Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Chris Polian catching more blame for the state of the Colts

Chris Polian

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Polian leans on a blocking dummy as he talks on his phone during the NFL team’s football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


With the Colts poised to fall to 0-9 via another blowout loss and, given the Dolphins’ win in Kansas City, to become the last remaining winless team in the NFL, G.M. Chris Polian is taking some heat for his role in the disintegration of the franchise.

As pointed out by Brad Wells of via email and Jason Whitlock of via Twitter, Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star has crafted a compelling case for blaming the team’s current struggles on the son of Vice Chairman Bill Polian.

Based on interviews with several unnamed former Colts employees conducted in recent weeks, Kravitz writes that G.M. Chris Polian is a “toxic force who has brought this franchise to its knees for reasons other than Peyton Manning’s injury.” Apart from Chris Polian’s decisions as the man in charge of personnel, Kravitz explains that damage was done as Chris Polian stood on his father’s shoulders to leapfrog others on the organizational chart.

"[S]ince he started moving up the organizational ladder in the early 2000s for no apparent reason other than being a Polian,” Kravtiz writes, “he has been instrumental in hastening the exits of scouts and assistant coaches who led the Colts to previous greatness.”

The ultimate issue -- and problem -- is nepotism. An accepted practice for many NFL teams, the perception that one employee is getting special treatment based on his name and not his ability or his character can create a host of problems. In Indianapolis, Bill Polian has engineered the handing of the baton to a member of his immediate family.

Though it’s hard to expect a man who owns the team simply because he inherited it from his father to shun the legend of the lucky sperm, it’s one thing to pass ownership from one generation to another. It’s quite another to see the responsibility for running the business be assigned based on anything other than merit.