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Polian’s revisionist history makes no sense

Bill Polian AP

I rarely address a subject that one of the other PFT writers has handled.  But sometimes I just can’t keep quiet.

MDS pointed out earlier today the item from Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback regarding former Colts Vice Chairman Bill Polian’s belief that the proposed extension in 2012 of the trade deadline from Week Six to Week Eight would have helped the Colts improve on their final record of 2-14, given that Polian would have shipped a third-round pick to the Broncos for deposed starter Kyle Orton.

Apart from the simple fact (as MDS noted) that Polian could have had Orton for nothing by simply making a waiver claim for Orton after he was cut in November, the idea that the Colts would have given up such a high pick in the hopes of getting a few more wins — and in turn not having the ability to land their next franchise quarterback — by picking up a guy whose contract was set to expire makes no sense.

At all.

Polian has been surprisingly good and informative during his time on the air with ESPN.  He comes off as far more likeable than the experiences of plenty of agents and reporters would otherwise suggest, and personally he has become one of the few voices on the network to which I will stop whatever I’m doing and listen.  But I don’t want to hear that Polian would have given up a third-round pick for Kyle Orton in the hopes of salvaging a lost season that has helped secure the team’s future.

If Polian is telling the truth, it makes owner Jim Irsay’s decision to move on much more understandable.

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32 Responses to “Polian’s revisionist history makes no sense”
  1. 4t9er says: May 28, 2012 9:07 PM

    The suck for Luck operation was in full force, I don’t think Irsay would’ve allowed him to get Orton.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: May 28, 2012 9:09 PM

    Given Orton’s track record lately, maybe they thought that was the quickest way to the basement. Give up a third and let Orton help us lose out, or give up a fortune in high draft picks to trade up from lower in the draft.

  3. derekjetersmansion says: May 28, 2012 9:10 PM

    If the idea was to find a way to keep Manning, then it makes SOME sense since they wouldn’t have been drafting a QB so urgently.

    This also proves Manning was gone even if Polian stayed.

  4. giorgiom3 says: May 28, 2012 9:11 PM

    As a Colts fan, I can honestly say that Polian would have never, ever, EVER given up a third-round pick for Kyle F’ing Orton. Kyle went to Purdue and would obviously be a local boy but seeing as how the Colts never trade their picks, this makes little sense, if any. Under Polian’s regime we signed maybe a handful of free agents. Our team was always built through the draft. No way we would have wasted a possible #1 overall pick in a lost season. Bogus report.

  5. tfbuckfutter says: May 28, 2012 9:11 PM

    IIRC…..Bill Polian often says ridiculously inaccurate and downright stupid things.

  6. backindasaddle says: May 28, 2012 9:18 PM

    Fact is that Polian was negligent in his duties for the fact that he didn’t have a viable back up QB in place TO BEGIN WITH. To have to scramble after the fact to get one was a clear screw up by Polian. Irsay regonized this, was less than pleased about it, and fired Polian for it. I think Mr. Polian became complacent from all the winning and delegated too many of his responsibilities and discretions to his son Chris.

  7. norsedrew says: May 28, 2012 9:21 PM

    keep calling it like it is Florio. That’s why I started making profootballtalk my primary nfl news site years ago. Don’t ever stop.

  8. bigperm33 says: May 28, 2012 9:40 PM

    and where was Peter King on this? just because someone says something to you, doesn’t mean you need to accept it as fact and not question it. I think king is a great reporter. but this statement from Polian simply made no sense, and you’d like to think someone like King would catch it before reporting it in what has to be one of the most widely read football columns out there.

  9. lbijake says: May 28, 2012 9:55 PM

    The Colts dumped the season to get the #1 pick and now Polian is trying to cover his @ss. Classy.

  10. j0esixpack says: May 28, 2012 10:29 PM

    They sucked for Luck … And they were so obvious about it that in the end, Goodell must have put pressure on Irsay to make it seem like he was upset about the last place finish by firing Polian.

    Everyone knows it.

  11. cheesewizer says: May 28, 2012 10:40 PM

    So, why did the Chiefs sign Orton?

  12. coltsluckdynasty says: May 28, 2012 11:10 PM

    Thank you MR. Florio. This was the most absurd thing ever that has come out of Polian’s mouth. Trust me, watching this guys local show in Indy, that’s saying a lot. Very true about his demeanor in the offices. I know I’m just a fan, but people hear things about the Polians and their demeanors. Complete asses to work for, and treated people/workers in the organization like crap (sorry don’t want to get deleted for profanity). But I know, it’s just hearsay, I honestly couldn’t know for sure. I do know, Once he gave power to his son, the drafts just got worse. He was one hell of a GM, no doubt. But, I think he may be getting a little delusional. While we may have to endure a couple of bad seasons, we couldn’t be more excited about what’s happening with the changes. Thanks for the positive article, and calling it how it is… PFT is my #1 source… Just lay off the delete button every once in a while….

