Former Colts GM Bill Polian Shares Thoughts on Team


Before Ryan Grigson took over as GM of the Indianapolis Colts, they had one of the best in business running the team. Bill Polian, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in about two weeks, built teams that perpetually won the AFC South and made two Super Bowls while in Indianapolis.

When Polian speaks, fans and sportswriters alike tend to listen. This week he was talking about the Colts heading into 2015 and thinks the team is as good as any in the league.

ESPN’s Mike Wells put together Polian’s thoughts on the Colts. Polian starts with the obvious bright point on the team: Andrew Luck.

"“It all starts with Andrew and clearly he’s the best of the young quarterbacks that have come into the league in terms of everything he can do and he has a chance to be one of the greats before it’s all said and done,” Polian said. “They’re extremely fortunate to have him. And when you do, you’re automatically a contender when you have a quarterback of that magnitude.”"

The parallels between Polian and Grigson start with having the first pick in the draft and taking a talented young QB (they probably end there too). Polian never spent as much time making aggressive moves in free agency, like Grigson, but rather built the team through the draft (something the Colts will be doing soon out of necessity).

Polian’s concerns for the team center on the defense and whether or not they can stop top tier opponents.

"“Can they play adequate enough defense to be able to really be a challenger? Obviously what we saw last year in the (AFC) championship game is not good enough and they were soundly beaten by the Patriots twice,” Polian said. “So that’s a hurdle they’re going to have to overcome, but it’s going to have to be on defense.”"

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The Colts have gotten better on defense every season under coach Chuck Pagano. The problem is that they still suffer blowout losses more often than any other team considered to be near the top of the league. The additions made through free agency and the draft should help tighten up the Colts defense, but the questions remains whether or not it will be enough to put the team in the Super Bowl.

Polian also praised the additions of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, primarily because of their abilities to be leaders in the locker room. The Colts offense is still very young, and adding two veterans with their age and experience will help settle this side of the ball.

"“They’re battle-tested guys who really have terrific character,” Polian said. “To have a relationship with (coach) Chuck Pagano, Andre and Frank Gore, they’re the type of people that everybody else on the team can rally around. They haven’t had guys like that, I think, and especially didn’t last year without Robert Mathis.“Those are terrific additions, but they’re obviously not long-term additions. The question is: Even if they can reach the heights this year, which they’re certainly capable of doing if they play good defense, how do you sustain it? But this year, they’re as good as anybody, that’s for sure.”"

The Colts might not be able to dynasty, the makeup of this team is sure to change after this season, but the NFL is a win now league. Win a Super Bowl in 2015? That’s all the Colts staff should be worried about right now.