Not Practicing What You Preach

June 8th, 2014
D

Super Bowl-winning GM Bill Polian preaches defense on radio, but he always built his winning franchises with a quarterback-first design.

Few football people make Joe stop everything, put down his beer and pay rapt attention like when Bill Polian is behind a radio microphone. The guy is incredible.

The Super Bowl-winning general manager is a complete wealth of knowledge. Joe just wishes he would be on SiriusXM NFL Radio more often than once or twice a week, max. The thing Joe enjoys so much about Polian is he teaches so much about the game.

Recently, Polian was on the air with Booger McFarland, heard on WHFS-FM 98.7, and talked mostly Bucs football. Now Polian and Booger, the former Bucs defensive tackle, have a history because Polian traded for Booger later in the defensive tackle’s career.

For reasons Joe can’t quite understand, Polian deviated from his history and proclaimed neanderthal football is a winning recipe. You know, the kind too many Bucs fans worship, where any slug with two feet can just hand the ball off, virtually playing with a 10-man offense. Booger asked if a defense-first mentality can win and if Polian has any reservations Bucs coach Lovie Smith can build the Bucs into a Super Bowl winner.

“None whatsoever,” Polian said. “I think that assuming [backup quarterback Mike] Glennon comes on and grows, which he has a chance to do, if you can play great defense — which you know Lovie will do — and take care of the football and have the ability to create big plays downfield off the running game — which of course you know Lovie will do — you have the formula for winning in the National Footall League. You don’t win with offense alone but you can win with defense alone. You can get to the playoffs and it is hard beyond that. It’s hard to go all the way without a big play offense. But if you assume that Michael Evans becomes [Vincent Jackson] and if you get a triggerman who is accurate and takes care of the football, with the abilty to run the ball — which the Bucs already have — and you know that the defense will be great with Lovie at the helm, that’s going to be the formula for winning it all.”

Well, it’s interesting that Polian himself never practiced this religion when he was a general manager. Polian, who built the Bills into a four-time Super Bowl team, didn’t rely on just a “triggerman.” He went out and lured Jim Kelly after the USFL folded (RIP). Kelly only is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, largely on his exploits in western New York.

Later when he oversaw the birth of the Carolina Panthers, Polian went out and drafted quarterback Kerry Collins with the fifth overall pick. Now Collins, after leading the Stinking Panthers to the NFC title game, melted down and then had a career rebirth, leading the Giants to the Super Bowl in 2000.

When Polian took over the Colts, he picked Peyton Manning first overall, which later resulted in a Super Bowl title.

While Polian admitted in the interview he may be influenced too much by Father Dungy in recent years, Polian sure never practiced what he preaches on the radio currently, that a team can be built with two never-beens competing to start at quarterback.

61 Responses to “Not Practicing What You Preach”

  1. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    “You don’t win with offense alone but you can win with defense alone.”
    -Bill Polian-

  2. Brandon Says:

    Polian knew something about building D’s as well. Bills had a great D for that team and Polian’s Colts were near the top of the league under Dungy and defensive coordinator Ron Meeks.

  3. Macabee Says:

    Gil Brandt, John Madden, Bill Polian – all respected men in the NFL. Reminds me of something my grandfather used to say. “A heap see but a few know?”

  4. Bawlmerbucfan Says:

    If only it is as easy as Polian makes it appear to be.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Polian is stuck in the past.

    You cannot win the Superbowl with either one alone. Sure, the Seahawks had a great defense…but they also had a top ten offense.

    How many superbowls in the last 5 years were won with defense alone? I realize the twits will comment about the Ravens years ago, the Bucs…and a few others. But that was before the new rule changes went into affect.

    And I also know some will reply with sarcasm saying I think I know more that Polian. His way was right for a very long time. But you notice he isn’t in the business anymore? Because his way doesn’t work any more.

  6. SAMCRO Says:

    Jim Kelly sucked his rookie year. Kerry Collins sucked his rookie year. Peyton Manning sucked his rookie year. So according to your QB philosophy (JOE knows QBs) neither one of those three would have ever started their second year. It was a good thing Polian was more of an envisionist than JOE, or maybe he would have never won any titles.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    Would like to see what those teams would have been like without a Jim Kelly or Peyton Manning. Polian just pouring fuel on the already raging fire of abject optimism that teams can be successful with below average QB play. Shameful.