  13. mrfrostyj says: May 28, 2012 11:13 PM

    And Kyle Orton would have saved the franchise how?

    The Colts #1 issue was they let Payton Manning run the team.

    Because of this, they created bad backup QB’s because Payton got 100% of the reps in practice. His backups were basically practice squad guys who were completely unprepared when they did get put in games because the team wanted it that way.

    While I doubt Irsay was smart enough to come to this conclusion on his own (Since he could have done it years ago). He finally smarted up and realized that Bill Polian had done nothing to make that team better in years and banked his whole time their on Manning.

    It’s ok though, the Colts might surprise a lot of people this season with Andrew Luck being nothing more than a smoke screen. While no one was looking they’ve picked up many of the best coaching minds from the AFC North which is arguably the toughest division in the NFL. They might learn how to spell DEFENSE in Indianapolis after all.

  14. Savoir-Faire says: May 28, 2012 11:20 PM

    They were 0-6 at the deadline and Orton didnt ask to be cut until week 12 and Elway did it as a favor to Orton after the rash of QB injuries . I dont see the big deal in him saying they wouldve tried to bring in a better QB IN WEEK 6 . It should be expected .

  15. patsfiend says: May 28, 2012 11:27 PM

    I was hoping Polian would be out of sight and out of mind once the Colts let him go.

    No such luck.

  16. tfbuckfutter says: May 28, 2012 11:29 PM

    backindasaddle says: May 28, 2012 9:18 PM

    Fact is that Polian was negligent in his duties for the fact that he didn’t have a viable back up QB in place TO BEGIN WITH. To have to scramble after the fact to get one was a clear screw up by Polian. Irsay regonized this, was less than pleased about it, and fired Polian for it. I think Mr. Polian became complacent from all the winning and delegated too many of his responsibilities and discretions to his son Chris.

    —————————————–

    More revisionist history.

    The storybook on the Colts has always read that Peyton inhibited the development of his backup QBs by blocking their ability and access to practice.

    Granted, they could have had better option in place….but who would want to go there to back up someone who undercuts their ability to prepare? Answer….players with marginal or raw talent who need….what?….practice to develop.

  17. yelix says: May 28, 2012 11:46 PM

    @cheesewizer

    The Chiefs claimed Orton because they were still technically in playoff contention and Tyler Palko was clearly not going to pan out. They also must have felt that Ricky Stanzi wasn’t ready. It was a move that made sense and ended up working out relatively well.

  18. pitch87mph says: May 28, 2012 11:55 PM

    I think it makes perfect sense. I have no doubt he was getting heat for the team’s struggles, and if he felt Orton could get them to a respectable 4 or 5 wins (respectable, is a relative term) if that option was available in week 7 or 8, and survive until Peyton returned. I don’t doubt that. Polian’s a bright guy. He probably realized that starting over with a new franchise QB may have meant starting everything over (and getting the ax). Whereas if he could salvage the season and convince Irsay to make another run with Peyton, he would survive. Maybe its hindsight talking and he’s thinking that’s what he ought to have done. But trading for Orton week 7 or 8, versus picking him off waivers in week 12 is not the same thing. So it’s a red herring to keep pointing out that making a trade in week 7 is the same thing as making a waiver claim in week 12–it’s a red herring, and you know it. I know you’re an attorney, Florio, and you rely on red herrings to trick juries for your client’s benefit (“if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit”). But please. Sell that snake oil somewhere else.

  19. xli2006 says: May 28, 2012 11:56 PM

    Stampede Blue will be by shortly to borrow this little piece of non-news. The 2 places where Polian bashing still live on are here and SB.

  20. wyrdawg says: May 29, 2012 12:50 AM

    I’m pretty sure Kyle would’ve ended up back in Chicago if the trade deadline was extended further. Pretty sure his release was timed with Jay breaking his thumb. Too bad the Chiefs made another futile attempt at a QB. Too bad. Would’ve been an interesting end of the season.

  21. bigbadal21 says: May 29, 2012 2:13 AM

    Bruce Arians will do nothing for the Colts.

  22. Ghost Rat says: May 29, 2012 2:25 AM

    Apparently Polian is concerned with his legacy. Had he not been fortunate enough as to have been paired Peyton Manning, the guy would be remembered as the personnel guy who never won with personnel that he selected. Overrated as an evaluator of talent, IMO.

  23. joetoronto says: May 29, 2012 6:30 AM

    I’ve never liked Bill Polian but I have to stand up for him here.

    While it’s obviously true that Polian didn’t have a decent backup behind Manning for years, you have to remember that not only did Manning’s contract eat up a huge chunk of cap space, but Manning had played injury free for many years too.

    That was a calculated gamble that looked good for years before blowing up.

  24. going4iton4th says: May 29, 2012 7:25 AM

    I respect Bill Polian as a football mind and executive but if all it took was Kyle Orton and an extended trade deadline the Colts would still be 2-14. I think there were some lackluster drafts that helped put the Colts where they currently sit.

