For years, Colts president Bill Polian has been regarded in league circles as a bully. Every once in a while, someone not in league circles gets a taste of it.
It happened most recently on Tuesday, Joe Staysniask of 1070 the Fan posed this query to Polian: “What do these guys, [Anthony] Castonzo and [Ben] Ijalana have that are going to help with that running game?”
Though Polian didn’t go off on Staysniask for asking the question, Polian fired a sawed-off shotgun in the direction of anyone who would look to the statistical performance of the running game as evidence that the running game possibly needs to be improved.
Said Polian, via our friends at StampedeBlue.com: “Well, first off all, let me say that the discussion of the running game is way off base. This is a stats geek looking at a stat and saying, ‘Oh, gee. Indianapolis has a problem.’ We finished first in the conference and, I believe, second in the league in total offense. [Editor's note: The Colts were third in the conference and fourth in the league in total offense, not first and second, respectively.] We’re always among the top four or five in scoring every year. The object of the game is to score. It’s not to make stats geeks happy in terms of yards per carry. And I’m criticizing people who, make no bones about it, who deal only in statistics. The object of our running game, because we are such a high scoring, high powered offense, is to run effectively; i.e., run in the red zone, which we do very, very effectively. And run in four minutes and short yardage, which we have not done effectively.”
But most fans aren’t “stats geeks,” and most fans realize that the Colts’ running game leaves a lot to be desired. Even with a high-octane passing attack fueled by one of the best quarterbacks of all time, the Colts haven’t been able to keep defenses honest by pushing the pile when defenses are focused on not being burned to a crisp.
So back to the question . How can Castonzo and Ijalana going to help the running game? We don’t know, because Polian didn’t answer it.
But we do know, without assessing complex stats, that the Colts need help. After all, they were 29th in the league — and dead last in the AFC — with 92.7 rushing yards per game.