Was Polian Out of Line in Criticizing His Offensive Line?

Days after his team’s Super Bowl loss, the Colts’ president, Bill Polian, had this to say: “Our offensive line, by our standards, did not have a good game. They were outplayed by the Saints’ defensive line. Our special teams, in terms of handing the ball — both in the return game and on the onside kick — were outplayed by the Saints. Therein lies the result. It had nothing to do with strategy or preparedness or toughness or effort.”

It’s surprising that Polian would point any fingers publicly, but particularly at the offensive line. Sunday’s loss was the final game for the revered offensive line coach Howard Mudd. Mudd spent 36 years as an N.F.L. assistant, the last 12 in Indy. During Mudd’s tenure, Peyton Manning was sacked 215 timess – or, just under 18 a season.