Just today, The Washington Football Team added yet another impressive piece the a well rounded front office in what has been nothing short of a calendar year of rebuilding at that level. Chris Polian, son of football legend Bill Polian will now serve as team Director of Pro Personnel. Chris has served said role with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the last seven seasons and while they’ve had their ups and downs, there’s no denying the talent that has come through the doors down in Duval in that stretch.
Polian joins a very impressive staff of talent evaluators and coaches in the short thus far run, in the tenure of head coach Ron Rivera. Martin Mayhew has most recently been installed as the team’s General Manager. Martin is responsible for bringing in a ton of talent to bothe the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Detroit Lions. Look no further than the defensive line in the Bay Area, and names like Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh. Martin also helped bring the District a Lombardi as a member of the Super Bowl XXVI artists formerly known as the Washington Redskins. No doubt he recalls the strong talent evaluation and management the team had then, not to mention great coaching.
Marty Hurney was brought in just before Mayhew and was originally thought to have been so for the role of GM, but has since been given the title of Executive VP of Player Personnel. Hurney, a DC area native was also with the team during their great run in the late 80s. In fact, him and Mayhew spent the 1989 season as a part of the team, so not only did they gain great experience elsewhere; they in a way reunite in hopes to recreate the magic that once had RFK Stadium literally bouncing under the sound of diesel horns and the chant, “We want Dallas”. Hurney most recently had spent the last several years with Rivera in Carolina and much like Mayhew’s tenure in Detroit and San Fran, there’s been a spoil of riches in the talent department during that run.
Jason Wright is also another piece to the front office puzzle brought in just after the hiring of Riverboat Ron. As team President he’s had to navigate through the mission impossible season was in 2020 starting with covid 19, then a cancer diagnosis to the head coach, a team name change and the marketing campaign that comes with it, lawsuits from previous regimes stemming from sexual harassment, and a battle between minority and majority owner Dan Snyder over the potential sale of shares. I sure hope he has a comfy office chair because that’s a lot for one offseason, but he has handled it all with a smile and with grace.
Long time veteran leader in the front office Doug Williams finds himself with another promotion. Williams, who won the Super Bowl MVP as the quarterback, will now serve as Senior Advisor to the team. He’s previously served as Senior VP of Player Personnel and SVP of Player Development. One might claim that perhaps that’s too many chefs in the kitchen but I’m a firm believer that there’s plenty of work to spread around and if everyone can execute their role theirs no reason it should resemble like and be reflected by a well oiled offense and or defense on the field.
So back to young Mr Polian. As Director of Pro Personnel we’ve seen the likes of Marqise Lee, Aaron Colvin, Dante Fowler, Myles Jack, Yannick Ngakoue, Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Fournette, Cam Robinson, DJ Chark, Gardner Minshew II, and Laviska Shenault Jr. That my friends is a lot of talent. Also I might add with the connection, don’t be surprised if The Stache ends up rocking Burgundy and Gold this season. He lands in almost the perfect situation, with a team that is plush with young talent and high motors on both sides of the ball, great cap space, and a new identity to go with great camaraderie across the board.
His father was also no stranger to building long lasting competitive runs and identifying talent. Bill Polian was the architect of the late 80s to mid 90s run of the Buffalo Bills, bringing in Jim Kelly from the USFL when he took the job their as GM. He then put together one of the greatest teams of recent in the Indianapolis Colts, where he’d serve as GM and team President. Most recently he was the Head of Football Operations at The Alliance of American Football for its short run in 2019. So like many other potential great Chris Polian has grown up with football engrained in his DNA.
Washington should be in good shape to repeat as NCF Champions as there are question marks all over the other three teams in the division. Time will tell but if I were a betting man, which I tend to be at times, I’m putting the coin on the WFT. Congrats to both The Football Team and Chris.
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Feature photo credit: ESPN