While talking about the draft, he reinforced that the team's strategy won't just focus on positions of need. "We're going to take the best player, regardless," he said.
He then referenced how fans were shocked when Indianapolis used their top pick on WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark in previous drafts, but noted that both turned out to be good selections that helped the team.
In regards to how much Combine and Pro Day workouts impact the Colts' scoring of prospects, the Colts "almost never" move a player around on their draft board according to Polian, unless they see a really dramatic change. They focus on what the player accomplished and how he looked in live action on the football field.
"Stock up, stock down stuff is a creation of the media," he said.
The Colts president also revealed that the team put a longterm contract offer in front of unrestricted free agent defensive end Dwight Freeney and his agent just shortly after putting the franchise tag on him. And he noted that the numbers were better than those seen so far in free agency for defensive ends. He believes the current free agent market prices will help make Freeney's agent realize that the offer is a fair one.
|Colts safety Mike Doss (Getty Images/Andy Lyons)|
"I hope we have the opportunity to bring him back," Polian said.
Although some people are talking about the Colts' need to get more active in signing free agents because of their offseason losses to date, Polian said he just doesn't believe the solution to personnel needs is through free agency. And as a result, not being active isn't an issue for the Colts.
And if there was any doubt left that second-year player Freddie Keiaho will get the chance to win the weakside linebacker job this year, the message was clear from the Colts' president.
"We think he can step in and replace Cato," he said.
Polian made it clear that he will personally miss Nick Harper and the other Colts he has lost so far in free agency, but he acknowledged that the team has to separate business decisions from personal feelings at times like this. And he said that Harper was getting older and was having more problems with injuries, mentioning that he missed three quarters of the Colts' win over the Bears in the Super Bowl. He also pointed out that WR Brandon Stokley -- another big-name loss for the Colts -- was only on the field for a few plays or possessions for the Colts last year because of all of his injuries.
On a personal level, Polian said he worries about losing people of the personal caliber of the ones he's lost so far this year, as well as those from previous years such as David Thornton, Marcus Washington and Mike Peterson.
And he pointed out a truth that Colts fans are increasingly understanding; that if a team manages to consistently draft well, they're eventually going to lose good guys year after year.