Polian Focusing on the Future

Bill Polian wants to look forward, not back, when it comes to the recently completed 2009 season. Fresh of a 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV, the Colts' team president has already begun to concentrate on preparations for the 2010 National Football League season.

That includes making plans for the upcoming National Football Scouting Combine — which is scheduled from Feb. 24 to March 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium — and the NFL draft (April 22-24).

"This was, by any measure, a great season. And I think most people, if you told them on Aug. 1 that we would lose (safety) Bob Sanders, (placekicker) Adam Vinatieri, (wide receiver) Anthony Gonzalez, [strong side linebacker) Tyjuan Hagler, and (quarterback) Jim Sorgi, for all or significant parts of the season, yet finish 16-3 and reach the Super Bowl, you would have said, 'We'll take that in a heartbeat.' And you probably couldn't have found very many people who would have wagered anything on that outcome," he said.

"Through lots of tribulations and strife, we were able to — thanks to (head coach) Jim Caldwell and a great coaching staff — weather all of the storms and reach the ultimate game. I can't say enough about the Jim and the coaching staff did. He kept the team focused through lots of injuries, through lots of strife. He kept them on an even keel, playing with both confidence and abandon. To (the players) ever-lasting credit, they listened. They listened to one voice, the right voice. And he guided them all the way."

Polian added that the team's coaching staff deserved a pat on the back for the way the Colts were able to keep a competitive team on the field throughout the season.

"Our assistant coaches did a phenomenal job. Juggling personnel. Putting people in the lineup. Changing the lineup from week-to-week based on injury. Dealing with the loss of key players. They are to be commended. They did a phenomenal job," he said.

"And the end result was a very, very memorable season. We came up a little short. But that does not, in any way, diminish the great job that everybody did here. Including the fans, who stayed with us through a difficult period and really gave us the push we needed during the playoffs. We're grateful to them and very happy to have them on our side."

Moving on, Polian said that his message to the team was a simple one.

"I tell the players, quite often, when I speak to them during training camp, that the past is prologue. And the (2009) season is in the books. It is relegated to the history of the league and a new season begins. A new season began last Tuesday. And we're hard at work dealing with it," he said.

"What we will do going forward is we will sit down as a staff, after an appropriate period of time when we've got a chance to relax and rest up and get the competitive juices out of our system, and we will evaluate all of our personnel. We'll do what we can to improve and we'll do it with the idea that every season is a new season. There is no carry over. What we did this year doesn't count. What we do to prepare and get ready and continue on next year is what counts. There is no hang over. There is no carry over. It's a brand new season. That's the position that we take. That's the position the players will take. That's the position the coaches will take. And that's the position this organization will take and has already taken."


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