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Bill Polian on the 2011 season


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Great interview.  And I always loved Bill Polian.

Unfortunately, it doesn't cover the things that led up to his firing.  Namely, the disastrous 2007 draft, #1 pick Anthony Gonzales being a bust, #2 pick Tony Ugoh not only being a bust, but also costing the #1 pick in the 2008 draft as well.  The 2008 draft being utterly forgettable.  The 2009 draft being, well, okay, but still lackluster.  The 2010 draft being underwhelming.  The 2011 draft being lean.  Bill having his son, Chris, make the decisions was turning into horror show.  Jim Irsay made the right call.  It was time.  Bill still has respect.  And should.  But it was time.

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yeah most of the players and coaches lost their jobs, they didnt do that on purpose so that grigson could draft luck and build a new team

 

seems like Jim irsay knew BP was out at the end of the year but still wanted his input on luck lol

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Yea as posted above Mr Polian and his son had a disastrous run there that doesn't get talked about enough. Without Manning on the team we certainly looked like a team void of talent. I always believed we never sucked for luck we just really sucked without PM. Polian should have been fired years before.

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9 hours ago, John Hammonds said:

Great interview.  And I always loved Bill Polian.

Unfortunately, it doesn't cover the things that led up to his firing.  Namely, the disastrous 2007 draft, #1 pick Anthony Gonzales being a bust, #2 pick Tony Ugoh not only being a bust, but also costing the #1 pick in the 2008 draft as well.  The 2008 draft being utterly forgettable.  The 2009 draft being, well, okay, but still lackluster.  The 2010 draft being underwhelming.  The 2011 draft being lean.  Bill having his son, Chris, make the decisions was turning into horror show.  Jim Irsay made the right call.  It was time.  Bill still has respect.  And should.  But it was time.

Nice post, John....   

 

Over the years @Superman has detailed what were, I think, Polian’s  last 5 drafts.   It’s a long list of not very much luck.   Some players were nicked by injuries, but most appeared to be nicked by a basic lack of talent.   They didn’t go elsewhere and succeed.   As talented as Polian was/is, there was a downward trend.   

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So, Manning would have been the starting QB that next season.  Since Bill wanted a successor to PM at that point, we could have retained PM, traded the Luck pick for many, and drafted Cousins or Foles or Wilson.  Oh well, hindsight.  

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56 minutes ago, DougDew said:

So, Manning would have been the starting QB that next season.  Since Bill wanted a successor to PM at that point, we could have retained PM, traded the Luck pick for many, and drafted Cousins or Foles or Wilson.  Oh well, hindsight.  

I was one who wanted them to trade the Luck pick.   As I recall, there were 2 teams willing to give essentially there entire draft for it.   I think Cleveland was one.   Kind of a Hershal Walker type trade.  We could have built a very solid team for Manning the next few years.   

 

I kind of changed my mind once I seen Luck play in the NFL, but I'll admit what I hoped for at the time.   

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4 hours ago, DougDew said:

So, Manning would have been the starting QB that next season.  Since Bill wanted a successor to PM at that point, we could have retained PM, traded the Luck pick for many, and drafted Cousins or Foles or Wilson.  Oh well, hindsight.  

Wilson learning from Manning? Yeah I’d take that. 

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4 hours ago, DougDew said:

So, Manning would have been the starting QB that next season.  Since Bill wanted a successor to PM at that point, we could have retained PM, traded the Luck pick for many, and drafted Cousins or Foles or Wilson.  Oh well, hindsight.  

