The Indianapolis Colts announced early Monday morning that they will induct former General Manager Bill Polian into their team’s Ring of Honor later in the 2016 season.
The Indianapolis Colts have been known to be one of the most successful teams in NFL history over the last 20 years. Much of that success can be attributed to then-General Manager Bill Polian.
Before he became a part of the Colts’ front-office in 1998, Polian gained his reputation from working as the GM of the Buffalo Bills from 1986 through 1992 — making several key draft selections and offseason pickups that helped anchor a Bills team that appeared in four-straight super bowls during his tenure.
Some of Polian’s most-notable draft selections while with the Colts included the likes of Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, pass rushers Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, Dallas Clark, Antoine Bethea and Bob Sanders.
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During Polian’s tenure with the team, the Colts set numerous NFL team records — such as winning 115 regular season games through 2000-2009, the most wins in a decade by any team in NFL history.
However, Polian was fired by owner Jim Irsay just one day removed from the Colts’ 2011 season finale in which the team finished with a league-worst 2-14 record — solidifying their rights to the first pick of the 2012 draft and their quarterback of the future in Andrew Luck from Stanford.
Polian has gone on record saying that he almost drafted quarterback Andy Dalton in the 2011 NFL Draft. The team ended up taking offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo instead of Dalton. Had the Colts selected Dalton, they probably would have won more than just two total games in 2011 and would have never had the chance to draft Luck, rewriting history for both the Colts and the NFL.
While Polian may have made some questionable moves as the GM of the Colts all of those years, he also made some brilliant ones that helped bring a super bowl to the city of Indianapolis and helped earn himself a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame — being inducted in the 2015 class.
Polian will be inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime of the Colts’ week 17 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on January 1st at Lucas Oil Stadium.