Polian: This is a Very Complex Issue

Bill Polian spoke to the media earlier this week and attempted to clear the air about what's going on with the Colts' coaching situation. The Colts' president repeated that there are no easy answers in the issue and the team is still trying to figure out what to do going forward. See all of what Polian had to say inside!

On Peyton Manning's comments that he was peeved about a lack of communication about the status of Tom Moore and Howard Mudd:

"I don't know about being peeved. I understand that he is somewhat confused because so are we all. This is a very complex issue that has nothing to do with the Colts, and has nothing to do with football, and has everything to do with the individual retirement issues that these two men face with respect to the NFL Retirement Plan and, specifically, the funding of that plan by teams other than the Colts. So, it's an extremely complex issue that is very difficult to understand and explain. We've been wrestling with it since January and, by the way, there is a timing issue involved here that has to do with the plan and the law. The long and short of it is, that for their own personal reasons, which are completely understandable, they had no alternative (but) to do what they did, but to try to explain it to someone and explain the issues is very difficult. It took us the better part of six months to get some definitive answers for them on what they ought to do. It's understandable that Peyton is confused because so am I, so is (Colts Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay, and so is everybody else around here."

On when and how Tom Moore and Howard Mudd may be able to rejoin the Colts:

"Jim Irsay said that last week he very much would like to have them back. That echoes the sentiment of everyone of us here in this building. If it can be done, how it can be done, when it can be done, remains very much an open question. We don't have any answers to that. We have people trying to research it, but honestly it's very difficult. It's trying to put jello in a jar. It's very difficult to come up with any definitive answers. What you have heard is largely what we have heard, and then when you research it you find out that, in fact, it isn't true. We're looking for the right answers. Somewhere out there somebody has the right answers, but I don't have any right now."

On how Tom Moore and Howard Mudd could return after Larry Kennan, executive director of the NFL coaches association, indicated that the NFL closed a loophole to bring back retired coaches as unpaid consultants:

"That is not my understanding. But, again, it is an extremely complex issue, and I don't know who has the correct facts and who doesn't. My understanding of that statement is that that it is not the case, but I wouldn't want to testify to that in a court of law."

On if he would be in favor of bringing back Tom Moore and Howard Mudd as consultants if it is possible:

"I will echo what Peyton said, ‘I don't know what a consultant is.' We would love to have them back working for us at some time in some capacity. Whether or not that can be done and how it can be done and under what circumstances, I don't have any answer for at this moment. I think it's fair to say that's what Peyton was saying earlier in the day. It's frustrating. I'm sure he's frustrated. I know I'm frustrated. I'm sure everyone else that has worked with this issue has been, too. It's just one of those things. My position is that they did what they had to do, we understand that perfectly. We encouraged them to do it because it was the right thing for them and for their families. Moving forward, we are just going as though this is the final chapter, and we'll move on and take it from there. If there is another chapter, that would be wonderful, but we can't say for sure that there is one at this point."

On if he's ever had a year like this with so many changes to a staff and the loss of a Hall-of-Fame player in Marvin Harrison and if it concerns him:

"Well, now that you have said all that I'm beginning to worry. Actually, it's been a very turbulent year, but I wouldn't say that it has been a shocking, debilitating, or troubling a year. No, I'll take back troubling. Whenever you lose people that are friends, Tony Dungy, Dom Anile, Marvin Harrison, John Becker, people of that nature, it's troubling. It's personally troubling. All of the other people that left this building, Hunter Smith et al. I can't name them all, that's troubling personally. But professionally, and especially in this day and age in sports, we're inured to change. It is what it is. It's a fact of life. So, you have to move on. In some cases, like Dom's retirement, Tony's retirement and Marvin's retirement, you've planned out in the future for that because you know that day will come. You don't like to focus upon it, and you don't like it when it does come. You recognize that it's going to have to come at some point in time, so you plan for it. That planning gives you a confidence that you can move ahead. So, obviously, we planned for Tony's retirement. Obviously, Tom Telesco (Director of Player Personnel) was in place and Dom was acting in a consulting capacity and as much as I'll miss him personally, we'd moved on there. In other areas, most notably Howard and Tom, we had replacements ready and able. In Pete's (Metzelaars) case, he had already stepped in and done the job when Howard was out with his knee replacement last year. So, change is a fact of life. I don't have the luxury of reflecting on the personal part of it right now, because you're too busy to do that. When I do reflect on it, obviously, it's hard to see people go that are your friends, but that doesn't mean they stop being your friends either. You continue those friendships and you treasure those relationships, but change is a fact of life in our business and you have to be prepared to deal with it, and I think we have and are. When I say, ‘It's business as usual,' that is not a disingenuous statement. It really has been business as usual because that's the way (Colts Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay wants it, and that's sort of the way we operate anyway. We're prepared and confident that we'll go into this season every bit as effective as we've been in years past."

On if he worries about the dynamics of having Moore and Mudd back as consultants:

"First of all, it's extremely premature and hypothetical to talk about that. If you talk about it in a hypothetical sense, I'm very wary of consultants, whatever that may be. We have no job description for this hypothetical consultant, but if we had one, I'd probably be wary of it. But, it's like asking whether or not you'd like your older brother to be a consultant as opposed to someone you don't know who came from an investment bank, let's say. There are two separate issues, your older brother who you trust implicitly, who you've lived with, worked with, who you've fought a lot of battles alongside, you have the ultimate faith and confidence in him, and so there's no issue there. A stranger is a totally different issue."


