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Polian compliments work Caldwell has done with winless Colts

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  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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The Colts have plummeted to the bottom of the NFL food chain in 2011, and it's inevitable souls will be held responsible for the free fall at season's end.

Indianapolis' 0-9 record indicates a gross breakdown in nearly all levels of the operation, from the players, to the coaches to the front office.

Colts coach Jim Caldwell is on the front line of the mess, which makes him an obvious target. But Colts vice chairman Bill Polian offered an interesting -- some would say odd -- defense of the coach in a conversation with NFL Network's Albert Breer this week.

"I think he's done a better job than he did in the Super Bowl year," Polian said. "He didn't have the adversity that year that he had last year and this year. Last year's team wasn't a playoff team, and he not only got it there, but came close to advancing. He's done a magnificent job dealing with all the problems."

We're not entirely sure what Polian's getting at here. Does he honestly believe Caldwell has gotten the most out of this team? We'd think not, on account of the whole zero-winning-percentage thing. Was it really Caldwell's scheming and ingenuity -- and not the presence of Peyton Manning -- that willed the 2010 Colts into the playoffs?

Of course, Polian is in a tough spot himself. It's never productive to throw your coach under the bus. That said, when you say your coach is doing a bang-up job on an 0-9 team, the spotlight of shame naturally swings to those that assembled the team ... namely Bill Polian and his son, vice president and general manager Chris Polian.

Perhaps the safest move for the Polians right now is to just lay low. Stay in a motel, grow beards, open a streaming NetFlix account and catch up on "Friday Night Lights." Ride this thing out like the natural disaster it is and hope you live to tell the tale.

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