I listened to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN yesterday on 1070 the Fan's The Grady & Big Joe show with hosts Mike Grady and Joe Stasniak, and some interesting ideas were suggested. Mike Grady posed a question to Kuharsky: Who in the Colts organization is under the most pressure in 2011? Is it Kerry Collins? Jim Caldwell? Who?
Kuharsky's answer is... interesting.
Paul Kuharsky: How about Bill Polian? How about Chris Polian?
Mike Grady: That was brought up quite a bit yesterday.
PK: I think they under-estimated the injury, and that's understandable to a degree when you're told six to eight weeks ad its been significantly longer. But, it was floated out there that they inquired about Hasselbeck at the beginning of free agency. I think that's some white-washing there. You go from going after the best free agent quarterback on the market, who clearly is going to get a starting job somewhere, to waiting until two weeks before the season and signing Kerry Collins. There's a lot of space and time between there. What were you doing then? I don't think they've handled it well in terms of being prepared.
In case you can't see through the coded language, 'pressure' is the same thing as 'job security.'
Now, in my now two-year 'crusade' to apparently bash Bill Polian every chance I can get (or, so my haters say), I've never advocated for his dismissal. I've always been cautious before openly calling for regime change. Like it or not, Polian's track record from 1998-2006, in terms of draft picks, was extremely impressive. From 2007 to now, it's been a train wreck, and it was at or around 2007 that Chris Polian, Bill's son, started assuming more control within the organization.
From what I know, it was Chris who put together the trade for Tony Ugoh. Jon Michael Vincent of 1070 the Fan in Tndy told me a few days ago that Chris conveyed to him that the Ugoh trade was his biggest regret.
Really? No sh*t.
Most general managers get fired for a screw-up like that. I'm going to assume the reason Chris wasn't terminated had something to do with the fact that he and the then-team president shared the same gene pool.
Anyway, that an ESPN beat writer is openly talking about there being pressure on the Polians suggests that the normally complicit media is starting to grow a bit of a spine. Personally, I always think this front office should have pressure on them. They've gotten to comfortable, too cushy in their jobs. And despite the fact that they helped bring a trophy to Indianapolis, the fact is people will always wonder 'What if?' should the Colts not win another Super Bowl with a healthy Peyton Manning.
And, let's all be honest folks, the Colts front office really botched this off-season.
- They waited to long to jump into free agency
- They blew it not re-signing Charlie Johnson, a player they could really use right now
- They cut too many quality players from their roster, like Tommie Harris and Kyle DeVan
- They waited far too long to get a veteran quarterback as a back-up
- They kept Curtis Painter on this roster, again
- They kept Jerry Hughes and Donald Brown over better, more productive players
So, yes. I agree with Paul. I think there is significant pressure on this front office. We already know that Donald Brown and Jerry Hughes are busts, having been relegated to the third string. Third year DT Fili Moala isn't anything to get excited about (his backup, Drake Nevis, is already better), and the Colts have too much money invested in Gary Brackett.
One of the 'silver-lining' aspects of the Peyton Manning injury is that we will finally see what kind of team the Colts REALLY are. Everyone says the Colts a a six win team without Peyton. Well, if they are, then the Polians should definitely be fired. They are not paid to provide No. 18 with 'six win' talent. Any jackhole in the league can do that. The Polians are paid to surround Peyton with Super Bowl-winning talent. And if they cannot do that, they should be shown the door.
We'll see what kind of talent this team truly has over the next few weeks.
[UPDATE]: Some just tweeted this to me, and I agree 100%:
no, the Polians will just blame it on Caldwell
Should the Colts miss the layoffs this year, I agree. This is especially true if the lose games badly. The Polians will scapegoat Caldwell the way they scapegoated Jim Mora in 2001.