Bill Polian’s weekly radio show on 97.1 Hank FM in Indianapolis always produces a lot of quality material for discussion, and we always appreciate that John Oehser takes the time to transcribe it. You’ll find it all here.
Let’s touch on a few of Polian’s points:
Polian: “In terms of this particular game, we weren't outplayed. We weren't outhit. We weren't out-hustled. We weren't out-coached. The statistics -- whatever statistics mean or don't mean, they mean nothing. We didn't execute in the critical times and therein lies the story of the game, nothing more, nothing less.”
Kuharsky's take: Polian repeatedly stressed that there was no fault in preparation, that the outcome of Super Bowl XLIV was about the Saints' ability to execute and the Colts' failure to do the same. It must be a coping mechanism for him, because I haven’t heard any criticism about Indy’s preparation.
Polian: “The offensive line, by our standards, did not have a good game. They were outplayed by the Saints' defensive line, I thought, pretty decisively."
Kuharsky's take: Um, didn't that first quote say "We weren't outplayed"? I said Tuesday it’s time to consider revamping the O-line and that as Pete Metzelaars takes over for Howard Mudd, he needs to have more physical options. The Saints D-line isn’t an all-star cast. It shouldn't have been able to win so many plays.
Polian: “Our special teams, in terms of handling the ball -- both in the return game and on the onside kick were outplayed by the Saints. Therein lay the result. It had nothing to do with strategy or preparedness of toughness or effort. All of that was there. We just didn't execute.”
Kuharsky's take: Um, didn't that first quote say "We weren't outplayed"? For too long the Colts have been content with average special teams. I’ve gotten to know Ray Rychleski, the special teams coach who just completed his first year, a bit and I think he’s good at his job. He needs more to work with. Start with some sort of explosive possibility at the return spots. The kicker situation needs resolution so the team has the comfort level there it has with Pat McAfee, the strong young punter and kickoff man.
Polian: “I made it clear to Gary [Brackett] on Sunday night that we very much want him back and will do what is necessary within all reasonable bounds to get him back. It may take a while, as it did with [center] Jeff Saturday last year, because you have to work through budgets.”
Kuharsky's take: The Colts are usually tight against the cap. But we are heading to no cap. If they are fair, they should be able to keep Brackett. His would be a big hole to fill.
A final thought: Out-played, out-executed, out-prepared -- all that stuff is pretty meaningless in the big picture where all that matters is out-scored.