Bill Polian on being fired: “It’s not shocking. I’m a Jim Irsay guy and will be until the day I die.”January 5, 2012 – 6:30 am by Steven Cuce
A shockwave was felt through the football world when the news broke of Bill and Chris Polian being fired by the Indianapolis Colts. From the sound of it the move wasn’t a big surprise at all for Bill Polian.
The former Vice Chairman of the Indianapolis Colts talks about the nature of business in the NFL. He speaks about accountability and the fact that he didn’t get the job done in terms of having the Colts prepared to win without a sufficient backup quarterback.
The following interview really speaks volume to the kind of character exhibited by both Bill and Chris Polian. They have both taken full responsibility for the 2-14 season that occurred for the Colts and understand why Jim Irsay wanted to go in another direction.
Bill Polian joined 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis with JMV to discuss being fired by the Indianapolis Colts, being prepared for the final decision by Jim Irsay, the final meeting between himself and Jim Irsay, whether it was fair for Jim Irsay to fire himself and his son, Chris Polian, Jim Caldwell remaining as the Indianapolis Colts head coach and his future plans for his career.
What was the overall shock when you were told by Jim Irsay that the Colts wanted to go in a different direction?
“No shock. Some big surprises, but when you are 2-14 in this business and especially in this day and age there needs to be some accountability. I was not at all surprised that that happened. It happens in this business and it’s not shocking.”
You were prepared for the final decision from Jim Irsay based on the Colts record and how the season went?
“Oh yeah. Absolutely. Sure. I have been around this game a long time and so nothing surprises you and very little shocks you.”
You guys have known each other and been friends for as long as 30 years according to Jim Irsay. How was that final meeting like for the both of you?
“Well I am sure very difficult for him and it was very difficult for me as well. We have been friends for 30 years. I have worked for him for 14 years. In my respectsl the 14 happiest years of my life. He’s been a great friend, a great boss, and a great supporter. He remains that way. It’s never easy to have these kinds of leave takings, but it happens in our business and we both understand that, but I don’t think that will affect at least from my part my affection for him and my respect for him. I’m a Jim Irsay guy and will be until the day I die.”
Do you think it was fair to let you and your son, Chris Polian, go for the 2-14 season?
“I think as I said before you always when one of these seasons takes place in especially a franchise like this where the public and the media are use to long term overwhelming, unprecedented success there is a feeling for a need of accountability. I understand that. That’s part of the business. Jerry Jones was in a league meeting one time someone asked if this was necessarily a fair thing to do and he said it is not about fair. It is about what is right for the franchise and what is right for the league and that was well said. It’s not about what you have done in the past. It’s about what is going to happen in the future and what needs to be done for the good of the franchise and I understand I have been an executive for a long time and understand ownerships prerogative and perspectives and from Jim’s perspective he feels very strongly that he is not only owner, but the steward of the franchise for the fans and in this particular case he felt this was the best role to take and I would never question that.”
Do you think Jim Caldwell is going to keep his job?
“I do not know. I do not know. That’s a decision Jim will have to make and consultation from whoever is the next general manager or however they title that position. As you know I think the world of Jim Caldwell and as I’ve said to you before and I said many times the biggest issue was not having the ability to have a backup quarterback who could step in right away and perform at a high level and that is my responsibility not Jim’s, so I think the world of him. I think he is a heck of a coach, but ultimately Jim Irsay will have to make a decision there as well.”
Have you thought about what you want to do next in the future?
“I haven’t thought much about it. My focus has been trying to help every body over at the complex that has to find work to do so and to help with leads and recommendations and setting up the logistics to do that and then of course making our own personal transition, so I really haven’t thought much about the future. We’ll kind of let that take care of itself. I usually have found in my career that when you are least prepared and you least see something on the horizon something pops up.”