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Insights from Colts GM Bill Polian

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Insights from Colts GM Bill Polian on some of his Colt picks and how they are developing that can transfer to other prospects. Polian is one of if not thee best GM in the game today.




http://www.colts.com/sub.cfm?page=artic ... 343c4ada68


By Colts.com Tuesday, October 20 2009

Bill Polian, in his 12th season as Colts president, has a resume unique in the NFL. One of two men to win NFL Executive of the Year five times, Polian in the 1980s built the Buffalo Bills into a four-time Super Bowl participant. In the mid-1990s, he built the expansion Carolina Panthers into a team that made the NFC Championship Game in its second season, 1996. Since joining Indianapolis in 1998, he built the Colts from a 3-13 team in 1997 and 1998 into one that has made the playoffs 10 of the last 11 seasons, including an AFC Championship Game appearance after the 2003 and 2006 seasons, AFC South titles in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 and a Super Bowl championship following the 2006 season. Each week during the season, in The Polian Corner, Polian and Colts.com will discuss issues pertinent to the Colts and the rest of the NFL.


Q: You mentioned Fili Moala. That's a huge transition at defensive tackle, from college to the NFL, is it not?


A: Huge transition. First of all, it's a very difficult situation for a rookie to come in from college football and play on the defensive line in the NFL. Here are some of the reasons. First of all, a college defensive lineman who's good enough to make it to the NFL is usually very dominant at the college level. He's playing against very inferior people compared to what he's going to play against in the NFL. As one defensive lineman told me, 'My first practice in the NFL was like a punch right in the mouth.' He said, 'I had no idea that it was this intense or those offensive linemen were that good.' Secondly, many of them have to unlearn collegiate techniques and then learn professional techniques for the simple reason that the athletes are better, the blocking schemes are more crisply executed. You cannot simply overpower a player the way you could at the collegiate level. You have to play with skill and you have to play with technique. That's very important. Technique is extremely important at the pro level. It's not quite as important, nor is it taught as much, at the collegiate level. It's a very difficult transition and finally, for any rookie, the speed of the game is incredibly arresting. It's hard to describe in words the difference between the speed of play in the NFL and the collegiate level. It is day and night. If you compare the jump from Triple A baseball to the Major Leagues and you compare the jump from college basketball to the NBA and you compare the jump from college football to the NFL, the biggest jump – the farthest distances that a rookie has to go – is in the NFL. Most people presume it's the NBA. That's not true. If you can score, you can score anywhere, but in the NFL, you’d better be able to play. You’d better be strong. You’d better be stout. You’d better be well-conditioned. You’d better be a technician. Even then, you're probably only batting .500 against the guy opposite you because he's all of those things and experienced as well.


Q: Is that the reason for the Year 2 jump?


A: Yes. That's correct. That's the biggest jump in sports – the maturation process and the production increase between a rookie year and the second-year player. The second-year player understands what he's up against. He understands what he has to do to prepare. Don't forget: the year previously he was preparing for the draft, listening to his agent and his mother and father and all the well-wishers telling him how he was going to set the NFL on fire. Then, at the same time, he learns the game a lot better. Through the offseason program he develops technique-wise. It's very important. He understands the game better. For example, Peyton Manning went from 3-13 with a very negative interceptions-to-touchdowns ratio in his rookie year, and he's the epitome of worker. When you look up the word, 'worker' in the dictionary, Peyton Manning's picture appears. He went from 3-13 to 13-3 and a positive interception-to-touchdown-pass ratio the second year. That's what happens to all rookies. Not as many make quite the jump Peyton did, but they do make a gigantic leap.

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Great article. Thanks for posting.


Makes you wonder how many talented players were never given the chance to develop.



He makes a lot of since, the transition to the pro level is a lot more complex and when you step up to the big show you are no longer the big fish in a little pond, its a lake full of big fish.




Only the Able Survive.

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