The following are excerpts from Polian's pre-draft press conference. There were so many good quotes, I found it hard to exclude them, so I recommend skimming the whole post. Polian mostly covered talk of the draft, but also mentioned a bit about the current roster.
First, Polian sums up his philosophy about the draft:
Every pick counts, whether it's #1 or the last supplemental pick.
He illustrates this by continuing:
The following players were starters on our 2nd Super Bowl team - Jeff Saturday, Charlie Johnson, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Jacob Tamme (our best special teams player), Jamey Richard, Eric Foster, Antoine Bethea, Melvin Bullitt, Jacob Lacey, Keytuna Dawson, Clint Session, Pro-Bowler Robert Mathis - all second-day players or collegiate free agents. It's about the entire process, not just the first round.
We're gonna take the best football player available to us, regardless of position. When you reach for need, you make a mistake.
Our draft management strategy might include trading up or down, more likely down.
I also see that he's adopted Jim Caldwell's favorite phrase:
[In the new draft-day process,] we'll have a whole day to busy ourselves and make calls, cause mischief and things of that nature.
On trading up or down:
We've let the people behind us know that in the right set of circumstances we're perfectly willing to entertain going down. We have less ammunition to move up, so we're less likely to do so.
On what the Colts' needs are:
I don't make a "needs list." You rule out certain positions. Unless a great Running Back fell to you, it's probably not an area we'd look strongly at. I think we're pretty good at Tight End. Obviously we're pretty good at Wide Receiver, but if a great one was there we wouldn't hesitate the pull the trigger. You can never have enough defensive depth so anywhere on the defensive board we'd strike. Offensive line depth is something you look at, but my personal belief is - contrary to perception - this is not a deep offensive line draft.
Judging human beings is not easy to do and you're going to make mistakes in the process.
On those players who were released:
In Raheem's case, the decision was mutual - he felt like he needed a change of scenery and we felt he was probably right. In Sorgi's case and Ryan's case, there were injury situations that complicated or clouded the future going forward. In both cases I hope they're 100% fine.
The talks with Bethea's agent are amicable and ongoing.
On a rumored signing:
We did not sign Xavier Odom;* he failed our physical.
*LovinBlue's note: I only heard the name "Xavier" and assume he was talking about RB Xavier Odom. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
On how Polian thinks this year's draft picks will perform:
I don't get in the business of being an oracle; I have a hard time trying to get them lined up on the board. The maximum number of draftable players is 135, maybe 115.
On the speculation of the Colts getting bigger on the offensive line:
I would say no to that. I've never said that. I don't know anybody around here who has. We have not deviated one iota from our formula - we need to be athletic, we need to be smart, we need to be physical. I think we have players here who fit that mold.
On the schedule:
We'll show up. We'll be on time. We'll play who they tell us to play.
On Peyton's return from neck surgery:
Yeah, he's back and doing fine.
Yeah, Bob's fine. I met with him about 10 days ago and spoke with him soon thereafter and he feels good, he's making progress, we checked him stem to stern and he was fine. So we're excited and he is too.
I don't know that Gonzo's 100% yet but there's no anticipation that he won't be.
On the location of training camp:
It's quite muddled at this point, so I think it will be a little further down the road before we have an announcement on that.