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Florio at PFT calls out Bill Polian for his continued complaining
Posted by Mike Florio on October 2, 2008, 12:29 p.m. EDT
We’ve had a chance to take a closer look at the Bill Polian interview containing some candid remarks about Titans quarterback Vince Young. And we’ve concluded that we need to start reading each week’s version of “The Polian Corner,” since the Colts G.M. will drop from time to time some noteworthy nuggets.
For example, a reader pointed out that Polian has attempted to deflect blame from the team for the fact that run defense is suffering due to the absence of two starting tackles.
“Our problem this year is we do not have two Pro Bowl caliber defensive tackles playing for us,” Polian said. “That’s through no fault of our own. We had two, Quinn Pitcock and Ed Johnson – Quinn, a third-round draft choice, and Ed a collegiate free agent – who played very well for us last year and of course, we were ranked second in the league in defense last year. We don’t have either of those men there now through no fault of our own.”
Through no fault of our own? Seriously?
Johnson was an undrafted free agent because of off-field concerns that prompted no team to use a draft pick on him. The Colts opted to add him to the team and to put him on a short leash. They knew going in that he might get in trouble, and their efforts to keep him from getting in trouble failed. So how do they have no blame that they made the guy a starter at a time when they knew there was a chance he’d do something that would get him fired?
As for Pitcock, we realize that the draft process is inexact, but we’d like to think that due diligence might have yielded at least a clue that Pitcock didn’t have a true passion to play pro football. As we hear it, he nearly quit as a rookie. So when the Colts went through the 2008 offseason knowing that Johnson was a bag of weed away from getting cut and that Pitcock might decide to pursue another line of work, the Colts should have had a better backup plan in place.
Polian also danced on the line of drawing a fine (in our opinion) when talking about game officials and the team’s communications with the league office regarding disputed calls, and about his views generally on officiating.
“We did call the league office,” Polian said regarding the pass interference call that eventually delivered a late win by Jacksonville over Indianapolis. “We both called and sent our officiating critique in. We got the results back. I think it’s fair to say the only people less popular than Wall Street executives in this building are NFL officials. That tells you where we were, but bottom line: there isn’t a darned thing you can do about it. You have to adjust to how the officials call the game. Some crews call it differently than others. . . .
“In short, people are committing as many fouls. There just aren’t as many being called and that tilts the field in the wrong way in my opinion. That’s not a criticism of officials. It’s a disagreement with an officiating philosophy that has been espoused publicly by many people and privately by others. . . .
“I can assure you there was no apology made. That’s probably all I should day, because the Commissioner sent a memo out Monday reminding everyone of the integrity of those telephone calls and communications that take place. My focus right now is not on that game, but on the philosophy of officiating. There is a philosophy basically that says, ‘Call Nothing,’ or, ‘Call Only That Which is Blatantly Obvious.’ I think in the end what that does is hurt the game in the long run. It tilts the playing field far too much in favor of those that break the rules and use illegal tactics and at the same time causes players to engage in tactics in retribution for fouls that they would otherwise not do. That brings the level of play and the level of discipline down.”
Finally, Polian’s assessment of the Titans could be interpreted by some as an attempt at making an excuse based on injuries. “They are the best team in this division right now,” Polian said of the Titans, “because they are healthier by a lot than we are.”
But injuries should never be an excuse. Especially not from the team’s G.M. Because when injuries are regarded as an excuse by the organization, the players will rely on the excuse as well.
Every team suffers injuries. Part of the challenge of the sport is to have the depth to overcome the absence of guys who otherwise would be starting.
The Titans are thriving despite the fact that Pacman Jones and Vince Young aren’t doing anything to help the team.
Through no fault of their own.
He refuses to take responsibility for drafting players who have no passion for football or some serious character issues, cries about officiating nearly two weeks after the game is over and even after the league apparently told him to quite his bellyaching because the calls were right, and then he uses the "out of my control" and injury cards to explain why another team is leading the division, and in general shows his uncanny knack for taking credit when things are up and deflecting blame when things are down.