Colts Notebook: March 14

It's safe to say that Jim Caldwell has hit the ground running since he was named as the Indianapolis Colts head coach over a month ago. Caldwell, who made the move up from assistant and associate head coach under former Colts coach Tony Dungy, understood that running an NFL franchise wouldn't come easy. But with April's NFL Draft coming up, he seems to be adjusting pretty well to his duties.

"One of the things is you have to set priorities in this business. You have to make certain you try to adhere to what you've kind of put in place as to what's really important to you. If you don't, this job could certainly keep you busy all day and all night. You can always find something to do between the preparation needed in terms of directing your staff and the players and also preparation that's needed evaluating personnel on your own team and the draft. And obviously, preparing for public speaking engagements and things of that nature and dealing with the media," he said recently.

"There is a lot to do, but it's a lot of fun, too. It's a real challenge. It certainly gives you an opportunity to get a real sense of who you are. It certainly touches you in almost every single area of your life."

The fact that this isn't Caldwell's first job as a head coach has helped him. He was in charge of the Wake Forest program from 1993 to 2000.

"That can't be minimized. It cuts out a lot of the apprehension and trepidation in terms of going into a whole new situation, something foreign that you haven't done before. You're certainly a lot more comfortable with yourself in that role," he said.


Jim Caldwell is jumping into his head-coaching duties
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

"Often, some of the guys may not be as comfortable with themselves because they haven't been there before. Obviously, a lot of guys do great jobs in their first year. That has been proven in this league, but it does help. I can tell you that."

Caldwell has made a couple of changes to the Colts' coaching staff since taking over for Dungy, losing defensive coordinator Ron Meeks to the Carolina Panthers and special teams coach Russ Purnell to Jacksonville. Meeks resigned while Purnell's contract was not renewed.

"First of all, they were good people who did a good job. They were good coaches, but my job is to get things the way I see the direction I want to do. Often, that requires change that's not very comfortable. I think, too, if you meet it head on and are direct about it and give your reasons why, it may not be something you're comfortable with, but it's palatable. I think those involved understand. In the cases it happened here, both men were certainly able to land on their feet rather quickly. Because they're good at what they do," he said.

"It's probably not any different than a politician that goes in and restructures his cabinet. Not because of the fact that the cabinet wasn't good and there weren't very capable people in that cabinet, but he wanted to make certain it's going how he approved of and was in line with his vision. That's how I would probably characterize it."

NOTES, QUOTES:

— Indianapolis Colts Executive Vice President Bob Terpening will retire from the organization on June 1. Terpening, whose affiliation with the Colts dates back to 1970, has served in numerous personnel positions during his tenure. He played a key administrative role in the club's fortunes that included divisional titles in 1987, 1999 and from 2003 to 2007.

— First-year quarterbacks coach Frank Reich thinks his role of working with Peyton Manning mirrors what he did as a long-time backup to Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly in Buffalo.

"I still think I'm going to have to prove myself day in and day out. The fact that I've played for a number of years and had a little bit of success, certainly has helped me get here. But just proving it every day on the field and in the meeting room is really where it's going to be at. One of the things I appreciate about Peyton, he has a great respect for this game in general. I really think that's an important part for any NFL player, that you respect the game. I think that Peyton is a model in that regard. In the quarterback fraternity, you respect the guys that have played your position. Many people say it's the hardest position to play in professional sports."

Reich has quickly made the move up the NFL coaching ladder from training camp intern in 2007 to assistant quarterbacks coach last season to now, taking over the role that current Colts head coach Jim Caldwell has had for the past several seasons.

"When I came here as an intern to do the training camp thing, sure you're thinking in the back of your mind the perfect scenario would be to do an internship then hook on to an entry-level quality control position then work your way up to be a position coach. Honestly, the way things worked out, it could not have gone any better on many fronts. First of all, organizationally this is just a great place to work for. Secondly, having an opportunity to work for two great head coaches obviously in Tony Dungy and Jim (Caldwell), and, thirdly, as a quarterbacks coach you get to work with Peyton Manning. I'm very thankful for those opportunities."

— New special teams coach Ray Rychleski talked about the differences between coaching on the collegiate level and in the NFL. This is his first NFL coaching job. "Football is football," Rychleski said. "I really do believe that. The biggest change is in the rules, and I'm definitely a rules guy. There are some different rules in the NFL compared to the college level. Actually, one of the NFL rules has come back to the college level for on-side kicks. A few years ago in the NFL, you could put as many guys on one side (of the kicker) as you wanted to, where in college you could only put six on one and four on another. Actually, the NFL has come back to that rule the colleges had. Another rule is on the punt team. Only two guys can go at the snap of the ball, where as in college, everybody can go if you wanted to. I think that's the biggest difference making sure of being up on the rules and how they affect the special teams as well as the overall game."

— Assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Clyde Christensen on what his new duties with the Colts will include: "Game day, I think it will be exactly the same thing (as he has done before). I think (head coach Jim Caldwell) may give me some different responsibilities on game day as far as just feeding him some information. I do think it's kind of a feeding-him-some-information type of thing. He may give me three things to get done. You know, 'Hey, let's have a discussion on this.' How much are people practicing in pads?' Then I will research that for him and do some of the legwork for him, just where we can have discussion on different topics that are out-of-the-box type of topics."

— Former Indianapolis Colts WR Troy Walters was recently named as the new offensive coordinator at Indiana State University. It's Walters' first full-time coaching job of any kind. He had done a coaching internship with NFL Europe during his time with the Colts. Walters also played with the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I know as time goes on those things become a lot easier after you go through the first year or two. That's what I'm going through right now, although I think I am a little different than maybe a first-year head coach in this league because we didn't have to make a bunch of wholesale staff changes. I have a fairly decent feel for our building and the inner workings of it — our owner, our general manager/president, etc. There are a lot of things I'm familiar with that had I been in a situation brand new to me it certainly would have required a little bit more." — First-year head coach Jim Caldwell on making the transition from long-time assistant coach to being a first-year NFL head coach.


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