  25. puckthefatriots says: May 29, 2012 8:00 AM

    Let’s get this straight…all you bloggers have a problem with the Colts ‘tanking’ the season…But when Florio says it would be a bad idea to trade for Orton to get a couple more wins- you agree with him?…Cant have it both ways guys.

  26. Punk says: May 29, 2012 8:08 AM

    “if Bill Polian is telling the truth,”
    not going to happen. Never Ever.

  27. Punk says: May 29, 2012 8:18 AM

    To the guy claiming that Manning stunted quarterbacks potential. I would like to point out that Jim Sorgi played very well. But the Colts let him go because they wouldn’t/couldn’t pay normal backup quarterback money. They wanted to go with Painter who made close to league minimym.

    Colts fans are irritated at Polian for making that decision based on the thought that, “but Manning always plays”

    Everyone. Let me repeat, EVERYONE, who watches Colts closely knew that Jim Sorgi could play and Curtis Painter could not. Polian made the call to go with Painter over Sorgi…

    It also should be noted that the coaching staff cut Orlovsky and kept Painter and then later in the year picked Orlovsky off the street to replace Painter after Kerry Collins “got hurt” … read, played so poorly the Colts couldn’t justify paying him $4m and then cutting him so they placed him on IR… also a Polian decision.

    THIS is why the Colts fired Polian and Caldwell. The above is indicitive of decisions that had been occuring for the past several years and Manning covered up with stellar play. His play in 2009 taking that team to the Super Bowl and his play in 2010 making the playoffs with a terrible team may have been the two best quarterbacking seasons ever. The team in 2011 didn’t play worse than the team in 2010, Manning really was responsible for that many wins.

  28. jgedgar70 says: May 29, 2012 8:57 AM

    cheesewizer says:
    May 28, 2012 10:40 PM
    So, why did the Chiefs sign Orton?
    _____

    Because the Chiefs were the only team in the league with backup QBs worse than Indy’s.

    As for Polian – this isn’t unexpected. He has such a charming personality that he managed to get a relatively well-liked owner (Jerry Richardson) so POed at him that he hasn’t spoken to Polian in 15 years. Which made him perfectly at home with the Irsays. No one else is going to put up with him.

  29. realitypolice says: May 29, 2012 9:04 AM

    And your argument would make perfect sense if the trade deadline and the time Orton was waived weren’t 6 weeks apart.

    You should have stuck with the point about how ridiculous the idea of sending a third round pick for a mediocre QB with an expiring contract was.

    That was a better point.

  30. sterilizecromartie says: May 29, 2012 9:23 AM

    pitch87mph is absolutely right. You guys keep saying that Polian didn’t want Orton because he was trying to Suck for Luck. WRONG. Polian desperately wanted to win to save his job. If he got Orton, won 4 games, got pick #4 (instead of #1), the Colts keep Manning and Polian. By completely tanking and getting the #1 pick, the Colts shot into full rebuilding mode. That included changing the GM and QB.

    I am fully on board with the theory that Irsay squashed any chance of improving the squad because HE was the one trying to Suck for Luck, not Polian.

  31. mrfrostyj says: May 29, 2012 11:02 AM

    @Punk

    I take it you’ve never actually seen Jim Sorgi play and are only going by his over inflated lifetime QB rating.

    Sorgi has a high QB rating due to years worth of games in which Manning would go out for 1 play, Sorgi would come in complete a pass and get pulled right after, thus leaving him with a near perfect rating for that YEAR.

    Ask a fan of any of the countless teams the Colts prevented from going to the playoffs by pulling their starters and watching Sorgi complete passes to the yard marker 5 yards in front of his intended target about how prepared Sorgi was as a starter.

  32. backindasaddle says: May 29, 2012 1:34 PM

    ay 28, 2012 11:29 PM
    backindasaddle says: May 28, 2012 9:18 PM

    Fact is that Polian was negligent in his duties for the fact that he didn’t have a viable back up QB in place TO BEGIN WITH. To have to scramble after the fact to get one was a clear screw up by Polian. Irsay regonized this, was less than pleased about it, and fired Polian for it. I think Mr. Polian became complacent from all the winning and delegated too many of his responsibilities and discretions to his son Chris.

    —————————————–

    More revisionist history.

    The storybook on the Colts has always read that Peyton inhibited the development of his backup QBs by blocking their ability and access to practice.

    Granted, they could have had better option in place….but who would want to go there to back up someone who undercuts their ability to prepare? Answer….players with marginal or raw talent who need….what?….practice to develop.
    _____________________________________________________

    Are you kidding me! So the ownership/management is going to allow the starting QB to DICTATE to them that the back up QB must suck??? Really???…..Really??? If this is actually true, then Irsay/Polian are complete tools and the entire organization deserves to go right straight down the toilet.

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