  8. Solinor Says:

    Joe

    Jim Kelly isn’t dead. Battling cancer but not dead..

  9. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^^Joe never said he was dead

  10. Eric Says:

    Everybody is a never been before they become a been.

    Of course everyone would like a manning or Kelley but that is far easier said than done.

    For every one of those there are five or ten Freeman’s /dilfers.

    We just came off a five year franchise QB extravaganza. He’s out of the league. Good solid vet play from McCown is fine by me. Worked pretty well with Garcia I’m 07.

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    (True Pioneers of the Game)

    • Paul Brown
    • Vince Lombardi
    • Tom Landry
    • Bobby Bowden
    • Eddie Robinson
    • Tom Osborne
    • Bill Wash
    • Jimmy Johnson

    • TEX SCHRAMM**
    • Gil Brandt
    • Bill Walsh
    • Bill Nunn
    • Lloyd C. A. “Judge” Wells
    • Bobby Beathard
    • Bill Polian
    • Joel Buchsbaum

  12. SteveK Says:

    Eric,

    Please don’t compare Trent Dilfer and Josh Freeman. Dilfer has been to the playoffs and has a Super Bowl. Freeman ain’t done squat.

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Eric- I would be happy to see good solid vet play like what we got from Garcia. Problem is that McCown has nowhere near the resume that Garcia had coming in as the starter. I think that is the point. There is not much out there for McCown other than hope and the judgement of the new regime that this guy can give us good solid vet play.

  14. Chef Paul Says:

    Ever heard the phrase, there’s more than one way to skin a cat?

    Hell the 2012 Ravens won with O ranked 16 and D ranked 17. If there was only one way to get there, there would only be one type of team in the entire league.

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Can’t forget- Don Air Coryell, and Ron Erhardt and Ray Perkins (For the Erhardt Perkins system).

  16. fritz50 Says:

    ” You can get to the playoffs and it is hard beyond that. It’s hard to go all the way without a big play offense.”

    The ENTIRE sentence would SUPPORT the need for a top tier offense (and QB), at least to go all the way. I really don’t see any contradiction. To me he’s saying that you can get TO the playoffs faster, with a great Defense, but it takes an above average Offense, to go all the way. What I dissagree with is the assertion that the ONLY way is to have a top ten QB. Absolutely, having such a QB can make up for a lot of deficiencies, elseware (a la Tom Brady), but last years Falcons show the QB can’t do it all, alone. Another example would be the S.B. Colts, who couldn’t get to the big game until Father Dungy arrived & built up the Defense, even with a future Hall of Fame QB at the helm. If the ‘Top 10 QB’ assertion were true, why haven’t the Broncos been to the big game since Manning arrived. I read several statements that last year was one of the best he’s had, so what happened ? As much as any of you, I’d love to see an effective , dynamic QB in Tampa ( on the Bucs) that’s fun to watch. But, I’d much rathe watch the team win another Super Bowl and, quite frankly, don’t care how the get there.

  17. Architek Says:

    This is the very reason I believe the Bucs will compete at a higher level than we expect, maybe not out the gate if the offense struggle.

    But I do know Lovie will have the team prepared to win and all they need to do is buy in!

  18. Chef Paul Says:

    “His way was right for a very long time. But you notice he isn’t in the business anymore? Because his way doesn’t work any more”

    You heard it from Bonzai. The days of needing a Jim Kelly or Peyton Manning are over. Because if you could win with a Peyton Manning, Polian would still be in the league.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Remember:
    Jim Irsay Told Bob Kravitz That Bill Polian Wanted To Trade Peyton Manning Back In 2004 Bill told Jim Hey-”We need to trade Peyton; we can get a bunch of defensive players and become like Tampa Bay or Baltimore.” Irsay said no. “Understand something, Bill, we are not trading Peyton Manning, period,’’ Irsay recalled telling the former team president.

