Caldwell: Thankful for All the Blessings

Coach Jim Caldwell talked to the media Wednesday as the Colts continued preparations for San Diego. The coach talked about the challenges the Chargers present, the process injured players go through as they prepare to play again, and more ...

On what is the primary challenge when facing San Diego:

"This time of year they always seem to be functioning very well at a high level. This year is no different. I think they started off and they won one, lost one back and forth and then they lost three in a row and then they won three in a row. They always seem to be able to get their feet up underneath them during the home stretch, and they present a challenge because of the fact that they are just playing so well across the board. They have a very, very effective offense that scores points and they have a defense that has been able to keep teams out of the end zone and statistically they are certainly at the top in almost every category. They have a solid kicking game with a great return man in RB-Darren Sproles. So, they present a real challenge for us."

On San Diego LB-Shaun Phillips:

"He sure is (a thorn in a lot of people's side). With nine sacks, he is a guy that can come off the edge on you with speed, and he also has power, but they also use him in a couple of these walk-around positions where he kind of moves and comes up the middle and it gives you different wrinkles in terms of their stunts. He's been effective all year and he is a guy that you have to block, because if you turn him loose or don't get him flush, he is going to give you some problems."

On how a few too many mistakes, including penalties, have led to some of the Colts' losses:

"I think overall that is part of the mix. I think when you look at it there are a couple of things like mistakes that are key for us. Penalties are key, turnovers, getting turnovers and not giving them up. Those are all key factors in terms of wins, and I do think that those areas are all things we would like to make certain that we are in the upper echelon of the top-five in all of those categories. When we move out of those categories, teams tend to have difficulty. I do think that's part of it. We have been as high as two and back and forth around fourth, etcetera. We have to be able to consistently stay in that top-five range, and that gives you a chance to win every week, but everything else has to fall in line, too."

On how to monitor the "Rookie Wall":

"I think that's is something a lot of people talk about, but we oftentimes do not see evidence of it. I think because of the fact that it's something that our strength and conditioning staff understand and teach the guys how to pace themselves and the guys in our training room do a great job of making certain their bodies stay in top shape, and that's difficult to do with all of the banging around they do in the course of the year. Overall, guys are able to handle it. Talk to some of the guys; LB-Pat Angerer probably tells you he feels pretty good. Some of these younger guys are doing a pretty good job in that area. Number one, we don't necessarily believe in it. Number two, we can't afford to have it."

On if you ignore the "Rookie Wall", does it go away?

"It is a factor, but not always simply because of the fact that someone may tail off towards the end of the year. But it is not always because their body is not accustomed to it. It is injuries, wear and tear, it could happen to an eight-year guy as well as a first-year guy. It just depends on what happens to you during the course of the season."

On the "Rookie Wall" being talked about at the rookie symposium:

"I think also that it teaches them just how to pace themselves. What you are looking at is a situation that is just like going away to college. The most difficult thing you have to teach them, or the most important lesson I should say, is time management and what to do with your independence. Those are the things that run wild when they are true freshman, they are all over the place. You probably remember your days back then, right? If somebody would have curtailed your activities a little bit and got you narrowed down, things are a little different. The same thing happens in this league. They have a bit more free time. It's like a regular job. A guy goes to work in the morning and he's home by six o'clock or so, five or six o'clock. In college you did not have that kind of space. You had study hall and other things that took you up until maybe 11 or 11:30 at night. So teaching them how to handle that phase of it, more than anything else so you do not run yourself to death outside of your performance issues, I think certainly plays a part in it as well. You probably did not ask for that long of an answer, but you got one."

On WR-Pierre Garcon:

"Well, he is in his second year, and just in terms of playing and playing a significant amount and it is just like anything else. Guys continue to grow and develop. One season does not a career make, either, plus or minus in that regard. That's the thing that, you well know, when you look at a guy like WR-Reggie Wayne, you see a guy who is out there every single day who is working, hardly ever misses a practice and just continues to soar and get better and he has put them back to back to back to back. I think that is the consistency that you develop over the years and it doesn't just happen in a two-year or three-year span. So I think Pierre is still learning. He is doing some things better than he was doing last year just in terms of route running and understanding, things that you might not visibly see because oftentimes things that we look at, we being those that watch our games, are scoring, how many catches, but there is a lot of other stuff that goes into it, knowledge of routes, being where you are supposed to be and et cetera. So I think there are some things in that area that he may be a little better at, but it might not necessarily be at the surface. I also think that he's just like a lot of guys in their second year. They are still developing and still learning. So he has a ways to go."

On if he was satisfied that all had been done with WR-Austin Collie before he took the field in New England:

"Certainly. We are not talking about Jim Caldwell making an assessment. I am not a professional at it. We are talking about doctors, and everything was done across the board exactly like it was supposed to be done. He passed all of his exams and tests and things were done exactly like they were supposed to be."

On DB-Bob Sanders being back in town and rehabbing here now:

"He is in town. I have not seen him personally yet, but he is here."

On the next step for Bob Sanders:

"They will give him an assessment and further evaluate and make some determination where he is and keep moving forward. He's, from what I understand, he looks good and he certainly has gotten better."

On plans for Thanksgiving and Peyton Manning saying players having an open door policy for the younger guys with no place to go:

"They do a great job with that during the course of the year, I think. I know DB-Antoine Bethea has done it. They take care of those guys between themselves. My plans are to spend time with family. We do have family coming in and we obviously have to get our work done. That's the balance. I think we can do both. Certainly we are thankful for obviously all of the blessings we have received and it is a great time for that. So it is a great time to enjoy that with family, reminisce and talk about different situations. I get a chance to see my grandkids that I don't see very often. So it will be a great afternoon tomorrow."

On Austin Collie's progression:

"He is (coming along). I just spoke with him a little while ago and he feels good and we'll continue to monitor him, and when they feel like he is ready to go they will release him and say he can go at it again."

On Austin Collie and it not being a setback:

"It is what it is, what it said on the (press release). I know you are trying to dig and find some other stuff, but that's what happened. There are certain things that you can't test. We are not going to take him out on the practice field and tackle him because we don't hit anybody in terms of practice. There are things that you find out as things move along. Our guys are being cautious and we are doing it the right way in terms of how they monitor him. Thus you have those results, and that's where he is at this point, and he'll continue to get better. When he is ready to go they will release him and get back at it again."



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