Hey look! The artist formally known as BigBlueShoe has posted two Bill Polian-related articles in one week! Clearly, he's suffering from withdrawal.
However, unlike my previous articles starring the infamous, redheaded prognosticator, we won't use this as a vehicle to bash him (must... resist... urge...). Instead, we will highlight something Bill said this week, as it is rather timely.
As you are all aware, the Colts secondary kind of stinks. It's also pretty obvious that management knows it stinks. They reportedly wanted to draft Casey Hayward in the third round (but were thwarted by Green Bay). They traded for Cassius Vaughn, and they have been sending fruit baskets and love letters to Jerry Jones, practically begging the Cowboys owner to package disgruntled corner Mike Jenkins to the Hoosier State. So far, Jones isn't interested (the fruit baskets probably weren't his thing).
As I wrote earlier today, all this activity doesn't reflect well on Kevin Thomas, Chris Rucker, and (on some level) Jerraud Powers. These three men are the presumed starting corners for the Colts defense, and if management had faith that each of them were reliable players the team could depend on for 2012, we probably wouldn't be reading about all these other moves.
A reader posted a comment in an article earlier this week (and apologies to that reader, but I can't remember your name) about Bill Polian and a statement he made on his SIRIUS NFL radio show, co-hosted by FOX Sports' Alex Marvez. I received confirmation from SIRIUS today, and the statement the reader referred to is as such:
Bill Polian told listeners on the Tuesday edition of his SIRIUS NFL radio show that the only corner currently on the Colts roster that can play man-to-man coverage is Jerraud Powers.
Yeah, that sinking feeling you have in your gut right now? I have it too.
Now, I'm assuming Polian was not including new Colts corners Cassius Vaughn and Korey Lindsey into his evaluation. Polian does know a little something about Powers, Rucker, and Thomas. He drafted all three of them, and he likely did so thinking they were better Cover-2 corners than Man corners. The Colts ran a base Tampa-2, 4-3 defense for much of Polian's tenure in Indianapolis. With the Colts shifting to a base 3-4 defense this year, the need for corners to cover man-to-man is critical. The Colts will be blitzing more in 2012. Blitzing means fewer players in coverage. Fewer players means the guys on the outside must lock down their man.
If they don't, it's likely a big play for the offense.
According to Polian, the only corner who can do this for the Colts is Powers. This was an assessment that, when I brought it to Powers' attention on Twitter, was a bit of a surprise to him.
@StampedeBlue lol he said that seriously?— Jerraud Powers (@JPowers25) June 1, 2012
Yes, he said that.
Now, I'll clarify what I meant when I wrote earlier that, one some level, the Colts don't have a lot of faith in Powers. I like Jerraud Powers, and I think he is a fine corner. However, the reality is the guy is injury prone. In three seasons, he's never been able to start in more than twelve games. He missed four due to injury in '09, six in '10, and four more in '11. He just cannot stay on the field. That's a concern, especially since, you know, he's the only corner who can cover on this whole team!
I know that some of you feel that 2012 is going to be another bad season, and, thus, who cares if the secondary sucks? I'm here to tell you right now that the Colts themselves (from the owner on down) expect playoffs. The franchise is having trouble selling tickets. If they endure another 2-14 record, or if they are out of the playoff picture by November, there will be blackouts locally. Guaranteed. If that happens, the Colts will likely see an even bigger dip in season ticket sales.
This will make the franchise look terrible, and it will reinforce the perception that Indiana fans are flaky and fair weather.
Ownership and management know this is something that CANNOT happen. Thus, they are trying to make moves to improve the problem areas. Right now, cornerback is THE problem area, and the franchise appears desperate to get it fixed.