    Lol

  20. Eric Says:

    If you look behind Mccowns stats as they do at pro football focus, he really was outstanding last year.

    Best ranking in league while under pressure for example.

    That gives me hope along with 13/1 td/int ratio.

    That’s awful good to be a fluke. Will he pull a Gannon and be league MVP? Who knows but surely solid Garcia type play is a reasonable hope.

    But till he’s done it he ain’t. We’ll see.

  21. DallasBuc Says:

    Eric…that is the definition of a fluke!

  22. Buccfan37 Says:

    I kind of feel bad for those Buffalo Bills who went to four Super Bowls and did’nt win any.

  23. Eric Says:

    No the definition of a fluke was that 10-6 season Raheem had!

  24. DallasBuc Says:

    …and bringing into the conversation those pro football focus numbers that the “big dog” drags out is so weak. What did PFF have to say about the rest of McCown’s career outside of those 5 magical games last year?!!
    There is nothing wrong with PFF but you cannot make judgements about players based solely on this PFF grade system the way the “big dog” does every time he wants to tear down Glennon and pump up McCown.

  25. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    “When Bill Polian was the General Manger of the Panthers from 1994-1996. He tried to create the quickest Super Bowl winner in history, and nearly did so, building a team that went to the NFC Championship game in only its second year of existence w/ defense”

    • Defensive Coordinator – Vic Fangio
    • Linebackers Coach – Kevin Steele
    • Outside Linebackers – Billy Davis

    Signing

    • 71 Greg Kragen NT

    • 57 Lamar Lathon OLB
    • 51 Sam Mills ILB –(One of the Greatest of All Time)
    • 91 Kevin Greene OLB

    • 25 Eric Davis CB
    • - Bubba McDowell SS

  26. Macabee Says:

    Bonzai,

    Would you go back and look at the offensive rankings for 2013 – not postseason rankings, but total offensive rankings for Seattle. Might want to look up total defensive rankings while you’re at it.

    Look up total offensive rankings versus total defensive rankings for the last 5 Superbowl winners. I think you might be surprised. Hint: Seattle was ranked 1st in total defense, but 18th in total offense for 2013!

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Bill was a beast in his day

    1996 Carolina Panthers (Coach: Dom Capers)
    12-4-0, Finished 1st in NFC West Division
    Scored 367 points (22.9/g), 7th of 30 in the NFL.
    DEFENSED ONLY Allowed 218 points (13.6/g), 2nd. WOW!!!

  28. Eric Says:

    With our question marks at oline I think the good stat Josh head under pressure is very important.

    The cannon folds like a cheap suit under pressure, but that is probably due to inexperience.

    But if you think about it, with the new offense coming and loads of new players do u really want a second year or rookie running it?

    That could get ugly quick.

    Josh to the pro bowl, I feel it coming!

    Heck he’s four years younger than manning with no bad neck. Go Josh!

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Bill had some real mean defensive coaches on his 1996 staff (3-4 alignment)

    Dom Capers (Head Coach)

    • Defensive Coordinator – Vic Fangio
    • Linebackers Coach – Kevin Steele
    • Outside Linebackers Coach – Billy Davis

  30. clafollett Says:

    @Bonzai

    You do realize last years super bowl was easily won by the defense alone. Denver didn’t come away from that game with many points. The offense could have played keep away and not scored and Seattle would have still won by 1.

    They got a safety in the 1st quarter and a pick six by Malcolm Smith in the 2nd quarter. (2+7 = 9) > 8 pts by Denver. Seattle D wins. Seattle happens to also have a competent Offense. It helped keep Peyton on the sidelines but I’m not sure it mattered.

    Denver had a total of 27 yds rushing and 280 yds receiving. Very pedestrian if you ask me.

    Hopefully this clears up your confusion?

  31. tickrdr Says:

    Remember my list of the 51 QB’s taken in the 1st round over the last 20 years?
    I appreciate you mentioning Kerry Collins who was drafted #5 in the 1st round in 1995. He played a total of 17 seasons in the NFL, and had a CAREER QB rating of 73.8!

