One of ESPN’s on-air personalities that survived his meeting with the Bobs a couple weeks ago is New England’s old buddy Bill Polian, the Colts’ president and vice chairman from 1997-2011 in the glory days of Peyton Manning before getting fired after the “Suck For Luck” season in 2011. He’s also doing some analyst work for Sirius XM radio, and on Tuesday night, a caller had the balls to ask how the Buffalo Bills - you know, the guys that haven’t made the playoffs in 17 straight seasons - can hang with the Patriots this year.
Note: this is a perfectly reasonable and good question! Buffalo’s management pretty much all got fired after some meetings with the Bobs of their own, Sammy Watkins had his fifth-year option turned down because he’s only played 37 games in 3 seasons, and the Bills seem like they’ve had more quarterbacks than you or I have had Tinder matches, and just like most of those, they’re perpetually striking out on them. (Just me? OK then). Oh, and Rex Ryan somehow managed to take a top-5 defense and screw it up badly enough that they faceplanted all the way to 24th in the NFL in DVOA. Very un-Rexy, but hey, it happened, people don’t forget.
Polian was not impressed.
“Tom Brady was a quarter away from losing the Super Bowl last year pretty decisively,” Polian said. “They are a great team. They are not as great as people think they are. They’re not invincible. What they are is exceptionally well-constructed and exceptionally well-coached. But, Tom Brady isn’t going to play forever. He showed some signs of being human last year on a number of occasions, including in the Super Bowl.”
Aside from the obvious Mean Girls style here, Bill doesn’t even really answer the question, he just jumps on the chance to say the Patriots aren’t the superteam that everyone - Vegas included! - is talking about them being this year. There’s nothing in there about the Bills making some slick draft-day trades and how they still snagged one of the draft’s better corners in LSU’s Tre’Davious White, boosted the offense with East Carolina’s Zay Jones and O-lineman Dion Dawkins, and they have two firsts coming up in 2018, not to mention rookie head coach Sean McDermott’s tenure as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator cranking out some of the league’s best defenses.
Nope, just pretty much “Tom Brady’s going to retire some day, and every once in a while he makes mistakes while he’s playing tether-ball with the record books, so...go with that. They’re great, just not as great as everyone thinks.”
On the other hand, if anyone would know about Tom Brady, it’d be Bill Polian - he did have a first-round draft grade on TB12, after all. Who are we to argue?