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On Peyton Manning's comments that he was peeved about a lack of communication about the status of Tom Moore and Howard Mudd:

\"I don't know about being peeved. I understand that he is somewhat confused because so are we all. This is a very complex issue that has nothing to do with the Colts, and has nothing to do with football, and has everything to do with the individual retirement issues that these two men face with respect to the NFL Retirement Plan and, specifically, the funding of that plan by teams other than the Colts. So, it's an extremely complex issue that is very difficult to understand and explain. We've been wrestling with it since January and, by the way, there is a timing issue involved here that has to do with the plan and the law. The long and short of it is, that for their own personal reasons, which are completely understandable, they had no alternative (but) to do what they did, but to try to explain it to someone and explain the issues is very difficult. It took us the better part of six months to get some definitive answers for them on what they ought to do. It's understandable that Peyton is confused because so am I, so is (Colts Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay, and so is everybody else around here.\"

On when and how Tom Moore and Howard Mudd may be able to rejoin the Colts:

\"Jim Irsay said that last week he very much would like to have them back. That echoes the sentiment of everyone of us here in this building. If it can be done, how it can be done, when it can be done, remains very much an open question. We don't have any answers to that. We have people trying to research it, but honestly it's very difficult. It's trying to put jello in a jar. It's very difficult to come up with any definitive answers. What you have heard is largely what we have heard, and then when you research it you find out that, in fact, it isn't true. We're looking for the right answers. Somewhere out there somebody has the right answers, but I don't have any right now.\"

On how Tom Moore and Howard Mudd could return after Larry Kennan, executive director of the NFL coaches association, indicated that the NFL closed a loophole to bring back retired coaches as unpaid consultants:

\"That is not my understanding. But, again, it is an extremely complex issue, and I don't know who has the correct facts and who doesn't. My understanding of that statement is that that it is not the case, but I wouldn't want to testify to that in a court of law.\"

On if he would be in favor of bringing back Tom Moore and Howard Mudd as consultants if it is possible:

\"I will echo what Peyton said, ‘I don't know what a consultant is.' We would love to have them back working for us at some time in some capacity. Whether or not that can be done and how it can be done and under what circumstances, I don't have any answer for at this moment. I think it's fair to say that's what Peyton was saying earlier in the day. It's frustrating. I'm sure he's frustrated. I know I'm frustrated. I'm sure everyone else that has worked with this issue has been, too. It's just one of those things. My position is that they did what they had to do, we understand that perfectly. We encouraged them to do it because it was the right thing for them and for their families. Moving forward, we are just going as though this is the final chapter, and we'll move on and take it from there. If there is another chapter, that would be wonderful, but we can't say for sure that there is one at this point.\"

On if he's ever had a year like this with so many changes to a staff and the loss of a Hall-of-Fame player in Marvin Harrison and if it concerns him:

\"Well, now that you have said all that I'm beginning to worry. Actually, it's been a very turbulent year, but I wouldn't say that it has been a shocking, debilitating, or troubling a year. No, I'll take back troubling. Whenever you lose people that are friends, Tony Dungy, Dom Anile, Marvin Harrison, John Becker, people of that nature, it's troubling. It's personally troubling. All of the other people that left this building, Hunter Smith et al. I can't name them all, that's troubling personally. But professionally, and especially in this day and age in sports, we're inured to change. It is what it is. It's a fact of life. So, you have to move on. In some cases, like Dom's retirement, Tony's retirement and Marvin's retirement, you've planned out in the future for that because you know that day will come. You don't like to focus upon it, and you don't like it when it does come. You recognize that it's going to have to come at some point in time, so you plan for it. That planning gives you a confidence that you can move ahead. So, obviously, we planned for Tony's retirement. Obviously, Tom Telesco (Director of Player Personnel) was in place and Dom was acting in a consulting capacity and as much as I'll miss him personally, we'd moved on there. In other areas, most notably Howard and Tom, we had replacements ready and able. In Pete's (Metzelaars) case, he had already stepped in and done the job when Howard was out with his knee replacement last year. So, change is a fact of life. I don't have the luxury of reflecting on the personal part of it right now, because you're too busy to do that. When I do reflect on it, obviously, it's hard to see people go that are your friends, but that doesn't mean they stop being your friends either. You continue those friendships and you treasure those relationships, but change is a fact of life in our business and you have to be prepared to deal with it, and I think we have and are. When I say, ‘It's business as usual,' that is not a disingenuous statement. It really has been business as usual because that's the way (Colts Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay wants it, and that's sort of the way we operate anyway. We're prepared and confident that we'll go into this season every bit as effective as we've been in years past.\"

On if he worries about the dynamics of having Moore and Mudd back as consultants:

\"First of all, it's extremely premature and hypothetical to talk about that. If you talk about it in a hypothetical sense, I'm very wary of consultants, whatever that may be. We have no job description for this hypothetical consultant, but if we had one, I'd probably be wary of it. But, it's like asking whether or not you'd like your older brother to be a consultant as opposed to someone you don't know who came from an investment bank, let's say. There are two separate issues, your older brother who you trust implicitly, who you've lived with, worked with, who you've fought a lot of battles alongside, you have the ultimate faith and confidence in him, and so there's no issue there. A stranger is a totally different issue.\"


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