    In all those 17 seasons:
    He had only 5 seasons where he threw for at least 19 TDs, but not once till his 7th season in the league!
    He had only 1 season where his QB rating was > 83.9, but not until his 9th season in the league!
    Despite 17 seasons in the league, and playing with at least a couple of teams good enough to make the playoffs, NFC title game, and SuperBowl; he never had a TD/INT ratio greater than 19/9!

    I cannot speak for others, but the reason I am a charter member of the MGM, is that MG8 performed better statistically ( AS A ROOKIE) than Kerry Collins did throughout most of his career, and yet you are trying to use him as an example of the type of QB the Bucs need to even consider making the playoffs etc.??
    And he did this against the toughest schedule in the entire NFL, in fact playing 5 games against the #1,#2,#3, and #4 defenses in the entire NFL. Maybe he was just lucky, or it was just a fluke that everyone around him decided to have a career year to make him look good, but don’t the above facts make you at least a tiny bit interested to see what he could do with more experience, better coaching, better teammates, and an easier schedule?

    tickrdr

  32. freeballin34 Says:

    Tickrdr makes the most sense out of everybody in every single post I see from him. Keep up the good work. Really enjoy reading your two cents.

  33. Netwalker Says:

    Jim Kelly and Payton Manning were “never-beens” before they were ‘beens’. Lots of great quaterbacks weren’t great as rookies. Too soon to tell on Glennon. McCown may well be a late bloomer. Last season would certainly suggest so, as well as the accolades for him on accuracy and leadership coming out of OTA’s.

    While nothing is certain, that nothing certain also applies to the endless fear of their failure, that so many, including the Joes, constantly repeat.

  34. BamBamBuc Says:

    Tickrdr – which is why we dont just look at statistics, especially just two fairly arbitrary stats that don’t mean much without more context. Additional statistics like YPA put those numbers in better context. When you see that only 35% of his yards came after the catch, it should get you questioning pass accuracy. Checking sack numbers could make you question the O-line, but we should look at the QB as well. Which gets me watching the games again, the sight test. Stats combined with the sight test tell a more accurate story. Hindsight isn’t always 20/20, there is always a matter of perspective, people seeing what they want to see. All I ask is that we look at more than just two stats.

  35. Architek Says:

    Polio also mentioned – the cannon arm – in the segment.

    I watched Glennon throw in college and I thought his arm was strong but no telling how much stronger it is with better mechanics.

    I also think Lovie will bring a better balance than we expect to our offensive and defensive attacks respectively.

    Believe it or not the biggest questions are STs. Who will return and how effective will they be?

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Yeah,

    Thats why I had to go back and watch the (2) fourth quarter comebacks/2 game-winning drives-Glennon had against Miami in wk 9, and Detroit in wk 11.

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Never forget those headlines-”Detroit Lions’ secondary shredded once again, this time by a rookie QB recognizing their scheme”

  38. BamBamBuc Says:

    LUV – and thats a start. Watching 2 of the 4 wins is a start. But what went wrong down the stretch? Why did all talk of Glennon in the media stop in November? Find the complimentary articles around Christmas time about Glennon, its not easy.

    I understand, the kid was a rookie. He did ok except for win/loss record which isn’t entirely on his shoulders. He might get better. I’m ok with that. I just don’t understand the mob mentality for a guy that didn’t exactly light it up. Flacco didn’t have better stats in all categories his rookie year, but hes been in the playoffs fairly consistently (and won a super bowl). Matt Ryan’s rookie #s? Win/loss and playoffs look pretty good. I didn’t expect Glennon to get us to the playoffs. We were 0-3 when he started. But winning fewer than 1/3 of his starts is not something I get excited about looking to the future.

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @BamBamBuc

    So many factors -Outdated/redundant route concepts for receivers-Donald Penn normally cashes it in late in the season-so he was no help+Its no secret that Schiano & Sullivan were inept at situational football. Injuries, lack of talent-The list goes on and on brotha.

  40. MGM4Life Says:

    SteveK Says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 9:24 am
    Eric,

    Please don’t compare Trent Dilfer and Josh Freeman. Dilfer has been to the playoffs and has a Super Bowl. Freeman ain’t done squat.

