PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if the decision to move the umpire behind the offense was safety driven)
"Yes. About five of six years ago we experimented with putting the umpire in the backfield because we felt then—when I say we I mean the competition committee and the league office staff and the officiating department staff—that there was a physical danger issue. There was a safety issue. That issue has become more exasperated over time and so it was the intent of the committee and the officiating department to make sure that we created a situation that was as safe as possible for these guys. It reached a point where the league office staff felt that the physical danger out there and the safety of the umpire was becoming an issue. So we changed his position. We recognized that there would be: A, mechanical issues and, B, issues with respect to certain penalties that might or might not be called based upon the new position. When we make a change, whether it be a rule or a change in mechanics which this is, it normally takes two seasons to see the full extent of it, and we are very well aware of that. So that's the background of it. The mechanics came forth about a month ago, the first week in training camp. There has been on-going discussion among the competition committee people and I'm sure others around the league and the league office staff. It is a work in progress. We recognized as a committee that the third preseason game was going to be a good test because in virtually all cases the top line players were playing and playing a long time, and in our case we told the league office and the officiating department that we would do all we could to push the tempo to try to create situations where we could find out what kind of a picture we were going to see, and that's what occurred. We'll go back and talk about the post-mortem, and I'm sure there are some tweaks that they will make and we'll move forward with it."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on what his biggest concerns are with the rule after seeing it in the game against Green Bay)
"I don't think there are many. I think they are mechanical in nature. As I said before, I don't think we'll see the full import of it until we get well into the regular season and certainly get a full season's worth of work with it. My concerns right now are simply mechanical, and I think they're very easily solvable."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on the new rule possibly effecting his team more than other teams)
"I don't think that's a concern. We've never had that issue before and if we do the mechanics right, I don't think it ought to be an issue. It was certainly not the intent. If I thought that would be a bi-product of it, obviously I would not have voted for it. There are mechanical issues that we have identified, but I think most teams see that. It's not us alone."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on possible issues with the ruling)
"There are certain times in the game and certain downs and distances where it is going to become more of an issue, and they have to be aware of that and adjust to it."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if he's concerned that two-minute offenses will be effected)
"No, two-minutes (left in either half) he's (the umpire) back in his normal position. Hurry-up offense outside of two minutes, if that's what you're referring to, we'll see. That doesn't seem to have been a problem thus far, but we'll see. They're certainly cognizant of that."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on LB-Gary Brackett)
"He's okay. It's just a bruise. (LB-Pat) Angerer played very well, but yes, sure (I breathed a sigh of relief). I don't even talk about injuries in the preseason."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if the return game is always the last thing to come together every preseason)
"No, defense is the hardest part of preseason because you have so many moving parts."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on former Head Coach Tony Dungy saying that if preseason was only two games long instead of four, WR-Pierre Garcon would not have made the team his rookie year)
"Yes, I recognize that. If we go to the enhanced season then the football people have to find ways to create evaluative opportunities for the Pierre Garcons of the world, the Melvin Bullitts of the world, to make the team. We have to do that. And we have to have the ability to do that. That said, it's on us to find creative ways to do it, and we will."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if scrimmages against other teams are a good way to create an evaluative opportunity)
"That's one way to do it, yes, sure. The answer in my opinion is not a developmental league. That's not going to solve the problem. Developmental leagues do other things, but they don't solve that problem."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if WR-Pierre Garcon has even begun to touch his upside)
"There is (a) ceiling still. He can get better. He got set back a little bit by the injury. We would have liked to see him have a real full camp in, but he's doing fine and there is more to go."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on decision to not carry a fullback for the last few years)
"The number of plays that you would use a fullback on do not justify carrying one. Less than that (using a fullback three plays a game) over the course of a 16-game season. The value isn't there."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on several spots still being open on the team)
"Yes, a lot, quite a few. I know there are some people that don't like to hear that, but the fact of the matter is there are a great many that are still open."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if he can think of a number of players over the years that have needed the fourth preseason game)
"DB-Melvin Bullitt, LB-Gary Brackett, WR-Pierre Garcon, keep naming them. The fact of the matter is that there are not 48 positions determined before we go to training camp. There are probably closer to 38 than 48. And when you're talking about a 53-man squad and a practice squad, which by the way counts, the fact of the matter is that when you go to camp there are probably 38 spots that you can count on, absent injury, and injury always occurs. So when you're really talking about it you probably figure that you have 35 spots for a 53-man team. That is a lot of evaluating to do and a lot of practicing to do. Now having said that, if they go to 18 (games), we'll have to figure out another way, as I've said before. I'm not taking a position on that. They'll determine and we'll do it. But the fact of the matter is you need training camp, you need evaluations, you need padded practices, you need that work not only to get ready to play football, which is your number one objective, but to find football players, which is objective number 1-A, and I think we've done a pretty good job of it over the years."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if they enhance the season, will they need an enhanced roster)
"That remains to be seen. We'll talk about that. We haven't even begun to discuss that yet. The fact of the matter is you do need the evaluative opportunities for young players, and as I say, I don't believe a developmental league provides that. Developmental leagues are a wonderful thing and it does other really good things, but it doesn't provide the opportunity for people to compete against NFL players in an NFL setting."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if they add games to the schedule then would they need to add more work in the offseason?)
"Not necessarily. To me the focus is evaluative opportunities with real football players with real pads. I'm not alone on that by the way, (Miami Dolphins Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Bill Parcells feels that way, too."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if he feels better about QB-Curtis Painter after the last two preseason games)
"I haven't ever felt bad about Curtis Painter. I felt good about him last preseason, and yes, he's played well in the last two weeks, but we're not surprised."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on RB-Joseph Addai being a good fit in the offense)
"Yes. We try to utilize our players' strengths as best we can. We've done that in the past, and we'll continue to do that. He's a good receiver, good after the catch, runs good routes."