL runner (particularly between the tackles). Durability has also been a problem.

Neither Ugoh nor Brown appear to be Polian’s biggest whiff, however. On his Indianapolis radio show this week, Polian admitted that he made a mistake in the first round of this past April’s Draft. Instead of using the 31st overall pick on Indiana offensive tackle Rodger Saffold, Polian used it on TCU pass-rusher Jerry Hughes. Polian’s show is not available to people outside of Indiana, but Matt Gregor of StampedeBlue.com offered a paraphrase of what Polian said:

When we did our evaluations on Saffold, we felt he would be a right tackle, and we really liked Hughes, so we drafted Hughes,” Polian said. “In hindsight, however, we should have taken Saffold.  He's been great this season.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

Saying Saffold has been great is another way of saying Hughes has been terrible. Indeed, Hughes has barely played in the nine games that he’s been active. He has three tackles and no sacks on the season.

Obviously, it’s not often that NFL personnel executives talk about players – and especially players still on the roster – like this. It’s possible the Colts are getting desperate for ways to light a fire under Hughes.

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Posted on: September 29, 2010 8:38 am

Players says 18-game schedule isn't done deal

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A couple days ago, we told you about the comments made by Colts president Bill Polian regarding an 18-game schedule. We wrote how he said it was a done deal, and I mentioned that I’d like to hear the response of the NFL Players Association, because I found it hard to believe that this issue would have been agreed upon already.

On Tuesday, the owners presented the players with the first formal proposal on the expansion – strange, because how could Polian say it was a done deal before the owners even let the players know what their idea is? – and NFLPA president Kevin Mawae told the Boston Globe the players weren’t particularly delighted to hear such strong words from Polian.

Especially when the owners hadn’t even made the formal proposal.

“My knee-jerk reaction is that I didn’t know [Polian] had the authority to make announcements on his own,’’ Mawae told the paper Tuesday night. “But the way I understand it — and I had meetings all day — he said he wasn’t in favor of it.”

Again, it’s strange that a guy who doesn’t necessarily want to see the schedule expand to 18 games would be so enthusiastic about announcing it on his weekly radio show. Either way, the owners can expect a counter-proposal from the players who actually have to … you know … play two more regular-season games a season.

They’ll want more money, and they’ll want better health care in exchange for the extra two games – emphasis on the latter rather than the former. Which means this deal isn’t exactly signed, sealed and delivered.

“From a players’ perspective, this is not a done deal,’’ said Mawae. “We spent three hours in the bargaining session talking about this and, as players, the thing that concerns us the most is the toll this will take on a player’s body. Look at someone like me, a 16-year vet — that’d be 32 more games.

“Of all the things we’re trying to sell to other players, the 18-game season is the hardest thing to sell.’’

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 27, 2010 8:18 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 9:13 pm

Polian says the 18-game sked is a done deal

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you’re a fan who believes an 18-game schedule is appropriate – if not, absolutely necessary – today is your lucky day apparently.

Colts president Bill Polian, also a member of the league’s competition committee, said on his weekly radio show tonight that the much-talked-about 18-game schedule is a done deal and that the debate is over.

If this was a Madden game, that would be fantastic news. But in real life, the players wanted assurances that if they went to an 18-game schedule, their pay and health care would increase an exponential amount.

I’m interested to hear the NFL Players Association response to this.

UPDATED (9:08 p.m.):
We have a response from the NFLPA.

Writes George Atallah, the NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs, on his Twitter account, " Only fait accompli at this point is that we will have enhanced negotiating sessions with strident commentary. "

Oh yeah, Polian called the 18-game schedule "fait accompli."

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 30, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 11:05 am

Manning, Polian detest new ball-spotting rules

Posted by Andy Benoit

Not surprisingly, Peyton Manning and Bill Polian are displeased -- perhaps even downright angry -- with the NFL’s new ball-spotting rule. Because umpires are now lining up in the backfield, it’s taking longer for them to spot the ball. And, after they spot the ball, they must run back to their spot some 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Consequently, the quarterback must look to the line judge to get a go-ahead to snap the ball. As we saw at Lambeau Field last Thursday night, this slows Indy’s hurry-up offense. B. Polian (US Presswire)

As usual, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, in his most recent Monday Morning Quarterback Column, got great insight on the mess. Manning told King, "If we had this rule last year there's no way we catch up in that New England game. We were down, what, 21 points in the fourth quarter? We wouldn't have had enough time to run enough plays to catch up. But forget about that game. Let's chart all the comeback wins where a team runs the hurry-up in the fourth quarter. How many of those games would have ended up the same way -- or would the quarterbacks have had enough time to run enough plays to come back and win?''

