Bill Polian never was a threat to pull a Bill Tobin during his long run as a general manager. Unlike another former Colts GM, he insists he didn’t dwell on what Mel Kiper, Tobin’s nemesis, and the other draft experts were saying.
Last week, I asked Polian a few questions in advance of his first NFL draft as an analyst for ESPN.
There’s so much out there in the way of speculation and analysis about the draft. Did it ever have any effect on you as a general manager?
Polian: When I was a general manager, I paid very little attention to it. I was paying attention to getting our board right and doing things necessary for us to have a good draft. I was concentrating solely on that. So I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it, very honestly.
What will be your approach? Will you be critiquing picks?
Polian: Tony Dungy mentioned it to me in a conversation very recently, and I think it’s right on. We, meaning he and I who have had great experience in this business, can bring to viewers a great perspective. This is the way things happen in the draft room. This is the way things happen in the lockerroom. This is how you build a team, etc. I’m less concerned about opinion than I am about explaining what I know actually goes on. I look at it from a educational standpoint rather than from an opinion standpoint.
Does it feel strange not preparing for a draft?
Polian: I must admit that it does. There are things that I’m doing now that I never would have dreamed of doing during draft preparation (laughing). It’s different, but that’s good, because I’m learning new things and learning to appreciate how people deliver information here, and how it get packaged and programmed. So it’s new and interesting and exciting. But it is very different than what I’m used to.