Former Colts exec Bill Polian on Dallas Clark, Greg Schiano and the Bucs' defense
Former Colts general manager Bill Polian, visiting Bucs camp today with Sirius NFL Radio, offered his sentiments on a few Bucs-related topics while watching the morning practice.
Polian’s uniquely qualified to address Bucs free-agent signing Dallas Clark, who was on the Colts’ roster until last season, also Polian’s last with the team.
As he watched Clark have another good practice, Polian seemed convinced Clark could be an important asset for the Bucs if he indeed is healthy.
“He’s still as good a player as you can find,” Polian said. “The Dallas Clark intangibles are off the charts. If you drew up a football player and said I want the guy to have a love for the game, great work ethic, smarts, cares about football and his teammates, tough – if you looked all of those up, his picture comes up. He’s as good as it gets in that regard. And he is, and was, exceptionally talented. He’s as talented as any receiving tight end as there’s ever been in the league.
“The only question is his health.”
It’s a big question considering how much playing time Clark has missed in the past two seasons – 15 of 32 games – but Polian has a theory on why Clark looks so good.
“Maybe the fact that he had that layoff last year might actually be good for him,” Polian said of Clark, who played just six games in 2010. “The 100-catch season (in 2009) took a real toll. You don’t catch 100 balls down the middle and not take a lot of hits. Hopefully he’s back and feeling better and if he stays healthy, he’s a great addition to the football team on and off the field. He’s as good as it gets.”
Beyond that, Polian addressed a couple other topics. Here he is sharing his thoughts on Greg Schiano’s ultra-disciplined approach to coaching:
“That’s exactly what this team needed. This is a team that needs discipline. They have to cut out the penalties and the mistakes – all the things that don’t help you win. He knows how to win and I don’t doubt that he’ll be successful. Any time you turn the roster over, any time you come into a new team, there’s a period of time where you have to learn your players.
“I would think he’ll go through that process this season, because there’s nothing like games to really figure that out. You can’t really figure that out in OTAs and practice. So after that, he’ll be a lot better prepared to take this team where he wants to go. After a year in his system, they’ll understand what he wants and he understands what they can do. But you’ll see results right away because of his disciplined approach. It’ll pay off right away and you’ll see a marked change in how they play.”
And here’s Polian on the side of the ball he thinks can really excel this season (hint: It’s not the unit you think):
“Vincent Jackson is a nice pickup and (Doug Martin) is a nice pickup, but to me, where this team has a chance to be really good is on defense. They have some nice pieces on defense.”