Bill Polian admits making a mistake drafting Jerry Hughes

Colts G.M. Bill Polian went into the offseason wanting to fix his offensive line.

When the Colts were on the clock with their first round pick, he decided to choose pass-rusher Jerry Hughes from TCU.  One of the big considerations at that spot was tackle Rodger Saffold, who wound up going to the Rams two picks later.

In the upset of the year, Polian admits that he made the wrong choice.

The guys at report Polian said on his radio show that the team should have taken Saffold in hindsight.  The Colts saw Saffold as a right tackle only, but he’s been rock solid in St. Louis as a left tackle.  Hughes, on the other hand, has three tackles on the season.  He’s rarely gets on the field on defense and has been inactive occasionally.

Polian is as good as any G.M. at finding the right players for the Colts system.  He thinks a few years in the future.

His difficulty in solving the Colts offensive line of the present, however,  is one reason the team is 6-6 this year.

28 responses to “Bill Polian admits making a mistake drafting Jerry Hughes

  1. Look for Polian and the Competition Committee to pass the league’s new “Do Over” rule, in which the Colts can admit their first round pick was a bust, and take any other team’s first round pick provided that the player is clearly a quality starter, and the season has not yet ended.

    This will only apply to the Colts, of course.

  2. everyone always says “Polian is as good as any G.M. ”

    thats so far from the truth. if manning got hurt their team would be horrible. their whole team is build around 1 player. i could be the GM of a manning team and would do fine.

    Marlin Jackson, Anthony Gonzalez, Donald Brown, Jerry Hughes…what have these first round picks done for them???

  3. Some of the conditions that Peyton should put on his new contract:

    1) no more Polian
    2) no more Caldwell
    3) no more soft defensive schemes
    4) immediate rebuilding of the O and D lines

  4. Hey, Mike McCarthy has been trying to implement a Zone Blocking System in Green Bay since 2007.

    He still hasn’t figured it out.

  5. As a Rams fan, I’m happy that this year’s draft class seems to be working out pretty well as a whole (maybe excepting Mardy Gilyard, but, whatever). It’s a nice change of pace from the last four or five years…

  6. There’s a long line of miscues actually but I’m still looking at the release of Ryan Lilja as being one of the biggest gaffs of the off-season.

    Meanwhile Kansas City, Lilja’s new team, is leading the league in rushing. Coincidence? I think not. o_O

    I don’t understand all of the lip service every year about “running the ball more” and “getting better up front”.

    The only two new linemen they bothered to bring in this year were journeyman Adam Terry and rookie Jacques McClendon from Tennessee.

    The only two legit tackles on the roster are Ryan Diem and Charlie Johnson so if either of them suffers an injury, Indianapolis is completely screwed.

    Sorry Polian but this is on you dude… where’s the beef?!?!?!?

  7. The slow decline of the Colts. All good things always come to an end. Hope you Peyton-will -never-do-wrong nut-huggers enjoyed the ride. I’m lovin’ it.

  8. it’s stuff like this that makes me so impressed with the patriots organization. under belichick they have had one dynasty and they look poised to start another one. they have such a young defense that is only going to get better. and as many have mentioned, this upcoming draft they have a lot of high draft picks (though they will probably trade them all over the place like usual). the patriots have realized that tom brady is the guy to build around and have given him the offensive line to operate throughout his career. and now that peyton doesn’t have one, he looks like jake delhomme. tough break peyton.

  9. Anybody else surprised that he could say that about a player currently on his roster? That just seems irresponsible, unprofessional, and quite stupid to be honest.

    If Polian thinks Hughes is a mistake, then talk him up saying that he is learning from two of the best DE’s in the league and trade him while the gettin’ is still good. Hughes might have hit on his wife, or called his mama fat in which this is OK, but no matter how you look at this scenario Polian opening his mouth has done more damage than if he would have kept his thoughts to himself.

