Not Practicing What You PreachJune 8th, 2014
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.