Bill Polian Talks To Joe

August 10th, 2012

Few NFL front office types have had the success that Bill Polian enjoyed in the past four decades. Polian built the Buffalo Bills from a moribund franchise into a team that went to four consecutive Super Bowls. He later built the Carolina Panthers from scratch and later, did another rebuilding job with the Indianapolis Colts, turning that team into a Super Bowl winner.

These days, Polian is as skilled as an NFL analyst on SiriusXM NFL Radio as he was in an NFL team’s front office. This week, Joe had the pleasure to speak with Polian about the Bucs for a few short moments as he and Alex Marvez broadcast live from One Buc Palace.

JoeBucsFan: Greg Schiano coming from college, you are Mark Dominik, what are your concerns?

Bill Polian: Well, first of all I wouldn’t have had any concerns because he had previous NFL experience. What you are looking for as a general manager is a template. “This is what I want from my head coach.” You always would like a guy who has been a head coach before. There is no job description that prepares you for it. There is no job, in professional or college football where you have to make the decisions and have to do all the things a head coach has to do. So you would like a guy who has had experience before. When you are in the National Football League you want someone who has had experience in the National Football League because it is unique, the relationship with players, the way you have to coach them and the way you actually have to play the game from a strategic standpoint. The college game is a system. The professional game is a players game, a matchup game. So when you draw up the template, you say, well, I would like to have a guy who has head coaching experience. I’d like a guy who has built a program before and I’d like a guy who has experience in the National Football League. Greg Schiano has all of that, so he is the ideal candidate.

Joe: Schiano is doing a lot of basic drills, fundamental drills, drills where you might expect to see in a high school practice, not necessarily at an NFL training camp. What does that suggest to you? Does that mean the players were that ill-disciplined that they have to go back to Square-1 and rebuild a foundation?

Polian: No. What it suggests is he is doing everything right. Success at every level of football is built on fundamentals. Vince Lombardi, who is arguably the greatest coach of all time, was a guy who said success is built on fundamentals. If you are going to be a good football team you are going to have to be a good fundamental football team and that is what Greg is doing. It belongs in the National Football League.

Joe: Your perception of the Bucs? You had stated earlier where you thought the Bucs defensive line was their best unit. Coming from Joe, it seemed — without the trained eye that you have — it was the wide receivers that was the Bucs’ best unit. What is the defensive front doing that impresses you so?

Polian: I think they have a lot of talent there. They have guys who can get up the field and get after the passer. They have depth there. They have Amobi Okoye who was a first round draft pick there. When you have a guy like that who is fighting for a job on your football team, that is a pretty good sign. Defense is based on the front. If you can rush the passer I this league and get up the field and disrupt, you have a chance to be a very good football team and I think, having played against them last year and seeing them now upfront, they are a very good group. That’s not to say the receivers isn’t either. They are very good. But I think the defensive line’s importance in the National Football League cannot be overstated and this is a good group.

Joe: Joe gets a lot of flak for writing this, but there were games where Gerald McCoy was simply disruptive. He was in the backfield often, but didn’t have many sacks or tackles to speak of. Joe is of the opinion that disruption is so important because offense is all about timing. If you get in the backfield, that messes up an offense’s timing and all of a sudden, you then have a busted play.

Polian: That’s exactly correct, I couldn’t have said it any better. The most important person you can find for a defensive front is a guy who can rush the passer. That’s the hardest person to find, other than a winning quarterback. So, bottom line, [GMC] has that ability, he just has to stay healthy. You would hope that he would and you hope that those two injuries are just freak injuries. I’ve only seen one player in 35 years in the NFL that had two bicep tears and that was Bob Sanders. These are freak injuries. I asked him on the air today, and he said he is fine and everything is good. Let’s hope that is the case. That position is critical in the National Football League and if you have that, you have a chance of being successful.

10 Responses to “Bill Polian Talks To Joe”

  1. knucknbuc Says:

    But no wait Joe. Thomas 2.2 says that GMC is no good and deserves to be a backup at best. He says that GMC Is always outta position and that disruption messes up our Defense not the offense. 2.2 knows more then a hall of fame gm. So you need to take this down now. lol.

  2. Fatmosh Says:

    Bob Sanders? God, I hope not…

  3. Oregano Says:

    There’s that disruption word again, when I hear that I think of Gaines Adams who would rush outside every time, way outside. I’m sure the opposing OC would never call for a statue of liberty play, a double reverse or the dreaded triple reverse because Gaines might stumble across it and disrupt it.

    Adams would take himself out of almost every play. Their 11 players would play against our 10 defenders. You couldn’t bench him because he was a #1 draft pick and he always got the lions share of the snaps.

    When I watch Geraldini disrupt where the play isn’t, I think of Gaines Adams. You could always run directly through Gaine’s gap because he was never there. GMC always rushes in the path of least resistance which is exactly where the OL wants him to go.

    Its that tricky old matador waving that red cape again and again while the bull disrupts and rips through never quite catching on until he feels the bite of that sword in his back. Ole!

    Why doesn’t someone interview the offensive linemen who are disrupted by him? If they can possibly answer while they’re rolling on the floor laughing. I will apologize if Dini ever gets two sacks and a half dozen tackles in a game but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.

  4. Fatmosh Says:

    @Oregano: Totally don’t agree with that assessment at all, and I don’t think you’ll find many who will.

  5. Brad Says:

    This interview gets me pumped up Joe. If Polian thinks our D line is our best unit and you have Brooks saying our D has more talent than when he started who am I to argue. I am ready for some football. Screw Oregano, Ian Beckles, Thomas… Etc etc. there will plenty of time for criticizing but until I see what we have I’ll stay optimistic.. Go Bucs….

  6. ben Says:

    considering our secondary and linebacker sucked last year too its pretty much a coin flip lol

  7. ben Says:

    if he thinks our d line is better than our o line then he is turning into al davis

  8. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Rarely do opposing offensive lineman get interviewed about a DT. The average fan and media member doesn’t care, so it’s just not going to happen, so your point is moot. There happens to be a couple All-Pro lineman on this team to go out of their way to praise GMC. So let me see: a couple stud o-lineman say it and a Hall of fame GM says it, yet it is disputed by some posters on a blog site. I’m having a tough time figuring out which side I should lean towards.

    Comparing him to Gaines Adams is ridiculous. They play different positions, with different objectives. I see the connection you are trying to make, but they are just not comparable. Plus, GMC has already had a 2 sack game, even though according to Thomas it was against high school O-Lineman. He had a 1.5 sack game against SF as a rookie as well. But again, the point of the article is that he is very disruptive, even though he doesn’t get a lot of sacks. You will not find one person involved in football (coach, player, or GM) that will dispute the fact that being disruptive can be just as valuable as a sack. Disruption can very often lead to big mistakes, like turnovers.

  9. Buccanr1 Says:

    @hawaiian buc…quit it

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