Imagine in an alternative universe:

 

1. Manning remained a Colt.

2. Colts retain Polian for a few more years (rather than Grigson), and then hire Ballard.

3. Colts select Luck with the #1 pick to back up Manning.

4. Luck learns from Manning and never takes the beating that he took early in his career.

5. Manning retires always and only as a Colt.

6. Luck would be playing today and not retired.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Flash7 said:

Imagine in an alternative universe:

 

1. Manning remained a Colt.

2. Colts retain Polian for a few more years (rather than Grigson), and then hire Ballard.

3. Colts select Luck with the #1 pick to back up Manning.

4. Luck learns from Manning and never takes the beating that he took early in his career.

5. Manning retires always and only as a Colt.

6. Luck would be playing today and not retired.

 

 

Who says the Colts would have drafted Luck

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Even if we traded the pick, I wouldn’t have trusted polian and his son with drafting.  From 2007 until his firing, the drafts were HORRIBLE.  
 

think we made the right move in drafting luck.  Made the wrong move by making grigson his GM.

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20 minutes ago, PrincetonTiger said:

Who says the Colts would have drafted Luck

Polian.

 

He said it in the video at the start of this thread. Had he stayed, that was his intent.

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5 hours ago, Myles said:

I was one who wanted them to trade the Luck pick.   As I recall, there were 2 teams willing to give essentially there entire draft for it.   I think Cleveland was one.   Kind of a Hershal Walker type trade.  We could have built a very solid team for Manning the next few years.   

 

I kind of changed my mind once I seen Luck play in the NFL, but I'll admit what I hoped for at the time.   

I thought that picking Luck was both the safe pick, and the best for the long term, but I thought there were other viable options.

 

I thought about trading the pick, keep PM, and use one of the many picks on Foles.  At that time, Foles had kind of a bad Senior year at AZ so his stock kind of dropped, but had a really good Junior year.  What finally turned me off to the idea was that even though we would have lots of good draft picks, they would have been young players and even with PM at QB we probably would not have won enough to go to the playoffs.  The young players would have been hitting their peak as his skills were waning.

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2 hours ago, Flash7 said:

Imagine in an alternative universe:

 

1. Manning remained a Colt.

2. Colts retain Polian for a few more years (rather than Grigson), and then hire Ballard.

3. Colts select Luck with the #1 pick to back up Manning.

4. Luck learns from Manning and never takes the beating that he took early in his career.

5. Manning retires always and only as a Colt.

6. Luck would be playing today and not retired.

 

 

If we would have kept PM and traded the pick, I'll bet Saturday would have returned for another year.  We had Reggie, Freeney, and Mathis under contract.  I could see Polian drafting Fleener, who may have done better under PM; and if Polian would have been smart enough to draft TY and Vic Ballard like RG did, we would have kept a great offense for PMs duration.

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4 hours ago, Flash7 said:

Imagine in an alternative universe:

 

1. Manning remained a Colt.

2. Colts retain Polian for a few more years (rather than Grigson), and then hire Ballard.

3. Colts select Luck with the #1 pick to back up Manning.

4. Luck learns from Manning and never takes the beating that he took early in his career.

5. Manning retires always and only as a Colt.

6. Luck would be playing today and not retired.

 

 

I doubt the Colts would have drafted Luck had they kept Peyton.  That call came from Irsay not the GM so Polian staying wouldn’t have changed that.  
 

Also the Colts would have still had no line in front of Peyton who was even less mobile they Andrew.  It could have been ugly watching Peyton behind that line.  I wish it had played out differently than it did with the end of Peyton here but at this point it’s what it is.

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Luck and Peyton were never going to be on the same roster, the finances and the uncertainty of Peyton and here's a subjective element, but I think it was true, Luck was cheaper and better suited to lead what was the team at that time.  

And let's not forget that Bill wasn't really doing Bill's job as he was letting Chris make some calls that didn't go well as noted above.

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22 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

I doubt the Colts would have drafted Luck had they kept Peyton.  That call came from Irsay not the GM so Polian staying wouldn’t have changed that.  
 

Also the Colts would have still had no line in front of Peyton who was even less mobile they Andrew.  It could have been ugly watching Peyton behind that line.  I wish it had played out differently than it did with the end of Peyton here but at this point it’s what it is.

We'll never know, as this is all just a hypothetical "alternate universe" musing. But per Polian, "That was the decision, it was made" referring to drafting Luck. He specifically stated that he discussed it with Irsay and they were all on board.

