Should the Colts have fired the Polians?

January 04, 2012

The time was right

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

Let's limit this to Bill Polian, as he was the true decision-maker here and Chris is clearly replaceable. Firing him was the right thing to do because the Colts need a fresh start and need to be as attractive and maleable as possible to attract the best next coach. With Polian there, an executive with arguably more power than any in the NFL, a new coach would be plugged in to that rigid pecking order. That won't work for everyone.

The fact the Colts were a house of cards without Peyton Manning suggests they weren't prepared to deal with a worst-case scenario. That falls on the coaches and the front office. Polian has an impressive resume, but his recent drafts haven't been particularly inspired. It's not as if a talented new GM would necessarily be a step down, and clearly his iron-fisted management style has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

sfarmer@tribune.com

Different not always better

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

The only reason for the Colts to have fired Bill and Chris Polian is they wanted different. But different isn't always better, and in the case of the Polians, it's going to be very difficult to be better. An injury to Peyton Manning and a 2-14 season was a convenient excuse to bring about change that never would have happened during the Colts' great run of success.

Bill Polian's track record as a team architect in Indianapolis, Carolina and Buffalo is almost unmatched. The situation was muddled a little because the elder Polian has ceded many of his football responsibilities to his son Chris, who is unproven. My guess is if Chris Polian had been given a chance to draft Andrew Luck, he would have looked pretty smart in about five years.

dpompei@tribune.com

Probably inevitable

Mike Berardino

Sun Sentinel

Of all the professional casualties on the NFL's annual Black Monday, the most surprising came in Indianapolis.

Bill Polian, architect of two Colts Super Bowl teams, was ousted as the team's football czar, and his son Chris, the Colts GM, was kicked to the curb too. Was it justified? That's impossible to say without knowing the inner dealings between the Polians and Twitter-happy club owner Jim Irsay.

Irsay, who paid Peyton Manning $26 million to spend this season rehabbing his neck, recently made it clear he is more than willing to pay Manning another $28 million in 2012, injury risk or not. Perhaps the Polians, who drafted Manning first overall 14 years ago, were ready to move on and start fresh with Andrew Luck atop this year's draft.

That's the sort of disagreement that leads to a football divorce.

mberardini@tribune.com

To go forward, a must

Ron Fritz

Baltimore Sun

For the Colts to go forward, whether it be with Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck at quarterback, the Polians probably had to go. It's hard to sell to your fans that you're actually going in a new direction by letting 69-year-old Bill Polian and his son, Chris, run the front office.

It's fair to give credit to the Polians for building the Colts around Manning and winning a Super Bowl, but they must also be blamed for being so dependent on Manning that the team had the NFL's worst record.

The next stop for Bill Polian is likely the Hall of Fame. The bigger question facing the Colts is which QB do you want leading your franchise in 2012 and beyond? It's best for everyone involved it won't be a Polian.

rtfritz@tribune.com

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