    Watch as freeman lights up the Canadian football league this year!

  41. Kaptain Morgan Says:

    “after the USFL folded (RIP)” – Joe

    Rest in Peace, the USFL. Miss those Tampa Bay Bandits!

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Chef Paul Says
    “You heard it from Bonzai. The days of needing a Jim Kelly or Peyton Manning are over. Because if you could win with a Peyton Manning, Polian would still be in the league.”

    Apparently you don’t understand english, Paul.

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The Seahawks averaged 24 points in the regular season. That is not poor offense.

    You must be great at one, and at least good at the other.

    If you ask me, the Seahawks SB win is tainted because of the Refs. They called every other team in the league on the things they let the Seahawks get away with week in and week out.

    The Seahawks players said it…they didn’t care about the rules. They kept committing penalties until the refs got tired of calling them.

    As much a I hate the current rules, they exist. The refs should not enforce against everyone but one team. And the Seahawks were that team.

    AND…most of those obvious penalties? They were on defense and not called. Had that game been called fairly, we may have seen a different result.

  44. tickrdr Says:

    freeballin34 Says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Tickrdr makes the most sense out of everybody in every single post I see from him. Keep up the good work. Really enjoy reading your two cents.

    ————————————————————-
    Thank you, and a hat tip to you, sir!

    tickrdr

  45. tickrdr Says:

    BamBamBuc Says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    LUV – and thats a start. Watching 2 of the 4 wins is a start. But what went wrong down the stretch? Why did all talk of Glennon in the media stop in November? Find the complimentary articles around Christmas time about Glennon, its not easy.
    ————————————————————————
    I again agree that MG8′s performance was poor in December compared to his performance in November (three games with rating of 123.1 or better, offensive rookie of the month). But did he regress as the year went on?
    Most people do not think that Peyton Manning “regressed” in the month of February? Rather the stifling and ferocious #1 defense in the NFL shut them down. Well, the Bucs’ December schedule included the following defensive units: Panthers (2nd overall, 6th passing), Saints (4th overall, 2nd passing), 49′ers (5th overall, 7th passing), Bills (10th overall, but 4th against the pass), and St. Louis (15th overall, but 3rd in total sacks, and 7 sacks that game).
    Furthermore, three of those opponents were playoff teams (SF 12-4, Carolina 12-4, and NO 11-5) vying to win their division, and playing for a first round bye vs. our 4-12 Bucs looking to start their offseason. I think it is somewhat unrealistic to say that MG8 should have single-handedly carried them to victory.

    tickrdr

  46. mpmalloy Says:

    Start McCown.
    I talk a lot of MGM smack and really want to see MG8 do well,
    but common sense would dictate that we should start McCown in game 1.

    The part where I take exception is spending a 1st rounder on the
    available 2014 QB class. Evans is so much greater than Manziel
    and we have further proof that God hates Cleveland sports.

  47. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    “the Bucs’ December schedule included the following defensive units: Panthers (2nd overall, 6th passing), Saints (4th overall, 2nd passing), 49′ers (5th overall, 7th passing), Bills (10th overall, but 4th against the pass), and St. Louis (15th overall, but 3rd in total sacks, and 7 sacks that game).”
    —————————————————————————————-
    This^^^ a simple fact most Glennon haters (excuse me, guys who really like Glennon but are sure he will only be a career backup in the NFL) seem to conveniently disregard when looking at the big picture

  48. Hawk Says:

    “BamBamBuc Says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 11:39 am
    Tickrdr – which is why we dont just look at statistics, especially just two fairly arbitrary stats that don’t mean much without more context. Additional statistics like YPA put those numbers in better context. When you see that only 35% of his yards came after the catch, it should get you questioning pass accuracy. Checking sack numbers could make you question the O-line, but we should look at the QB as well. Which gets me watching the games again, the sight test. Stats combined with the sight test tell a more accurate story. Hindsight isn’t always 20/20, there is always a matter of perspective, people seeing what they want to see. All I ask is that we look at more than just two stats.”

