We've already posted two pretty substantial transcribed segments from Colts president Bill Polian's interview with 1070 The Fan radio personality John Michael Vincent (JMV) yesterday. In this article, we cover the rest of the interview highlights.
Once again, I cannot say enough positive things about how JMV handled this interview. He did not sugar coat questions or shy away from difficult issues. If more 1070 radio people conducted interviews like this (yeah, I'm talking to you Dan Dakich), the station would provide a better overall service to its listeners.
Regarding Polian, let me say right off the bat that many of the team president's statements are going to flat piss you off if you are expecting any kind of accountability for the 2010 season. According to Bill, he is happy with the defense, thinks Jim Caldwell has 'done terrifically' as the Colts coach, doesn't understand the criticism regarding the timeout, thinks Peyton Manning's reaction to the timeout is 'immaterial,' and doesn't care what fans think or say.
Yep, a fun interview if you like listening to someone tell you nothing is wrong as the water rises above your ankles on a sinking ship.
If I seem a bit edgy, I beg forgiveness. I get very testy when I hear Bill Polian essentially say that my opinion, as a fan, doesn't matter.
Polian on the 2010 season:
I think but for the coverage for the kickoff, you would have to say that everything, all things considered, this team over-achieved. I said that at the end of the regular season that there is no level of disappointment. They gave everything they could give. The coaches did a magnificent job preparing them.
If you look at all the misfortune that we had over the course of the season, you would have to say that this team gave all it had and achieved about all that could be expected of it. Maybe more.
While discussing the kick coverage screw-up, Polian stopped mid-sentence to offer this:
By the way, that was not Jerry Hughes’ fault. A couple of people have, friends have called me and said that people are claiming that it was Jerry Hughes’ fault. It was not Jerry Hughes’ fault. Somebody looked at television and saw Jerry inside the return lane, and that’s not the case at all. He was where he was supposed to be.
In case you care, those 'couple of people' Polian is referring to are ESPN's Paul Kuharsky and me. In Paul's case, he didn't say Hughes was not where he was supposed to be on the coverage with less than 53 seconds left . He simply questioned Hughes' effort on the play which, when you look at the video, leaves a lot to be desired.
Polian continues to explain Jim Caldwell's now-infamous timeout:
Well, first of all, I guess that it presumes that those that are critical of it presume that the Jets were going to run the ball, and that isn’t the case at all. They were not going to have their field goal kicker kick a 56-yard FG. They were going to try and throw the ball. At that point in that position on the field, given Cromartie’s return, assuming that they were going to throw the ball, which, in fact, they did, we then only had one choice. That was to be in the right defense to effect a sack, a sack-fumble, or an interception. Or, perhaps, a couple of incompletitions. We presumed, correctly, that they were going to throw the ball and then they would have one timeout left to get the FG team on the field.
So, Jim wanted to make sure we had the right people on the field, A), and B) we were in the right defense to try and create enough pressure to either cause an incompletion or, more importantly, to get a sack or a fumble on an INT that would ice the game. So, to me, that was exactly the right call. That was strategically what we needed to do. I was, frankly, surprised at the criticism. And even though I don’t read or listen to a lot of what goes on, what essentially has been told to me is that people assume that the Jets would have run the ball on the ensuing downs, and I flatly reject that.
Again, as we said following Polian's radio show Monday night, this explanation is not the one Jim Caldwell gave when he was asked about the timeout after the game and on Sunday morning.
Polian on Peyton Manning's reaction to Jim Caldwell's timeout:
I didn’t see it, and it doesn’t matter to me. That’s just, that’s immaterial. That has nothing to do with anything.
Polian on Jim Caldwell's effectiveness as head coach in 2010:
I think he's done terrifically.
Polian also spoke well of defensive backs coach Alan Williams.
