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.

49 responses to “Colts' Saturday has harsh words for late-season decision

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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….

  5. ” 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.

  6. @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?

  7. 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 …

  8. 2brauneyz… I ain’t mad at you. As a Colts fan I want the Pats to get creamed everytime they play… “just cuz.”

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. “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.

  23. @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.)

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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……

  27. “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.

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

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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…

  33. 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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