  10. also, that’s cold as ice to throw a rookie under the bus. the jury is out on him, and while bill polian has never been one to hold back on blaming the offensive line or blaming everyone but peyton, to go and say you regret picking this guy already can’t do much for mr. hughes. it’s nice to see this thing fall apart. he made one good draft pick and that was peyton manning. the rest is very average. but when you have a great qb he can mask all those kinds of problems. why did peyton have so many comebacks last year? because they were down in so many games. if you’re winning your games like the patriots did last night or like they did against the steelers, you don’t have glorious 4th quarter comebacks.

  11. “Polian is as good as any G.M. at finding the right players for the Colts system.”

    And that may still be right. After all, Jerry Hughes is a perfect fit for the Indy defensive system. He can’t play defence just like the rest of them.

  12. Polian ripped the heart out of The Colts against the Jets last year when “Super Bowls are more important than history or perfection” was in acted. It ripped the hearts out of the players and the fans and things have not been the same since. Instead of perfection, history, a Super Bowl and shutting the 72 Dolphins up for ever, the Colts get the super bowl curse. For that Polian is at more blame in my opinion than any poor draft choices.

  13. Hughes could be amazing in the NFL but he’s never going to get a chance to play in Indy. Why draft a DE 1st round when you got Freeney and Mathis?

  14. shaggeez

    I have to agree with your post as much as I dislike the Pats, what you say is true, including trading all those draft choices because this is going to be one of the weakest drafts in history and genius Bill knows that too.

  15. I wondered why a 4-3 team would draft a 3-4 OLB. Now I know. It was from stupidity. Trade him to KC for a 5th rounder in the offseason and write it down as a loss. We need someone to rush the passer, opposite Tamba Hali.

  16. They took the best player on the board, instead of a need. You can’t fault him for that. It just so happens the BPA was a position where the Colts have 2 very good players.

  17. axltcu says:
    Dec 7, 2010 2:21 PM
    Hughes could be amazing in the NFL but he’s never going to get a chance

    Did you watch the superbowl last year?

    With either one injured they had zero pass rush. This was a move for depth. Brees was doing his taxes then finding option #4 on every pattern.

    And to others… he’s not specifically saying Hughes was a mistake he’s saying going OL at that spot was the move he should have made.

    He’s done a good job as G.M. but has missed in the first round a bit too often lately. No team could have depth sufficient to withstand the sheer number of injuries this year.

    Including the Pats everyone seems to think are now Superbowl champs. Anyone remember them playing the Browns?

    People are so reactionary it’s comical really.

  18. Polian still may have been gun-shy trading up in the 2nd round, and whiffing badly on Tony Ugoh. Some of the recent OL drafted by this franchise have been pretty underwhelming (Ugoh, Pollak, Steve Justice, Toudouze, and so on). Of course, probably the best OL they drafted (since Lilja was undrafted) in the last 6-7 seasons was left to walk a couple seasons back (Jake Scott). Replacing, or attempting to, replace Lilja with Linkenbach hasn’t worked.

    As for Jerry Hughes, I was cheering this pick when it happened. I still see it paying off down the line. Look what Reggie Wayne did his first couple seasons, or didn’t do, as to evidence that’s it’s ok to sit behind professionals and learn how to be one.

  19. Why the admonition? The player has been on the team for less than one season and already the genius has decided he was a bad pick? Not everyone develops on the schedule of your expectations, Mr. Polian.

    Polian’s biggest mistake was taking the starters out of the Jets game last year. Because at the time the team was undefeated which is the penultimate achievement for any NFL team.

    What Polian said to the Colts team was I don’t care about a perfect season or the team reaching any personal goals. I only want you to win when I want you to win. Just play good enough to lose in the Superbowl. It tends to throw water on one’s enthusiasm for making the maximum effort. But since I don’t like the Colts through no fault of their own, I am glad Polian the Genius is working in Indianapolis.

    Fire Goodell.

  20. I admire PoLIEan’s draft acumen over the past several years, but why do this to a guy who is still active on your team?

  21. adx321 says:
    “Including the Pats everyone seems to think are now Superbowl champs. Anyone remember them playing the Browns?”

    and then:

    “People are so reactionary it’s comical really.”


    hahahaha at you!

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