Polian on fans expressing dissatisfaction with Caldwell:
I have never put much stock in that. I try and make our own decisions based on upon what I think our team can achieve, what it’s capable of, and what we actually achieve. And, as I said, I believe we over-achieved this year. There are people who take the position, and they’ve been encouraged to do it over the time that I’ve been here by certain people in the media, that if you don’t win the Super Bowl somebody’s head needs to roll. That’s a completely off kilter, off-center way to approach things. Now, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and I recognize that, and I’m not denigrating that, but some opinions are worth more than others, and you do have to be realistic.
In this particular case, it over achieved. And I think last year we did more than we probably capable of too.
If there is criticism, I don’t hear it. I don’t think Jim Caldwell does either. And I certainly wouldn’t pay any attention to it.
Polian on how the Organization is moving forward this offseason:
The organization is working as though we’re going to play football, and OTAs will begin in 3 months. I’m working on a separate track for “what if”, “what if”, “what if”, “what if”, and that list of “what ifs” is long, but that’s one that I’m working on, and everybody else is working from the premise that we’re going to have a football season as normal, including a normal off-season.
Polian on the Colts having Bob Sanders back in 2011:
That’s one of those "what ifs". You have to determine A ) health, and that’s probably, the answer to that will come shortly. And then you have to determine where you are with respect to salary cap management, assuming there’s a salary cap going forward, acceleration, all those kinds of things. So that’s one of those "what ifs" that I have to deal with and I’m not there yet, but it’s more of a "what if" question than it is a health question.
Translation: So long, Bob.
Polian on Austin Collie's health:
He’s doing OK. Dr. Foyer is guardedly optimistic, Austin is quite optimistic. His symptoms cleared before the Jet game, which is a good thing. I do think we do have to look at helmet technology with him. That’s one what if that we’ll deal with going forward, and we won’t really know until A) Dr. Foyer clears him and B) he gets on the field in a real ballgame, what the long-term prognosis is. But right now everybody here is optimistic and hopeful he’ll be back with us.
Polian on the labor situation extending into the 2011 season:
The odds of endangering the Super Bowl I think are almost non-existent. The odds of something extending into the preseason and on into the regular season I can’t calculate because I don’t know what the union’s position is, and it would be foolish of me to do so.
Polian on Manning's contract negotiations:
I never put a timetable on these things, and these sort of breathless updates have no real relevance to the process. When and if it is time to get done it’ll get done. We’re going to make every effort to see that that’s the case. Both sides recognize that we want him here, and I’m sure he wants to be here. We recognize what the marketplace is, so we’ll get at it, and we’ll get it done.
Polian on Reggie Wayne being upset after the Jets loss:
I don’t pay any attention to guys being upset after a ballgame. I’m upset too, everybody is. It happens.
Polian on whether he'll ever start using Twitter:
Never. I almost never say never, but this is a never.
Polian on whether technology is good in the NFL?
I’m not a big fan of the kind of technology we have now. ..It’s a new world to me. I’m somewhat technology clued-in when it comes to accessing information, but sharing it in the way that Facebook and Twitter does is not my thing. I don’t mind the players doing it, so long as it doesn’t impinge on the integrity of the preparation or the football team. In many respects I’d rather that there was radio silence, but that’s not the world we live in. I subscribe to the old Paul Brown adage "when you win say little, when you lose say even less."
<sarcasm> A shocking answer. Truly shocking. </sarcasm>
Polian on Jim Irsay using Twitter:
My boss can do whatever he wants.
Polian on Chris Polian’s job so far:
All of the roster manipulation that took place this season is in large measure almost entirely his, and Tom Telesco, our very capable Director of Player Personnel so they’ve got their hand firmly on the levers and they’ve done a great job and I expect that to continue.
Polian also stated, when asked about evaluating the team for next year, that he felt the defense was in 'pretty good shape.' The offense, however, needs help with 'depth, quality of starters, age,' and 'injury.'
Again, this is a direct quote:
I feel pretty good where we are defensively.
Obviously, all this is a lot to take in. Please offer your opinions as I sit here and stew for a bit.