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Thread: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

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    Default Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Kravitz draws connecting line between departure of scouts and coaches, Chris Polian (and strained relations), and the Colts' bad drafting these past few years.

    Kravitz: Who's to blame for 0-8 Colts? Chris Polian, for one

    Written by
    Bob Kravitz



    If I'm properly reading between the lines, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is more committed to staying the course with the Family Polian than he is coach Jim Caldwell.

    Asked this week about both, Irsay thought it was "pretty radical'' to even ask the question about the Polians' future, but when asked about Caldwell, he said, in part, "When it comes to changes and Jim's status, it's something that eight games going forward, more will be revealed. This situation is always changing. But it's really going to be always what's best to give us a chance to win."

    Which leads me to this question: What has Chris Polian done to assure his long-term security?

    I've spoken to several former Colts people in recent weeks, and while none of them will go on the record -- many have non-disclosure agreements and fear public comment will hurt their NFL job prospects -- virtually all of them told me Chris Polian has been a toxic force who has brought this franchise to its knees for reasons other than Peyton Manning's injury.

    This may be Chris Polian's first full year with complete control over the team's daily operations, but since he started moving up the organizational ladder in the early 2000s for no apparent reason other than being a Polian, he has been instrumental in hastening the exits of scouts and assistant coaches who led the Colts to previous greatness.

    The following men were here in 2004 and are no longer here in 2011.

    Scout Tom Gamble, gone after the 2004 season.

    Scout Paul Roell, out after the 2006 draft.

    Director of college scouting Mike Butler, out after the 2006 draft.

    Scout David Caldwell, out in 2007.

    Coordinator of player personnel John Becker, out in 2008.

    Area scout Ryan Cavanaugh, out in 2008.

    Assistant general manager/scouting Dom Anile, pushed out in 2009. Anile was a precious resource as one of the few men who would tell Bill Polian things he didn't want to hear.

    A fairly direct line can be drawn between some of those departures and the decline in the quality of the Colts' drafts.

    In 2007, they drafted (in order): Anthony Gonzalez, Tony Ugoh, Daymeion Hughes, Quinn Pitcock, Brannon Condren, Clint Session, Roy Hall, Michael Coe and Keyunta Dawson.

    In 2008: Mike Pollak, Philip Wheeler, Jacob Tamme, Marcus Howard, Tom Santi, Steve Justice, Mike Hard, Pierre Garcon and Jamey Richard.

    In 2009: Donald Brown, Fili Moala, Jerraud Powers, Austin Collie, Terrance Taylor, Curtis Painter, Pat McAfee, Jaimie Thomas.

    In 2010: Jerry Hughes, Pat Angerer, Kevin Thomas, Jacques McClendon, Brody Eldridge, Ricardo Mathews, Kavell Conner, Ray Fisher.

    Then there are the longtime assistant coaches who left, in some part because of troubled relationships with the Polians, specifically Chris.

    Howard Mudd, the offensive line coach, who left Indy after the 2009 season, returned to the Colts briefly, retired after the Super Bowl loss and then came out of retirement to join Philadelphia. Mudd was thinking about leaving for some time, but when Bill Polian blamed the offensive line for the Super Bowl loss, he knew he wasn't welcome to return.

    Gene Huey, the running backs coach, who was shown the door in 2010.

    Tom Moore, the offensive coordinator, who was gracelessly cast aside without notice or fanfare after the 2010 season. Over time, Moore was cut off at the knees, his voice no longer audible.

    Tell me, what has Chris Polian actually done besides win the genetic lottery? If the Colts were doing a national search for a new general manager right now, would Irsay even glance at Chris Polian if his name was Schwartz or Smith?

    All Colts decisions are made by the entire front office, but I'm told the Ugoh draft, the decision to get rid of Ryan Lilja, the failures to reconstruct the offensive line, the doomed Corey Simon signing, all of them had Chris Polian's fingerprints all over them.

    Give him credit for what appears, at least now, to be a pretty solid 2011 draft class. Before they got hurt, Anthony Castonzo and Drake Nevis looked like keepers.

    But beyond that?

    As Chris' star rose in recent years, others in the organization bristled at what they viewed as clear nepotism. Bill would stroke his son in staff meetings, remind everybody what a huge impact he made. Meanwhile, scouts and others saw Chris getting raises and promotions without doing what they perceived to be the necessary legwork.