 

Per Polian, his plan heading into the 2011 season was to re-sign with the Colts for another 4 years and also have Manning re-sign for another 4 years and the both of them retire afterwards. In the meantime, Polian stated that he would look to find Peyton's successor and had open discussions with Peyton about it.

 

Peyton had to sit out 2011 due to his injury and the Colts had the #1 pick in 2012. Polian would have drafted Luck as Peyton's successor, as he stated. Polian was fired for after the 2011 season and we'll never know how it would have played out, aside from what he' stating he would have done.

 

I agree that the Colts O-line was not good when Luck played, however, the offense that they ran under Arians also did not do Luck and the O-line any favors. I'm sure they would have run a different offense had Peyton remained a Colt.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Flash7 said:

We'll never know, as this is all just a hypothetical "alternate universe" musing. But per Polian, "That was the decision, it was made" referring to drafting Luck. He specifically stated that he discussed it with Irsay and they were all on board.

 

Per Polian, his plan heading into the 2011 season was to re-sign with the Colts for another 4 years and also have Manning re-sign for another 4 years and the both of them retire afterwards. In the meantime, Polian stated that he would look to find Peyton's successor and had open discussions with Peyton about it.

 

Peyton had to sit out 2011 due to his injury and the Colts had the #1 pick in 2012. Polian would have drafted Luck as Peyton's successor, as he stated. Polian was fired for after the 2011 season and we'll never know how it would have played out, aside from what he' stating he would have done.

 

I agree that the Colts O-line was not good when Luck played, however, the offense that they ran under Arians also did not do Luck and the O-line any favors. I'm sure they would have run a different offense had Peyton remained a Colt.

 

 

Might have been Polian’s plan but it wasn’t Irsay’s plan.  Also Luck got the snot beat out of him long after Arians was gone so you can’t put that all on him.

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It was time for a change. Things had become stagnant at that point. And sad to say at the time Peyton’s injury was so serious there was a chance he was done for good. There were just too many unknowns back then. We can play the hindsight game and say we should have kept Peyton and traded the #1 pick. 
 

Irsay decided to draft and hire for the future, and create a new type of team. Unfortunately it didn’t work out as intended...

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30 minutes ago, RollerColt said:

It was time for a change. Things had become stagnant at that point. And sad to say at the time Peyton’s injury was so serious there was a chance he was done for good. There were just too many unknowns back then. We can play the hindsight game and say we should have kept Peyton and traded the #1 pick. 
 

Irsay decided to draft and hire for the future, and create a new type of team. Unfortunately it didn’t work out as intended...

mila kunis yes GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

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10 hours ago, dodsworth said:

Polian was a good GM, not great. His teams were waaay too soft.

 

He drafted 8 potential HOFers. Manning, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas, James, Wayne, Freeney, Mathis. Also many pro bowlers in Sanders, Addai, Saturday, Clark, Bethea. I'm not the biggest Polian fan either, but you can't question his resume.

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9 hours ago, Flash7 said:

Imagine in an alternative universe:

 

1. Manning remained a Colt.

2. Colts retain Polian for a few more years (rather than Grigson), and then hire Ballard.

3. Colts select Luck with the #1 pick to back up Manning.

4. Luck learns from Manning and never takes the beating that he took early in his career.

5. Manning retires always and only as a Colt.

6. Luck would be playing today and not retired.

 

 

 

If we kept Manning , we trade down , utterly impossible we keep Manning and draft Luck. 

 

The number 1 pick in the draft usually plays his first year. Manning played 4 more years , do you really think Luck's would sit 4 years ? Besides Luck's agent would fight that scenario tooth and nail , it would be insane to not take the 3-1's and 2-2's that Luck would have brought.  5 premium picks for a QB tom ride the bench 4 years and then probably only play in the option year. No way..

 

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1 hour ago, CR91 said:

 

He drafted 8 potential HOFers. Manning, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas, James, Wayne, Freeney, Mathis. Also many pro bowlers in Sanders, Addai, Saturday, Clark, Bethea. I'm not the biggest Polian fan either, but you can't question his resume.

