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New York Jets General Manager Candidate: Bill Polian

Ezra Shaw

Hiring Bill Polian as general manager of the Jets would be very similar to many moves the franchise has recently made. It would make a huge splash by bringing in a huge name. It also would have more style than substance. Polian is not a great candidate to turn the Jets around.

Polian has served as general manager of three different teams. He started with the Bills, where he was the architect of the teams that went to four consecutive Super Bowls. He was there for the first three. He moved onto Carolina, where he built a team that came within a game of the Super Bowl in its second season of existence. Then he went to the Colts, who won a Super Bowl and contended almost every year he was there. He sounds like a slam dunk, right?

The problem with Polian is that it looks like the game has seriously passed him by. His last few years in Indianapolis were terrible. He had absolutely abysmal Drafts and assembled one of the least talented rosters in football. These things were papered over because he had a legendary quarterback who could carry the team on his back. Then he didn't. Unlike when Tom Brady went down with the Patriots in 2008, the Colts had neither the talent nor the coaching to even put a passable team on the field after Peyton Manning gets hurt. A team that goes to the Playoffs with a great quarterback and then picks first in the Draft without that quarterback is a team that does not have a general manager putting talent on the field.

Just listen to some of the players the Colts in the first two rounds of Polian's last five Drafts. You have Anthony Gonzalez, Tony Ugoh, Mike Pollak, Philip Wheeler, Donald Brown, Fili Moala, Jerry Hughes, Pat Angerer, Anthony Castonzo, and Ben Ijalana. To those of you who want the team to rebuild through the Draft, do these sound like the kind of players who would make the Jets contenders?

Going a little deeper, I have heard the same thing from multiple people who have followed Polian closely. He has extremely thin skin and would get eaten alive in New York. He cannot handle media criticism. He would likely be a disaster and pick fights with the media. Imagine the first time Gary Myers mocks one of his free agent signings. Polian has only worked in small markets, and there is a reason.

I think Polian is a guy living off his reputation. I don't want him anywhere near the Jets. How about you?