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Chris Polian says starting linebacker spots are settled

First of all, big props to teej813 for creating a YouTube video capturing a recent interview with Colts General Manager Chris Polian. The interview was done pre-mini-camp, but it offers a wealth of great information on how management feels the team is growing, and what players they seem excited about.

I'm embedding the video after the jump, but please take a moment to go to teej813's FanPost and rec it.

Before we get into the details of the interview, it's interesting that we have seen much more of Chris this off-season than Bill. Obviously, Bill is "The Man." He runs the show in Indianapolis and answers to no one, save owner Jim Irsay. However, with Chris' promotion to General Manager, we have seen a much more visible presence of the younger Polian on TV and radio.

In general, this is a good thing. Based on this interview, Chris Polian comes off a a calmer, gentler Polian 2.0 in comparison to his father.

After the jump, we will discuss the highlights of Chris Polian's sitdown with Jeffery Gorman, including the news that players like Pat Angerer pretty much have zero chance of starting Week One at any of the linebacker spots, unless there is an injury.

The main topic Gorman focused on with Chris Polian was the NFL Draft. Gorman went through each player taken, and Chris Polian offered his thoughts:

  • Jerry Hughes: Big motor, highly productive player. Colts were excited to get him. "Can never have enough at a certain position. Pass rusher is certainly one of them, especially when you look at all the games that are won and lost in the fourth quarter in the NFL closing out against the pass." Editor's Note: Like, say, the Super Bowl?
  • Pat Angerer: Seems to view Angerer as a MIKE or WILL backer. Pat's role will be as back-up MIKE. 
  • Kevin Thomas: Colts sees big things for Thomas next year when he, hopefully, recovers from his knee injury.
  • Jacques McClendon: Colts scouts pushed hard for Polians to draft McClendon.
  • Brody Eldridge: Bigger body type than Colts usually use at TE.
  • Ricardo Mathews: Chris Polian not sure if he will play DE or DT.
  • Kavell Conner: Energetic player. Will contribute on special teams and develop as a back-up.
  • Ray Fisher: Dynamic playmaker as a returner. Impressed with his development at corner his senior year at IU.

Chris Polian also elaborated on several undrafted players, like Javarris James, Brandon King, Brandon James, and Vuna Tuihalamaka. Chris Polian spoke highly of all three. Chris thinks the competition at the returner spots is one of the most important this off-season.

Chris was also very complementary of Blair White, the WR from Michigan State. The Colts did not expect him to make it through the draft without getting taken. Tim Hiller was also discussed, and Chris Polian said that his transition from a spread offense to the Colts offense is key for Hiller to stick around in a blue and white jersey.

Another key point Chris made when he was discussing Kavell Conner was the status of the starting linebacking corps:

"Obviously, our frontline linebacker spots are settled right now. So, [Kavell's] going to have a chance to develop and contribute on special teams, and his skills should translate very well there."

Those of you expecting to see Kavell Conner or Pat Angerer starting at WILL or SAM in 2010, your expectations just got squashed. Obviously, injuries can change everything, but based on what Chris Polian is telling us now, the Colts feel that Clint Session, Gary Brackett, and Philip Wheeler are the starters. Every other linebacker on the roster is a back-up. Maybe that changes between now and September, but I don't think it will and neither does Chris Polian.

Once again, thanks to teej813 for making this video available.