 

 

Problem was the nepotism .

 

 

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27 minutes ago, dw49 said:

 

 

Problem was the nepotism .

 

 

 

I can agree with that. Another story was Irsay didn't wanna fire Polian. He wanted to fire Polian's son, but Polian wouldn't do it so he fired both of them.

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Ballard > Grigson > Polian

 

I've become the stick in the mud on this forum in how intensely I've sometimes defended Grigson but criticized Polian. Like another poster said, Polian took a long ride on Manning's back. Without him, we'd be seeing a lifetime of 2-14 seasons.

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39 minutes ago, rock8591 said:

Ballard > Grigson > Polian

 

I've become the stick in the mud on this forum in how intensely I've sometimes defended Grigson but criticized Polian. Like another poster said, Polian took a long ride on Manning's back. Without him, we'd be seeing a lifetime of 2-14 seasons.

If Peyton was the only hall of fame level player he brought in here that might be true.  Also, I’m order to for this to work you have to ignore what he did in Buffalo and Carolina without Peyton.  Bill Polian is in the Hall of Fame and widely regarded as one of he best GMs of all time.  Ryan Grigson hasn’t and probably won’t get a second chance because people saw him handed a Peyton Manning type talent and he literally built a team that ruined his career.  

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43 minutes ago, rock8591 said:

Ballard > Grigson > Polian

 

I've become the stick in the mud on this forum in how intensely I've sometimes defended Grigson but criticized Polian. Like another poster said, Polian took a long ride on Manning's back. Without him, we'd be seeing a lifetime of 2-14 seasons.

 

Grigson - zero HOFers, zero Superbowl apperences, zero championships

 

Polian - 4 HOFers potentially 8, 6 Superbowl apperences, 1 championship

 

You're not winning that argument

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8 minutes ago, CR91 said:

 

Grigson - zero HOFers, zero Superbowl apperences, zero championships

 

Polian - 4 HOFers potentially 8, 6 Superbowl apperences, 1 championship

 

You're not winning that argument

 

Grigson was handed a huge plate of Dog Doo Doo by Polian in 2012. Nobody would have fixed the roster with that pile of horse apples.

 

Just look at Polian's drafts from 2007-2011 sometime.

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Yes Polian was good at building winning regular season teams but his playoff record is very poor in big games. He was too worried about building around Manning and overlooked the teams depth here in Indy. You cant win big games with 2 or 3 highly skilled players on a team that lacks the talent level across the board.

Our special teams were a joke.

Our defense was just as bad most of the time.

Had the Colts not have had Manning it would have been lucky to win 5 games a season.

The Colts one super bowl with Polian was against one of the worst NFC opponents in super bowl history.

Just the hiring and paying Kerry Collins was enough to get him fired.

 

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Regarding Bill Polian, he is the best GM we have ever had IMO. Until Ballard wins a SB it will remain that way. Yeah he had arguably the GOAT at QB but he was also responsible (along with Irsay) for drafting Peyton. People need to remember Ryan Leaf was considered until Polian interviewed both he and Peyton. Polian is 100% responsible for drafting guys like Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Bob Sanders, Dallas Clark, and signing Adam Vinatieri. The only thing that still ticks me off about Polian was, he gave up on the perfect season in 2009 when we were 14-0. It was his call, Irsay could've over rode him but did not and let Polian make the call. Caldwell and Peyton went along with it because it is called chain of command after Irsay. Polian screwed the players and fans on that one at a chance to make history.

 

My rankings GM wise since the Polian era:

1. Bill Polian

 

2. Chris Ballard - so far better than Grigson regarding his Drafts and Free Agency, Grigson had Luck in his back pocket from 2012-2014 so of course Grigson has the better win/loss record.

 

3. Ryan Grigson - the combination of his draft picking and Free Agency pickup's from 2013-2016 ruined Andrew Luck's career. Nobody will convince me otherwise. 

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