    I agree, but no matter how many ‘stats’ you look at, there are still more than one way to interpret them. For instance, the YPA stat might indicate that his receivers were not getting separation and therefore being tackled immediately. Or those receivers were slower than nearby defenders. Or the defenders, as a whole, were just better athletes than the receivers. The receivers also could have been running poor routes that put themselves in bad situations.
    Sack numbers can also be from a myriad of reasons. The QB holds the ball too long. The receivers are covered. The O-line has a breakdown. The D-line has better athletes. Busted play (receivers run wrong route tree).
    I don’t know how well Glennon good be in two years (if he’s still playing), but I’ve seen enough from a rookie, who was put in a very tough situation, that I, for one, would like to see how good he can be with the right talent (players AND coaches) around him.

  49. tickrdr Says:

    Great points, and agree completely!

    tickrdr

  50. Bear the Bucs Says:

    Luvmybucs. – You are forgetting someone on your list. His Name is George “Papa” Halas. In his time, he had forgotten more than the others on your list. Unfortunately, his daughter married a lawyer (McCaskey) and he runs the Bears now. One of the last things Halas did before he died in the 1980′s was make Mike Ditka the Coach. We all know what happened in 1985.

  51. tickrdr Says:

    Bear the Bucs Says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Luvmybucs. – You are forgetting someone on your list. His Name is George “Papa” Halas. In his time, he had forgotten more than the others on your list. Unfortunately, his daughter married a lawyer (McCaskey) and he runs the Bears now. One of the last things Halas did before he died in the 1980′s was make Mike Ditka the Coach. We all know what happened in 1985.
    ———————————————————————–
    Are you a relocated Bears fan who has “seen the light”, and came over to the dark side.

    tickrdr

  52. Hawk Says:

    “I don’t know how well Glennon *could* be…
    Sorry about that.

  53. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Bear the Bucs

    Of Course Pap Joe & Lamar Hunt. Just wanted to leave room for others.

  54. Hawk Says:

    @ LUVMYBUCS

    I’d like to add Don Shula and (homerism turned to high) John McKay.
    You never knew what to expect from Shula. You ALWAYS knew what to expect from McKay, but you still couldn’t do anything about it (USC).

  55. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Hawk

    So true brotha. To add another-Sid Gillman doesn’t get enough respect either

  56. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Numbers indicate Super Bowls won by Gillman’s “descendants”, a total of twenty-five-including Super Bowl XLVII winning coach John Harbaugh.

  57. Hawk Says:

    LUVMYBUCS Says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    “Numbers indicate Super Bowls won by Gillman’s “descendants”, a total of twenty-five-including Super Bowl XLVII winning coach John Harbaugh.”

    Even a blind squirrel… LOL ;^) (Heavy sarcasm for the humor impaired)

  58. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    smh

  59. Hawk Says:

    BTW, the list of Gilman’s ‘descendents’ include 7 (seven) that have been on the Buccaneer payroll, including Lovie Smith. Yes, LUVMYBUCS, I’d say that Gilman definitely belongs on your list.
    Most people don’t know that, in 1963, Sid suggested a championship game between the AFL and the NFL. Commissioner, Pete Rozelle, was not interested at the time, but then four years later, he enacted the ‘championship’ game that later became known as the Super Bowl. ‘Father’ of the Super Bowl?

  60. owlykat Says:

    Poulian was the most respected expert the commentators turned to during that the draft show on TV. Don’t think they would hang on his every word if he is no good anymore. Now if he said the Bucs need to start Glennon to make the playoffs or SB, the Glennon Mob would say he was the smartest guru in the NFL. What proves he is smart is he is no fan of Glennon. It was Idiot Schiano who thought Glennon would turn around the Bucs last year. How did that turnout?

  61. Hawk Says:

    @ owlykat

    Schiano didn’t believe that Glennon could turn things around. He just wanted to slow down the hopeless downward spiral that began even before the first game. QB was the most obvious position to start with for reasons that everyone could see.
    BTW, they turned to Poulian because they were paying him to fill in drivel when there was a pause in action. Who knows if he was even their first choice for the job.

 
 

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