I've intentionally avoided Bill Polian as an analyst for ESPN for the simple fact that the man is full of it. I heard positive reviews of him following the network's draft coverage, but after two years of listening to his radio call-in show every Monday night and documenting every single statement the man made, I feel I'm a bit of an authority on Bill Polian's penchant for shoveling mounds of cow dung in your face and expecting you to accept it as the truth based solely on his win-loss record.
Recently, Peter King (who always had tremendous access to Polian in Indianapolis) published some statements from the former Colts president regarding the NFL extending the trade deadline. Polian said that had the trade deadline been extended last season to Week 8 (which is what owners are currently discussing now as a future option), Indy would likely have sent a 3rd round pick to Denver in exchange for QB Kyle Orton. By that time last year, Orton had been benched, and Tim Tebow was inserted as the starter. Orton, in Polian's mind, would have saved Indianapolis' season.
Just like Mike Florio at PFT seems to think, Bill Polian is now just making this crap up as he goes along.
Around league circles, many think Bill and Chris Polian (who is Bill's son and was, at one point, the Colts general manager) intentionally tanked the 2011 season just to give the franchise a chance to draft Andrew Luck. Interestingly, the moment that many became convinced this was the case was November 23rd, 2011. That was the day the Broncos cut Kyle Orton (the guy Polian is now stating was worth a 3rd round pick). The Colts could have put in a waiver claim for the former Purdue standout, and would have gotten him. Indy was 0-10 at the time, and at the top of the waiver claim list.
November 23rd came and went. No claim from the Colts. Orton landed with the Chiefs. That was Week 10, during the Colts bye week. The perfect time to bring in a new QB and help him learn the offense.
Today, ole Bill is saying a 3rd round pick for a backup like Orton (whose contract was expiring at the end of 2011) would have been a good move. This from a man who openly taunted detractors of Curtis Painter on his weekly radio show. Today, Bill is singing something different. In the Peter King article, Polian states that, "In Week 6, we knew our quarterback situation wasn’t great, but after a couple more weeks, we realized the situation was bad."
Welllllllllllllllllllllllll then, let's go back to Week Six of 2011, shall we? On his radio show following a 27-17 loss to the Bengals, Bill Polian was publicly on the CP7 bandwagon. He stated that the loss was not Painter's fault. He even defended Painter's play and took frustration out on fans by claiming they unfairly criticized Curtis during Week 16 of 2009. In fact, Polian all but threw his team's defense under the bus on that show:
'I don't want to point fingers, but we're last in the league at getting off field on 3rd down.'
It's also worth noting that, by Week Six, Painter had only been the starter for three games. He took over for Kerry Collins, who sustained a "concussion" (I put that in quotes because no one truly believes Collins got hurt Week Three against the Steelers), but wasn't named the starter until Week Four against Tampa Bay.
So, three games, and you think your QB situation "wasn't great," Bill? That's not what you said publicly at the time, and since you could have had Orton for nothing in Week 10 (when your team was still winless), I'm pretty much just gonna come out and say Polian lied to Peter King about that whole trading for Orton nonsense. If he didn't, then firing Bill Polian was a brilliant move by Jim Irsay, because at some point Bill Polian's brain was replaced with Matt Millen's.
3rd rounder for Orton. Good grief.