RTC: A columnist's tribute to Bill Polian

Reading the coverage ...

Houston Texans

The Texans showed no signs of being the team that closed regular season with three consecutive losses to finish 10-6. Instead, they were the embodiment of the team that compiled a seven-game winning streak and won the AFC South with a 10-3 record, writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Gary Kubiak effectively sent a message to the offensive line about pass protection and the line delivered, says McClain.

“As the best player on the NFL’s least-accomplished team, (Andre) Johnson saw almost all the disappointments, lived through almost all the anguish and dealt with almost all the misery of a decade of irrelevancy. It seemed fitting that he was a huge factor in the team’s historic victory,” says Jerome Solomon.

Indianapolis Colts

For all of Bill Polian’s quirks and deficiencies, he was and still is one of the greatest NFL team-builders of all time, says Bob Kravitz on the Indianapolis Star, who had a rough relationship with the executive. “As a talent evaluator, a franchise builder and sustainer, he was without equal. If there's a franchise out there looking for a general manager, they couldn't do much better than the guy the Colts just let go. The city owes him a debt of gratitude because he not only brought Indy a Super Bowl victory and another Super Bowl appearance, but he produced more than a decade of consistent excellence -- and generally did so with players who represented the team and the city quite well."

Jacksonville Jaguars

For the second consecutive year, Earnest Byner has coached the league’s rushing title winner and wound up out of a job, writes Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union.

Jacksonville doesn’t need a big name as its new head coach. “Don't be dismayed if it's not a coach that makes you go, ‘Wow!’ When you look at the greatest sideline bosses in NFL history, most made their mark as a first-time head coach. How well known were Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs , John Madden or Bill Parcells when they first ran the show?” Gene Frenette of the T-U’s column.

Tennessee Titans

Mike Munchak succeeded in changing the Titans’ culture, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “And while there was no storybook ending to Munchak’s first season — the Titans finished 9-7 but missed the playoffs -- another thing became apparent: The fingerprints left behind by (Jeff) Fisher have faded. It’s Munchak’s team now. His mantra has been accountability, discipline and camaraderie.”

The Bears have an interest in Titans quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains but are unlikely to get permission to talk with him, says Wyatt.

Titans quality control coach Charles London is moving on to coach running backs at Penn State, says Wyatt.