Former NFL executive Bill Polian, who is best known as the architect of the Colts as GM and then team president from 1998-2011, is a respected football mind. He also drafted Peyton Manning with the No. 1 overall pick in 1998 and then didn’t have to worry about what else to do about that position for the next 13 season, when Manning started every game.
Manning was injured in 2011. The Colts had bad backup QB plans — Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins all started at least three games apiece. Indianapolis went 2-14. Polian was fired.
So to reiterate: Polian is a good football mind, but maybe not when it comes to decisions on backup quarterbacks.
That’s your background information for what Polian had to say Tuesday night on Sirius XM radio, in the wake of Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending injury. In a discussion of the Vikings’ options for bringing in a QB, Polian not only uttered the name we don’t like to name but did so with emphasis:
Christian Ponder is the “obvious choice” for the Vikings, he said.
Let’s hear Polian out for a moment, give him a chance to explain.
“He’s the obvious choice for a lot of reasons. The only drawback … is that he is a failed No. 1 choice in Minnesota, and all the fans know it. To some degree the players know it — not to some degree, the players do know it. … But you’re in a heck of a fix right now. And he provides, as a backup with Shaun Hill being the guy, as a backup he provides stability and a little bit of time to look for a better solution. Ultimately sometimes in a situation where there are no good solutions, the least hurtful solution is the one that makes sense.”
Shorter Polian: everybody in Minnesota knows Ponder can’t play, but maybe bring him back anyway because you need somebody and it could be worse.
OK, that’s not quite fair. If you squint at what he’s saying from the perfect angle, it makes sense. Ponder — who recently joined the 49ers but figures to be cut/expendable there — knows the system. The Vikings know him. He would know his role.
But still: no.