It’s no secret around Indianapolis these days that Bill Polian’s son, Vice President and general manager Chris Polian, has been much more involved in the decision-making process in the Colts’ front office lately. Although it has no doubt proven effective over the years, the Colts’ blueprint has always remained stubbornly boring: build the team from within through quality draft picks and player development. Apparently Chris didn’t get that memo this year.
On Tuesday, the Colts decided to dabble in free agency. And dabble, they did. Let’s officially call it Blue Tuesday. In what was easily the most active and aggressive the Colts have ever been on the free agent market in a 24-hour period (hell, maybe an entire offseason), they inked three former first-round picks, each to one-year deals.
Defensive end Jamaal Anderson, defensive tackle Tommie Harris and linebacker Ernie Sims will all be taking their talents to the Circle City courtesy of the Colts’ newfound approach under Polian the Younger. Bravo, Chris, bravo. Whatever you’ve been barking in your father’s ear or slipping into his morning coffee seems to be working. Less cowbell, more free agents.
Based on the vibe in the city today, it’s safe to say that the shock of the Colts signing a free agent, let alone three, still hasn’t quite sunk in. Some fans are skeptical that the new guys will make a huge impact on the defense, but the reality is that they will provide solid depth at the very least. They all were signed to affordable one-year deals, so what’s the downside? If they don’t pan out, just cut bait.
The linebacker corps and defensive line lacked depth and were huge question marks prior to Blue Tuesday. Suddenly the heart of the Colts defense not only looks legit, but actually pretty impressive. Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Eric Foster and Fili Moala all return to prominent roles on the D-Line. Add Tommie Harris and Jamaal Anderson into the mix. Oh yea, and the Colts drafted Drake Nevis, a defensive tackle from LSU who could be a stud once he gets his feet wet.
The Colts will have blue collar linebacker Gary Brackett manning the middle again this year, with promising second-year guy Pat Angerer starting on the strong side. The newly-acquired Sims will battle it out with Kavell Conner, another second-year linebacker with upside, to see who starts on the weak side. Nate Triplett and Phillip Wheeler will provide additional depth at the position if they’re still on the roster when the season starts, otherwise the Colts might have to rely on a rookie or two to help out if they don’t sign another veteran.
But back to Bill and Chris Polian, they finally opened their eyes to the big scary world of free agency after watching the Jets, Patriots and Eagles dominate the market over the past few seasons with mostly positive returns. The old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” certainly comes to mind when thinking that Chris
absolutely probably had more to do with these recent moves than his father did.
Whatever the case, whether it’s Chris’ new school approach to the offseason or Bill’s stubbornness slowly wearing off with age, the moves this father-son tandem just made provided an immediate upgrade to the defense and could be the difference come January. The adventure that occurred yesterday shall forever be known as Blue Tuesday from this day forward.