Indy’s gripe also pertains to the snap infringement penalty (which they were flagged for twice against Green Bay). "I am dead-set against the penalty,'' Polian, who is on the Competition Committee, said. "It is insane. If I knew it would be this way, I'd have voted against it, and not only that, I'd have crusaded against it.''

It is believed that the NFL will try to fix the timing issues, though VP of officiating, Carl Johnson, doesn’t seem too creative at this point.

"The way the new mechanic of the umpire positioning is, I don't have a resolution to that,'' Johnson told King. "It's going to take a couple extra seconds to spot the ball. There's no way around that. But this is a work in progress. We're aggressively seeking ways to improve the mechanics.''

King bounces around several ideas for what the league can do to remedy the problem. A major obstacle is that the league has already acknowledged that the umpire was moved because of safety concerns. This significantly limits the possibility of simply moving the umpires back to his original spot. After all, if that were to happen, then not only would the league be saying it doesn’t care about the umpire’s safety, but it could also be liable if an umpire were to get seriously injured.

It’s safe to assume that when the apparently hasty decision to relocate the umpire was made, the NFL did not foresee having to deal with so many issues this close to the start of the regular season.

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 4:11 pm

Howard Mudd returns to Colts...as a guest

Posted by Andy Benoit

After Indy’s Super Bowl loss, Bill Polian had some harsh comments for the offensive line. That was venerable assistant Howard Mudd’s offensive line that Polian was criticizing. Apparently, no hard feelings.

Mudd, who is in his first year of retirement, was invited to be a guest at the Colts practice on Friday. He sat alongside Polian in a golf cart. Ironically, just days earlier, Mudd was seen wearing Saints apparel. Turns out, he was serving as a consultant to a friend on the Saints staff.

Phil Wilson of the Indy Star offers this:

(Mudd) wearing Saints stuff, though, it sure seemed like a bit of a shot. But it's our understanding Polian invited Mudd back to Colts camp, so perhaps this was evidence whatever differences they have are behind them.

Mudd wore an old Colts T-shirt and blue shorts. He admitted having some anxiety coming back, especially just a few days after hanging out with the Saints. But his former players and team personnel received him well.

As the veteran of more than three decades of NFL coaching started speaking, Colts center Jeff Saturday sped by in a golf cart and couldn't resist some good-natured ribbing at his old line coach.

"He loves the attention!" Saturday shouted. "Feed the ego! Feed it! Feed it!"

"What did he say?" a smiling Mudd said.

When told, the old-school coach laughed.

Asked how good it felt to be back, the 68-year-old Mudd said, "It's great. Not good, but great."

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Posted on: June 15, 2010 1:59 pm

Manning's Contract Could Reveal NFL's Future

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports astutely pointed out that Peyton Manning’s contract status with the Colts could be an indication of how the labor situation is expected to shake out in 2011. Cole quotes one agent as saying, “If Manning doesn’t get the kind of contract we all expect or, worse, doesn’t get a deal done at all, that really means it’s going to be war. There has never been a player with more leverage than him. No one. If he can’t get a deal done at his price, we’re all in trouble.”

Colts president Bill Polian is very active within the NFL business ranks. (So is Colts owner Jim Irsay.) Polian recently said that he understands why two of his other stars, WR Reggie Wayne and DE Robert Mathis, want long-term contracts, but that it’s difficult to orchestrate any deals given the tenuous state of the league’s system. But if Polian is able to get a deal completed with Manning before 2011, that could be an indication that he thinks labor peace is imminent.

As one AFC executive told Cole, player salaries are generally based on what quarterbacks makes. Guys like Manning (and Tom Brady, who is also in the final year of his contract), set the benchmark for the entire league. Manning and Brady are likely to garner $20 million annual salaries.

The executive went on to say, “There’s no way I could see that any owner is going to spend that kind of money on one player and not have football. You spend $7 [million] or $8 million on somebody, OK, that’s just common-sense business. You spend $20 [million] or $30 million, you’re making a commitment.”

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
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