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Colts' Saturday has harsh words for late-season decision

Most Colts players have been tight-lipped about club president Bill Polian’s decision to bench front-line players down the regular season’s stretch.  While it would appear that Polian’s tactic paid off considering where Indianapolis currently stands, center Jeff Saturday is still fuming.

He made his feelings public at Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day.
“The truth is, (the decision) had nothing to do with us (players),” Saturday said.  “There was nothing we could do about it.  I can tell you every player wanted to play, every player tried to play, but that wasn’t what our front office and our coach decided.”
Colts right tackle Ryan Diem also called Polian’s decision “a little disappointing,” while free safety Antoine Bethea defended Indianapolis’ higher-ups.
The Colts’ bid to be considered the greatest team in NFL history died when Peyton Manning was pulled in the third quarter of Week 16.  Win or lose on Sunday, that’s not something Indianapolis — as a football organization and city — can ever get back.
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49 Responses to “Colts' Saturday has harsh words for late-season decision”
  1. thebootguy says: Feb 2, 2010 9:11 PM

    I thought his name was spelled Peyton Manning????

  2. brownsfn says: Feb 2, 2010 9:15 PM

    dumb decision

  3. Nideak says: Feb 2, 2010 9:16 PM

    If thats your definition of ‘harsh words’, you must cry a lot.
    He didn’t criticize anyone, he didn’t attack anyone. He gave his opinion. Oh Noes

  4. Dianenfl says: Feb 2, 2010 9:19 PM

    R

  5. spudvol says: Feb 2, 2010 9:20 PM

    Bet you never misspell Favre.

  6. FUNSHIPM174 says: Feb 2, 2010 9:23 PM

    Maybe this is Favre’s fault also!

  7. redsquare says: Feb 2, 2010 9:40 PM

    Good thing the Colts played it safe there at the end. Otherwise they might have ended up with, say, their top defensive game-changer getting an injury that keeps him from playing in the Super Bowl. Thank goodness Polian was too smart for everyone, and the Colts are coming into the Big Game in perfect health. What a relief he didn’t focus on protecting the wrong players.

  8. Wick says: Feb 2, 2010 9:41 PM

    Some might say that decision kind of puts the Colts in a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t scenario.
    If the Colts don’t win the Super Bowl, the decision could be perceived as derailing the Colts’ momentum, rankling the team chemistry, creating a divide betweem the locker room, players v. management or otherwise contributing to a post-season loss.
    And if the Colts win the Super Bowl, the decision could foster still even more resentment – as it might be construed as flat out shit-canning what many would consider the greatest season in NFL history – all because one team didn’t have the stones. Lacked the nutsack. Got weak in the knees — as afraid to stake their claim to greatness as John Madden is to set foot on an airplane.
    Teams with BALLS capture the country’s attention. Think of the ’85 Bears ripping off the Super Bowl Shuffle video – it’s still legendary. That team was riveting.
    Even in the Colts win, they’ll never be as compelling to the country – because their management/coaches emasculated the team in a sport thats fanbase absolutely abhors emasculation. They’re like the boxer who runs and hides the last 3 rounds of a 12 round fight because they’ve accumulated enough points on the cards — fans don’t respect those kind of athletes nearly as much.

  9. pft rocks says: Feb 2, 2010 9:41 PM

    Jeff you better be careful…. Polian will remind you who is boss next season.
    It was not a coaches decision it was Polian’s. Everyone is afraid of Polian, for good reason. They all just do as he says, otherwise….

  10. B Eazy says: Feb 2, 2010 9:48 PM

    good news florio.
    good luck.
    colts win
    haters
    haters

  11. realitypolice says: Feb 2, 2010 9:48 PM

    ” it would appear that Polian’s tactic paid off considering where Indianapolis currently stands”
    Really? Polian gave up on the undefeated season so his team could REACH the Super Bowl? That’s funny, I thought he did it to WIN the Super Bowl.

  12. pft rocks says: Feb 2, 2010 9:57 PM

    Here is the other point Jeff won’t lie and obviously Bethea will.

  13. ADX says: Feb 2, 2010 9:58 PM

    @redsquare
    You aren’t really that stupid are you?
    What does Freeney getting hurt in you know, the AFC Finals, a game they needed starters to win to reach the superbowl have to do with the regular season sitdown?

  14. ADX says: Feb 2, 2010 9:59 PM

    @pft rocks
    Polian is stepping down after this season and his Son is taking his place.

  15. 2brauneyz says: Feb 2, 2010 10:04 PM

    I have nothing against the Colts or Peyton Manning (seriously, even though I’m a diehard Pats fan,) but I hope the Saints cream them Sunday “just cuz”.
    Effing pussy decision by Polian & Caldwell …

  16. Klytus says: Feb 2, 2010 10:10 PM

    Hey, it isn’t like a team goes undefeated every season. Just ask the Patriots.
    GO STEELERS!