    I can appreciate Irsay's commitment to continuity. On the face of it, there wouldn't seem to be a reason for panic, even after a horrible season that was hastened, in large part, by Manning's injury.

    But Irsay has to look as long and hard, and as critically, at Chris Polian and the Polian regime as he does his coaching staff.

    It wasn't Caldwell who chose to start the season with a paper-thin secondary. It wasn't Caldwell who woke up one day and said, "Gosh, I'd really like to start the season with four offensive linemen who are either starting for the first time or playing a new position.'' It wasn't Caldwell who held on to Curtis Painter, then showed so little faith in the quarterback he went out and spent $4 million on Kerry Collins.

    If Caldwell is going to be judged on this season after going 26-10 his first two years, shouldn't Chris Polian?
    Kravitz: Who's to blame for 0-8 Colts? Chris Polian, for one
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    They aren't saying anything a lot of us are thinking right now.

    That being said I also think the IndyStar is kind of enjoying piling it on(even though I agree with them) after how the FO has treated the local media.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Kravitz just showed how the last few drafts were horrendous with virtually few starters since 2007. Somebody is dropping the ball.The top of our drafts have been especially abysmal.
    Last edited by speakout4; 11-06-2011 at 11:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    I think it is time to completely clean house. Especially if Peyton is done or not here.
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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Not worth it's own thread, but...

    Losing is a lousy feeling. Confronting criticism of one of your children is even less appealing than losing. Yet if you are the vice chairman of an NFL franchise – and someone who has promoted his son to the position of general manager, and whose team has the worst record in football – you should probably develop an ability to absorb said criticism without sounding like a cross between Tony Soprano and Tommy DeVito from “Goodfellas.” In that regard the Colts’ accomplished talent guru Bill Polian has some serious work to do. After highly respected Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz examined the role of Polian’s son, Chris, in creating 0-9 Indy’s current predicament (with numerous unnamed sources describing the younger Polian as a “toxic force who has brought this franchise to its knees for reasons other than Peyton Manning’s(notes) injury”), Daddy Polian classed it up in an interview with the team’s radio announcer following Sunday’s defeat to the Falcons. “Some people are just rats who lie about people,” Polian said, in what I’d guess was a shot at Kravitz, his sources or all of the above. The team’s job, Polian continued, is to “throw the rats in the sewer.” Riiiiiiggggghhhhttt. Or, perhaps, the team’s job is to avoid complete embarrassment in the wake of an injury to a single player, to draft and develop players more successfully than they have in recent years, and/or to be a little less Stalinist in its public presentation. Then again, maybe Kravitz and the ex-Colts employees who believe Chris Polian slid into his GM job because of his surname are getting off easy by being compared to rodents. When the elder Polian gets really mad, people have been known to become closely acquainted with stadium walls. My favorite Polian story: I’m told he once became angered by the presence of non-team employees in the dining hall at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where the Colts held their training camp from 1999-2009, and demanded that they leave. He was informed that one of the offending intruders was the dean of the school. Polian was unmoved and had the dean booted. The dean! Speaking of deans, I wish owner Jimmy Irsay would put his vice chairman on double-secret probation, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Michael Silver / Yahoo Sports

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    This is what you get when you have a team with an absentee owner. There is not even a little bit of a threat of a higher power to check either of the Polians.
    Last edited by Trader Joe; 11-08-2011 at 10:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian


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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    This is what you get when you have a team with an absentee, drug using owner. There is not even a little bit of a threat of a higher power to check either of the Polians.


    How is Irsay an absentee owner? The guy is all over the place and is involved in many important decisions, i.e. hiring Dungy, the new stadium, the Super Bowl, etc. He seems to legitimately care about winning, something you certainly cannot say about every professional owner.

    Irsay gave Polian control of the football decisions because Irsay himself is not a football expert. But that doesn't make him an "absentee owner". And who is to say Irsay wouldn't check either of the Polians if he felt he had to?

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Jim irsay cannot be called absentee.

    I honestly don't care about the old drug part.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playof...ght&id=2751833

    I love this article.
    Last edited by Stryder; 11-07-2011 at 07:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryder View Post
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    Jim irsay cannot be called absentee.

    I honestly don't care about the old drug part.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playof...ght&id=2751833

    I love this article.
    That was then this is now.. the fact it has gotten to this point shows he's not been tending to the team.

