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The Drive Monday 10-15-12 Bill Polian, former GM of the Indianapolis Colts and current NFL Analyst for ESPN, stopped “The Drive” to talk to Taylor Zarzour and Marc James to discuss the Panthers disappointing season and other headlines around the rest of the NFL.
One of the big stories of the NFL season this far is parity around the league and injuries, but Bill Polian said this is really nothing new. ”The league is so thin, whether you call it parity or thinness, it doesn’t matter. One or two key injuries really determine everything.”
Mr.Polian also addressed the feeling of disappointment currently surrounding the Panthers franchise, and had some specific advice for struggling quarterback, Cam Newton.
“First of all, relax. Everybody goes through a trying time. Second of all, concentrate on the details. Block out all the noise – whether it’s favorable noise or unfavorable noise. Block it out, and get back to the basics of playing quarterback within the system that Rob Chudzinski has given him. And master the fundamentals of the game. Listen to Mike Shula. Listen to what he has to say.”
For Cam Newton, according to Polian, as special as he is, he has to rely on things other than his physical ability in order to have success.
“It’s about learning how to play quarterback. He has a great Coordinator who does things that compliment and accentuate Cam’s talent. And he has a great Quartback Coach who can help him grow into an all-around great QB, but he’s not there yet… So all he has to do is keep working. And most importantly, block out all the noise. Don’t go underground. Just play football. Don’t worry about anything else.”
Polian became renowned for his relationship and work with one the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, Peyton Manning. And if he could offer any advice on developing into the same type of leader, he had this to tell Cam: “Leadership is earned, it’s not given. And it’s given to least of all to people outside of the team… Leadership is earned on the field.”
Lastly, the guys asked him about Marty Hurney and Panthers failure to succeed throughout the majority of his tenure and whether or not he thought that the Panthers GM’s job is in jeopardy.
“I don’t think so. I think they’re on the right track. I think that their growth and development depends on two things: how fast Cam grows and develops, and how quickly they can get the defense to the point where it can get off the field on third down. And that, to me, seems to be the two biggest issues. And Marty doesn’t control either one of those. I’m a Marty Hurney fan. There’s no two ways about it. He’s a friend, but I think he’s done a lot of good things here, too. So I would say that no, it’s not time, because I don’t see any reason to change dramatically the path that they’re on.”
You can catch Bill Polian on ESPN’s NFL Live, weekdays from 4:00 – 5:00pm, EST.