Polian points finger at O-line, special teams

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There are still quite a few questions surrounding the recently ended Indianapolis Colts season.

Those questions range from what caused the Super Bowl loss to why the lack of local reception for the team upon their return to Indianapolis.
Colts President Bill Polian took a crack yesterday at some of those lingering questions.

As for the loss, Polian said in a Q&A on the team’s Web site the blame rests plainly with the offensive line and special teams.

“Our offensive line, by our standards, did not have a good game,” Polian said. “They were outplayed by the Saints’ defensive line. Our special teams, in terms of handing the ball—both in the return game and on the onside kick—were outplayed by the Saints. Therein lies the result. It had nothing to do with strategy or preparedness or toughness or effort. All of that was there. We just didn’t execute.”

Not exactly earth-shattering revelations, but ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic this morning took exception with Polian pointing a finger at certain players and abandoning a “win as a team, lose as a team” mentality.

But, Colts fans might ask, ‘What about Pierre Garcon’s dropped pass or Peyton Manning’s interception? Didn’t that have something to do with the loss?’

“You can say, ‘Well, Pierre should have caught the ball,’ Polian said. “It would have been a tough catch. I don’t think every receiver ought to catch every ball. They’re going to drop one or two every now and then. You’re going to throw an interception now and then. But when you can’t gain a yard when you have to gain a yard in order to go into the locker room ahead, 10-3, with all the momentum on your side, then you didn’t execute. When you fail to handle an onside kick when there are four positive things you can do to handle it to make it go in your favor and you don’t do it, then you didn’t execute.”

While Polian deftly dissected Sunday’s game, he was at a loss to explain the Colts’ post-game re-entry into Indianapolis. That re-entry included a low-key airport arrival and not having a parade.

At least one player, Raheem Brock, was disappointed by how things went down. He told fans on his Twitter account that some players were disappointed and felt abandoned because only 11 fans turned out at the airport.

Polian said no one on the Colts’ football side was consulted about a parade.
Q: Why was there no rally or parade after the season?

“I cannot give you an answer on that,” Polian responded on Colts.com. “I would imagine that’s handled by our community affairs or marketing people in conjunction with folks from the city. I’m just guessing on that. We were not told anything or asked anything about a rally of any kind.”

An official with Mayor Greg Ballard’s office said Colts officials expressly asked for a low-key entry back home and for no parade to be held. Colts officials said they did not ask for a low-key entry back home.

The determination not to have a parade if the team lost was already made before the Super Bowl ever began, said Colts Senior Executive Vice President Pete Ward.

“In ’07 we decided to not have a celebration if we lost,” Ward explained. “We followed that same template for this game as well.”

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