Usually, I'm pretty resistant to most players, coaches, gms, ect. on critism especially when they deserve it. I'm not a huge fan of Pollian's personality, or how he treats some people. BUT, he does not deserve any critisism for the way the season went. I'll explain more after the jump.
Let's start with Pollian. I'll start with the easiest thing to disprove really. Peyton Manning didn't thank Pollian after winning the division. Really? You know, he also didn't thank Jim Irsay, does that mean he hates him too? Drew Brees didn't thank his GM, nor did Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler. Wow. All those GMs just must suck, and everyone hates them. When you win something, everyone thanks teams, coaches, fans, ect. Hardly anyone thanks everyone. If you made a list of people QBs don't thank when they get a play off spot, that would be a very long pointless list.
Now onto he did a crappy job making our roster, and didn't fix our Oline, ect. You want to know how many players played every game? 18. 19 if you don't count Painter, and 20 if McAffe doesn't get suspended. That's more then half the roster. And just as an added note, if you want our ST coach fired, name 7 guys on the kickoff team without looking and I'm all for it. ST is the first thing to suffer from injuries. The back ups who usually have to play ST, now start, and their back ups do STs usually. See where I'm going with this? Yeah sure, it's easy to say, just tell them to stay in their gap or lane, and teach them to tackle. Didn't we also say that about Gilbert Gardener? Football is a hard sport. It is hard to teach people who probably shouldn't be playing football, and just to teach them. If it was that easy to teach people how to run fast, tackle, stay in gaps, ect. you would just sign college players, and teach them to play and they'd be great right? Wrong, that's why some people are busts. There are just some people who can't play fooball, and can't be taught how to play, so that would explain why our 5th string back ups suck, and shouldn't be playing, unless we have to play them.
Now onto the OL arguement. Let me just say this, next year, the Colts will have a much better O line. It amazes me how much people expect things to be fixed as soon as possible. Ask the St. Louis Rams fans. You think they want things fixed initially? Of course, but they realize that it won't happen. Over the last 3 years, our OL was destroyed. Glenn retired, Ryan Diem regressed very rapidly, CJ was forced to the LT position when he is a guard(BIG DIFFRENCE), Lilja was cut, for the reason that he was injured, and he failed a physical. The fact he's now playing like a pro bowler right now is amazing. Reasons players usually fail physicals are usually very serious injuries. There was no way of knowing that he would overcome it and play better. The future of our OL is most likely here. On the Bill Pollian show awhile ago, he said publically he was very sure that McClendon(4th round this year) and Jamie Thomas(huh?) will be starters next year. If you watched pre seasonn, McClendon is strong... Very... He repeatidly knocked people over, or cleared the way for runners. He just needed to develop. Pollack grew, and got better. DeVan also grew over the year. We could use another tackle, and Pollak can play center, if needed. The OL will get better as young players develop. Oh, and his recent draft *failures*, the last two years have been excellent draft years. Fili Moala, Austin Collie, Jerraurd Powers, Pat McAffe, Jaimie Thomas is a tackle, and is projected to be a starter next year, Lacey was UDFA and good depth, but not a starter, atleast not yet, he might, no way to tell. Brown can run as we saw when he has blockers, but needs to pass block. But CJ2K can't block extremly well, Peyton Hillis is ok, and Arian Foster isn''t great either. But all three are concidered the best in the league, but none have a top QB. Brown has shown some improvement in blocking. He now gets in their was instead of side stepping and trying to push them away without much contact. This years draft, we got Hughes who I'll get to later, Angerer who will develop into a great player, we have no idea how Kevin Thomas will be, McClendon is a projected starter, Eldridge is a nice run blocker, but needs to work on catching skills, Ricardo Matthews has shown flashes of becoming a good player, Ray Fisher was a bust, and Kavell Conner is becoming a really good LB, and makes Session... Not as important. A lot of good players who might become better. Any other complaints comment. And Bill Belicheck treats players and people like crap, yet he's concidered one of the greatest coaches in the NFL.
K onto Hughes. Jerry Hughes quite honestly a bad run stopper. And also quite honestly Freeney and Mathis arn't too great either. Jerry Hughes is mainly a pass rusher, but guess what, so are Freeney and Mathis! So your telling me that a rookie can't beat out two pro bowl DEs for passing down playing time? What a bust... Even Pollian said it, we think we found our 3rd RUSHER, not run D guy. The third rusher is mainly for if one gets hurt, or gassed. Jerry Hughes by my estimation got about 2 or 3 snaps of passing downs a game, and that's being generous. He played 12 games. So basically, he got about 24 passing snaps this season. That sounds like a lot, but really, it's not. It's basically like he played one game of passing downs, and not even Freeney and Mathis get sacks every game. He didn't get a lot of playing time because people like to run against us, which he is not good at, and neither are our other DEs. Dawson and Foster are currently better then Hughes on running plays. That is also usually when if even Mathis or Freeney come out. He got some snaps as a run stopper, but just enough so he knows what to expect next year. So basically, he was fighting for meaningful passing downs, against two pro bowlers, and got about a games snaps in a year. That should be expected. No one comes into the league as the best player, they have to have a few things to succeed.
1.The right system. Check, small, fast, mainly pass rusher
2.Playing time, Nope
3. Opportunity to play, or a need to play, Nope
Those are the most basic, and time to develop of course. My question is for people who still think he's a bust, did you really expect him just to come into a game, without having experience against that tackle, or had enough snaps for him to think to figure out your tendencies before you change them and surprise them, and still get 5 sacks a year? Oh, and BTW, Hughes had a big pressure play against the Bengals, classic spin move and almost got the sack after tripping him up and then Angerer finishing him up, and another sack vs TEN i believe if the refs don't miss a holding call. He's getting some pressure of the little plays you get. Stats tell you the Colts OL is one of the best stats, and we should know that stats don't tell the whole story. There was very little need for him to rush, our DEs were healthy, and putting him in on running downs might just be suicidal, so what's left? Oh STs right? The Jets return, his effort wasn't awful or w.e. you dont sprint 70 yards downfield and be the first one there with no effort. A Jets player literatly fell down in front of him, and he just lost enough speed from trying not to trip to lose the returner. Tripplet seemed more like the culprit. And the notion that you have to be a. good ST player to be good is rediculous. You know what linemen usually do on punt returns? They are the guys who rush the punter usually, and the last guys there if he breaks out there. So he's not getting any tackles there. And kickoffs they are used sparingly. 3rd rusher is very important and not always in on KO where a lot of injuries happen. And on STs is not based on stats at all. As long as you get downfield and stay in your gap and tackle the guy if he gets near after shedding a block, your a good ST players. The fact that Hughes was down there and made the returner change directions, is good. And oh, who's ever gap was on the left side screwed up. Hughes probably wasn't going to get the tackle anyway, with Cromarte speeding up and heading in the opposite direction, he might've tripped him up, or got Cromarte if he hesitated. It was about 50-50 that he'd get the tackle.
That's it, any more complaints just comment. Thanks for reading!