Colts' Polian preparing for 2010 season

Updated: February 12, 2010, 8:27 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Polian is finished thinking and talking about 2009 and Indianapolis' Super Bowl loss.

Instead, the Colts' president is already focusing on next season and the moves his team needs to make for another title run.

"If you're a professional, you recognize that what happens in this game is in the here and now, not the past. You focus on the future," Polian said Friday. "You focus on the task at hand. That's what you are required to do, that's what successful teams do."

Nobody understands that concept better than Polian, the architect of four-time Super Bowl runner-up Buffalo, 1996 NFC runner-up Carolina and now the Super Bowl runner-up Colts. His fingerprints will undoubtedly be all over what Indy opts to do in this uncertain offseason.

He's just not giving away any trade secrets.

During a surly 25-minute news conference Friday, Polian repeatedly declined to elaborate on the team's biggest question marks, the future of the league's collective bargaining agreement or which areas he thinks need improvement on the Colts.

First, Polian wants to figure out how to deal with his own veterans.

Fifteen players could become free agents March 5, but only two -- middle linebacker Gary Brackett and kicker Matt Stover -- are unrestricted and Stover probably won't be back anyway.

So the Colts will turn their attention to extending the contract of four-time league MVP Peyton Manning. His deal doesn't expire until after the 2010 season, but owner Jim Irsay wants to make Manning the highest-paid quarterback in the league, a discussion Polian wants no part of.

"Why would I negotiate with you?" he said. "I'll negotiate with Tom Condon. That's for he and I to discuss."

Condon is Manning's agent, and it wasn't the only time Polian got punchy Friday.

• When asked about re-signing Brackett, Polian acknowledged that he wants to keep Brackett though he can't guarantee it. Brackett is Indy's defensive captain.

• When asked whether assistant offensive line coach Pete Metzelaars would replace the retired Howard Mudd as offensive line coach, following the scripted succession, Polian said that would be coach Jim Caldwell's decision.

• When asked whether offensive coordinator Tom Moore would return for a 13th season with Manning and the Colts, Polian said he didn't know.

• And when asked about his Monday night critique of the offensive line's performance in the loss to New Orleans, Polian said: "I've spoken about that already. I think what I said is concise and clear."

The question is how much fixing do the Colts need?

They set league records for most consecutive regular-season wins (23), most wins in a decade (115) and extended their own mark of consecutive 12-win seasons to seven. They reached their second Super Bowl in four years.

Plus, Indy accomplished all that despite having four starters out with season-ending injuries. Three other starters -- receiver Reggie Wayne, cornerback Jerraud Powers and defensive end Dwight Freeney -- were not 100 percent in the Super Bowl. Freeney played extensively against the Saints with a torn ligament in his right ankle.

"There is no surgery for Dwight so far as I know," Polian said. "But we have not finalized that list at this point in time."

Nor has Polian completed his evaluations.

He expects the coaches, including Caldwell, to take a short break before coming back and taking a deeper look into what went wrong at the Super Bowl.

"We'll do what we can to improve and we'll do it with the idea that every season is a new season," he said. "There is no carryover. There's no hangover, there's no carryover, it's a brand new season. We are well on the way to dealing with 2010."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press