  17. ar1888 says: Feb 2, 2010 10:12 PM

    Wow those words are almost as harsh as the “WAR OF WORDS” you say Manning and Sharper had yesterday.

  18. Topher says: Feb 2, 2010 10:16 PM

    2brauneyz… I ain’t mad at you. As a Colts fan I want the Pats to get creamed everytime they play… “just cuz.”

  19. sequtugh says: Feb 2, 2010 10:24 PM

    The media and the fans have established the rule – the regular season means nothing without a super bowl victory. Think the Patriots would trade a perfect regular season with a super bowl loss in exchange for 14-2 and a super bowl win? If the Colts think the way they did it gives them the best chance to win the super bowl, then good for them – go prove it by winning.

  20. tryagain says: Feb 2, 2010 10:32 PM

    hmmm, i’m neither a colts or pats fan yet somehow i hope the colts gets creamed too, just cuz.

  21. thegeneral says: Feb 2, 2010 10:50 PM

    all said and and done, if the colts do win the super bowl, this years team will be the best team of the decade and arguably one of the best teams in NFL history
    end of story

  22. Phil from Detroit says: Feb 2, 2010 10:56 PM

    A Pats fan here,
    Cmon, even the Colts fans were upset at NaPolians decision except for a smattering of Colts Koolaid guzzlers. Mannings face was indicative of how the players felt. Saturdays’s statements only confirm what the players and fans thought: NaPolian betrayed the Colts players and the fans by tanking the game and giving up the shot at history.

  23. The Genius says: Feb 2, 2010 10:58 PM

    If they win the Super Bowl, they will go down in history as the team that could have gone undefeated but chose instead to lay down like a bunch of girlie-men.
    Forever.

  24. Gautam says: Feb 2, 2010 10:59 PM

    you actually have to applaud Polian’s recognition of the fact that his defense wasn’t built to last a long while … despite all the rest, they have Freeney & Powers banged up

  25. skoolya says: Feb 2, 2010 10:59 PM

    polian, you coward piece of shit, the city of Indianapolis will never forgive you for what you stole from them. you made that decision and you made it alone. that idiot owner is in a drug induced stupor and that spineless coach is just happy to have the title and doesn’t mind that you have your hand shoved up his ass to make his mouth move. you really want to see some bad decisions, just wait till his milktoast, nerd offspring takes over. daddy will still have to run the team by phone from his retirement village where he and that hag of a wife are living, watching each others body decay before their own eyes.

  26. tom says: Feb 2, 2010 11:04 PM

    fuming?

  27. JoeSixPack says: Feb 2, 2010 11:11 PM

    Thanks to Polian, even if the Colts win, they lose.

  28. Lewballer3 says: Feb 2, 2010 11:15 PM

    Trust me…this Colts team is not half as good as they will be once Garcon Collie and Brown develop even more. Plus they still have Gonzo. They will get another look @ 16-0 and Manning who will have two rings will talk Polian into going for it.

  29. SixburghSteelers says: Feb 2, 2010 11:22 PM

    It won’t matter because the Mannings are going to lose anyway…c’mon “Who Dat” nation!!!!

  30. callmecougar says: Feb 2, 2010 11:31 PM

    Saints by 10 and then this won’t matter.

  31. tatum32 says: Feb 2, 2010 11:48 PM

    No worries, Colts handle their business, all will be forgotten. If they lose, here come the “see, they shouldnt have rested the starters.
    They MUST win on Sunday.

  32. stoneycrusty says: Feb 3, 2010 1:35 AM

    Amen Lewballer3!!! I will add that if the run game steps it up a couple notches….look the hell out b/c they will be damn near perfect!

  33. NashvilleSeahawk says: Feb 3, 2010 1:39 AM

    Why risk it when you have Glass Joe as your QB?

  34. marinofreakout says: Feb 3, 2010 1:51 AM

    it wont matter if the saints win
    *when the saints win

  35. bednarik60 says: Feb 3, 2010 2:05 AM

    All will not be forgotten if the Colts win. If anything, it would be even MORE of a debate of should they/should they have not rested their starters. If they do win the Big One, they missed probably their only opportunity for the (for now) only perfect season in the new format.

  36. braindead says: Feb 3, 2010 4:36 AM

    Saints are due to get blown out. They’ll look good for the first quarter, maybe even second, then Manning has his “Aha!” moment and shreds them the rest of the way. LewBaller was right, Manning will get another look at 16-0 before he’s done

  37. Pack_Attack says: Feb 3, 2010 8:41 AM

    Coaches and management are judged on playoff wins. Also Im sure the guys that got more playing time appreciated the move. With the goal being a Lombardi trophy, I wouldnt give much thought to some nostalgic fairy tale scenario either. Man Up and play football.

