While frustrating, the injuries incurred by the Colts this season may end up as a blessing. Like last year, when the Colts had to gut out so many wins because of a bad regular season defense, the injuries this season have forced Indy to play with a similar resolve. It's also helped build some very stable depth, particularly on defense. Despite the loss of Dwight Freeney, the sack numbers have gone up for the Colts. Guys like Pitcock, Dawson, Charleston, and Josh Thomas are getting to the QB and causing havoc.
If you look at this past off-season, this might be the best job Bill Polian has done. Think about it: What was his knock as a GM? He couldn't win it all. After winning the Super Bowl, you'd think he'd sit back on his laurels. Thankfully for us, he didn't. Polian's 2007 draft might be the best of his career. Anthony Gonzalez is rounding into a very good WR. Tony Ugoh is a stud. Quinn Pitcock and Keyunta Dawson have beaten out established veterans for time in the d-line rotation. Before he landed on IR, Dante Hughes was the third best corner on the team. Michael Coe blocked a punt last weekend, and Clint Sessions started at WILL LBer for a few weeks and had several big plays. As far as undrafted free agents, DT Ed Johnson might have been Polian's greatest find. Johnson has been a rock at DT, making neurotic fans like me forget all about Corey "Captain Cheeseburger" Simon.
With players like McFarland, Freeney, Harrison, and Glenn either getting IRed, injured for long stretches, or retiring it has given the young players the opportunity to develop and grow. And along the way their record stands at 11-2. Last year this time, with Marvin, Booger, Dwight, and Tarik all healthy, the Colts were 11-4 and limping into the playoffs. This has been a masterful job by Polian, and it's a damn shame he will not get sniffed for Executive of the Year.