    When everyone around you tells you that the Polians are toxic(employees that have been with the Colts for years only to claim retirement but go elsewhere for work just to get away from this place) then maybe he should get a clue and realize something is wrong.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Hiring Dungy took place what, 8 years ago?

    Getting the super bowl and a new stadium? In what way do those two things make the Colts better on the field?

    What more proof does Irsay need that a check needs to happen than a team that is 0-9?

    Irsay doesn't need to make the football decisions of the franchise necessarily, but he at least needs to have the presence that you don't feel like the guy below him is running the whole franchise, and honestly, how can you not get that feeling from Polian at this point?
    Last edited by Trader Joe; 11-08-2011 at 01:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Irsay does drugs? Any proof of this or are you guys talking out of your ***?

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    And a dissenting, predominately fact based rebuttal. If the Star'd give Nate Dunlevy a Sunday column I'd get a subscription again. I have absolutely no problem with people bashing whoever, the franchise has clearly made mistakes, but Kravitz is just Skip Bayless kinda stupid. It's all emotion based with no legitimate introspection, knowledge, or research. We've seen what he writes about the Pacers, the vast majority of us think he's an idiot when it comes to our beloved roundball. Kravitz doesn't know anything about a sport but intramural hockey.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Irsay gives the injury report every day for practice. He continually is tweeting movitational tweets, continually tweeting about how this losing is unacceptable, etc.

    The personal attacks by some of you is down right despicable. You can disagree with their decisions all you want, that's your right, but taking the conversation to a personal level, when you have no clue what goes on during their daily lives is ignorant at best.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Perhaps my comments were a bit overtly personal, but I don't think Irsay does a good job running the team right now. Tweeting? I mean seriously? Who cares.

    If I had to guess, again just a simple guess, Polian doesn't view Irsay as his boss, and he should.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Unless you are privvy to his actions during the day, that's the only evidence you have to go off of. To me, it shows that he's part of the process. Whether he's at the top, or just merely hanging out on the side, I don't know.

    But you can't just dismiss what you want to dismiss and form an opinion based on nothing other than wild accusations of drug usage.

    Do you have anything to back up either claim? If you were a journalist, you'd probably be getting a letter from his lawyer right about now.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    I don't feel comfortable saying on a public forum as if it ever came out it could impact future business deals. I will edit my post though as it shouldn't have been said to begin with

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Yeah, I really don't know where you got the "absentee owner" bit from. To me, it seems like Herb Simon is a hell of a lot more hands off than Jim Irsay. In fact, I thought he was a fairly involved owner. He lets the football people run the team but it seems that he weighs in on decisions and speaks to the fans. I have absolutely no problem with any of this. As for the drugs thing, well, I frankly don't know where you got that from or care if it's true or not. Unless it is effecting his running of the team, I don't see how that is any of our business.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    He a drug problem a few years back but supposedly went thru re-hab and has been clean.

    Not certain, wasn't his old man still alive then?
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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    He a drug problem a few years back but supposedly went thru re-hab and has been clean.

    Not certain, wasn't his old man still alive then?
    I thought that was an alcohol problem. Or maybe that was his old man with the alcohol problem? Or maybe I'm misremembering.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    He a drug problem a few years back but supposedly went thru re-hab and has been clean.

    Not certain, wasn't his old man still alive then?
    He was dead.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Wasn't it prescription drugs/pain killers?

    I agree with the above poster, I think Irsay is more hands on than Simon. Personally I like how both run the team, higher football people to do the jobs and stay out of it.


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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    I thought the 2009 draft class was pretty good

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Can't wait for Bill and his over inflated ego to be gone but probably won't happen with Irsay. I think our regular season success over the last decade has far more to do with Peyton being that good than Bill knowing how to put a team together. We have had the same weaknesses for a decade now. This season is proving to me I was more right than I realized. He is an average GM at best.

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    Default Re: Kravitz takes aim at Chris Polian

    Quote Originally Posted by presto123 View Post
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    Can't wait for Bill and his over inflated ego to be gone but probably won't happen with Irsay. I think our regular season success over the last decade has far more to do with Peyton being that good than Bill knowing how to put a team together. We have had the same weaknesses for a decade now. This season is proving to me I was more right than I realized. He is an average GM at best.
    If Polian were to walk away right now, he would go down as one of the best GMs in this history of the sport. I'm not making excuses for him, because I'm as irritated with the direction this team has taken as anyone, but come on people get serious.

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