  38. PFTiswhatitis says: Feb 3, 2010 8:50 AM

    “thegeneral says:
    February 2, 2010 10:50 PM
    all said and and done, if the colts do win the super bowl, this years team will be the best team of the decade and arguably one of the best teams in NFL history
    end of story”
    what a bunch of hooey. They could have made history but they wimped out. That will be remembered longer than the fact that they won the SB (if that even happens).
    Go Saints.

  39. pft rocks says: Feb 3, 2010 9:16 AM

    @ADX
    ‘Polian is stepping down after this season and his Son is taking his place.’
    REALLY? And you know this how?? Hmmmm.
    I believe it ONLY if the Colts win the SB. Polian’s ONLY goal now is to be a HOF er. He doesn’t want to be inducted with the last game of his career a loss..
    And if you think Chrissy can/will run the Colts with out Daddy…. you are also on drugs. At least Irsay will only be paying one Polian then.
    Then again, Polian will probably be somekind of consultant…. Chrissy can not do it alone. He would still be a pro scout if his dad wasn’t who he is. (And he probably would be happy too.)

  40. MistrezzRachael says: Feb 3, 2010 9:18 AM

    While Colts are not my team….I’d be pissed if I was a fan of them. Players play to win..and they threw away a bigtime opportunity.
    Thats the reason I’m hoping New Orleans brings it home…They played all year …to win.

  41. Big Stretch says: Feb 3, 2010 9:20 AM

    Ask the patriots if they would rather have had that undefeated regular season and a superbowl loss or if the would rather have had a great season topped off with a superbowl ring

  42. bspurloc says: Feb 3, 2010 9:23 AM

    it matters not if the colts win….
    The coach and the owners are FULL BLOODED PUSSIES………..
    bellicheat might be a piece of steaming crap but he ain’t no pussy….
    nobody likes to play for pussies, cuz you never know what you will be forced to wear panties and knee pads……

  43. overkil2 says: Feb 3, 2010 9:36 AM

    “Lewballer3 says:
    February 2, 2010 11:15 PM
    Trust me…this Colts team is not half as good as they will be once Garcon Collie and Brown develop even more. Plus they still have Gonzo. They will get another look @ 16-0 and Manning who will have two rings will talk Polian into going for it.

    Those opportunities happen very infrequently for organizations. With as good as the Pats have been this decade, they have only had that opportunity once.
    The colts management and owner blew it.

  44. AllThat says: Feb 3, 2010 10:06 AM

    They should just make Peyton the GM when Polian leaves. He already runs most of the team anyway.
    Just sayin

  45. AllThat says: Feb 3, 2010 10:08 AM

    They should just make Peyton the GM when Polian leaves. He already runs most of the team anyway.
    Just sayin

  46. Bob E Smash says: Feb 3, 2010 10:13 AM

    Coulda shoulda woulda ok from a real colts fan ya it hurts they didn`t go for it but then you think look what happened to Brady in the first game of the season last year that could have happened to Peyton in a meaningless game and then you loose anyway and no chance at superbowl. Besides who`s to say if they finish the season 16-0 they don`t end up loosing to the Jets since they got a full game of playing Manning to learn from. It`s highnsite (yeah spelling sucks) right. Fact is we in the Superbowl it`s where we wanted to be. Be happy Colts fans and Cheer on the team. I mean of course the players are pissed of course we fans are pissed but it`s still are team stop dissing and start Cheering
    Who DAT WHO DAT
    The Colts thats who.

  47. TSE says: Feb 3, 2010 11:37 AM

    Well Polian is out of his gord. He’s a very stupid man. There’s more to football than just winning SBs. Only 1 team out of 32 can win every year, so it’s not a total lost cause for the teams that just comes up. Football is not a win it all or nothing sport. But a perfect season, wow nobody ever does that. Those are once in a lifetime opportunities. Every year we have a SB winner, it’s not rare or uncommon, but to have a perfect season is, that is the Holy Grail of this game, and should be the #1 focus of any team that truly wants to make a dynasty that can be respected for the ages. If you want that, you have to get one perfect season under your belt, cause that’s the ultimate prize in football. Polian quit in the 24th hour for no logical reason whatsoever, and for that I consider him to be a monumental failure and shame to his team. Absolutely stupid, stupid man.

  48. cwhiffen says: Feb 3, 2010 12:19 PM

    Those are harsh words? Florio, you really are starting to suck. Seems like anymore all you do is twist words around and try to make something out of nothing. I’ve been reading your blog for years, but it’s starting to really turn me off…

  49. FMWarner says: Feb 3, 2010 3:30 PM

    The result of the Super Bowl is not going to be a referendum on whether Polian’s decision was right or not. It ceased to be an issue as soon as the Colts avoided the hangover of their self-imposed bye and beat the Ravens. But what we do know is that a Colts title will only make everyone wonder even more about the undefeated season. Freeney’s injury only highlights the fact that managing injury risk is a haphazard proposition at best. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth throwing away a possible undefeated season for.

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