Pick up most any magazine or hit any of the NFL writers on the web these days and you'll see a similar message being sent by most: The Indianapolis Colts have had a terrible offseason, so much that they might not be the favorites to repeat.
In this week's Sports Illustrated, there was an article raving about what the New England Patriots had done during free-agency -- essentially stamping them for a trip to the Super Bowl -- and in the context of that story, the Colts were slapped around for doing nothing and losing players.
|The Colts made the right call on Edgerrin James, and their moves this offseason shouldn't be any different. (Getty Images)|
If you know the way president Bill Polian does business, you know he hasn't lost anything that he can't afford. Say what you want about Polian. He's feisty, can be downright obnoxious at times -- he has lit into me in the past -- but he's a heck of a football man.
The more I watch him handle his team, the more I come to respect what he does. Maybe this is why: We have similar approaches to the game.
He knows free-agency isn't the end-all, be-all. He knows the draft is how you build a team. He knows a throwing offense keyed by a franchise passer is the way to go.
And he hires good people to make it all work.
That's why the Colts are still the team to beat. Yes, the Patriots have made some nice additions. The signing of linebacker Adalius Thomas was a good one. Getting Wes Welker, Donte' Stallworth and Kelley Washington will help the passing game, but is any one of those a go-to guy?
But lost in all the hoopla of the Colts and Peyton Manning getting to the Super Bowl by winning the AFC Championship Game last January was that the Patriots and Bill Belichick, that defensive wizard, gave up 32 second-half points.
That defense was bludgeoned. And it's getting old in some key spots. Aside from Thomas, they have done little to fix it.
But that's another story. This one is about the perception the Colts have suffered too many losses and added nobody.
A year ago, Polian was blistered for allowing Edgerrin James to leave. Polian told me shortly after that it was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make. He loved the kid. But from a football standpoint, it made sense, he said.