Despite the rumors and speculation, Hall of Famer Bill Polian says he is not interested in any kind of formal role with the Buffalo Bills.
"Anything I could do to help in any way, I would," Polian said Tuesday night, in an interview on The John Murphy Show. "But any kind of a formal role is absolutely precluded. Nor am I seeking that. I'm very happy with what I'm doing at ESPN."
When asked specifically if he would take a job as a so-called "Football Czar" with the Bills, as had been speculated, Polian replied, "I'm not seeking that, no. A huge part of it is my ESPN commitment, but the other part of it is family concerns. I think that's a real concern in terms of what I do going forward."
Polian spent seven years as GM of the Bills and helped lead the team to their Super Bowl run in the early 1990s. He was named the NFL Executive of the Year an unprecedented six times during his career. Polian also served as the first GM of the Carolina Panthers and President of the Indianapolis Colts when they won Super Bowl XLI.
He currently works as an NFL analyst and commentator for ESPN. And he says his work with ESPN prevents him from serving as a consultant or "Football Czar" for any NFL team.
"That is not me," he said. "That is not me and I'm not seeking that kind of a role anywhere." Polian said comments he made on his Sirius XM NFL Radio show and in an interview with the Buffalo News lacked the context he was trying to convey.
"There was a question later on which related to consulting, and which I misunderstood. The committee on which I serve, the NFL Personnel Development Committee, has members--Charley Casserly, Ron Wolf, Ernie Accorsi, who frequently serve as consultants to teams when they go through the hiring process. And I made it clear that even though some teams have asked me to do that in the past, I can't do it because of the terms of my ESPN contract. That prohibits me from doing that."
Polian did say he has had dialogue with Bills owner Terry Pegula about football matters, discussions that go back almost a year. He says he talks to Pegula out of a feeling of affection for the Bills and Buffalo.
"If anybody asks, sure. If anyone has questions, I'm happy to answer and happy to help in any way I can. And that includes whatever I could do for the community. I'm going to make a speech this spring in the community. Things I can do along those lines, I'm very happy to do. I want the Bills to do well. That's the overarching message-I want the Bills to do well."
After nine years working with the Bills in Buffalo, Polian told host John Murphy he understands the frustrations of Bills fans after a 16th consecutive season without a playoff spot. But he cautioned against the Bills making major changes in near future.
"Change is unsettling. It doesn't always provide success, and that's been true with the Bills until the Pegulas took over. Change, while oftentimes necessary or necessitated by things like Kyle Orton's unexpected retirement, is not necessarily good. And it always presents a challenge."
"You cannot bring in a staff and say after one year this is not succeeding-we need to change," he continued. "There has to be a gestation period. There has to be a time when the team learns the coaches, the coaches learn the team, you get familiar, you become efficient. Then you take a look at things and say are we making progress? To say that change has to happen immediately just because the team didn't make the playoffs, I think is self-defeating."