Caldwell: Glad to be in This Position

Colts head coach Jim Caldwell had his thoughts turn to the Super Bowl on Monday. He shared his thoughts on the big game, the Saints, his memories of Super Bowl XLI, and much more in a lengthy press session.

On if it has sunk in that the team is going to the Super Bowl:

"It has. Obviously, we're certainly pleased. Our guys have played extremely well, and the staff has done a tremendous job. We're glad to be in this position."

On how he celebrated last night:

"I went out with my parents. We had about 17, 18 people here, so we all went out and had dinner and watched a little bit of the game. We enjoyed ourselves for a couple of hours."

On initial thoughts on the New Orleans Saints:

"They present a lot of problems, obviously. They have a number of weapons. Drew Brees is certainly a talented quarterback, extremely accurate guy, who spreads the ball around quite a bit. With the weapons that he has, he can give you some problems. We're really going to have to go to work. They can run the ball. They can throw it with the best of them. They've put a lot of points on the board, so they're tough to handle. Defensively, they give you a lot of different looks and a number of problems, and they have great personnel to back it up. They have a good kicking game, return game, etc. Teams, when they get to this point, they don't have too many holes, and they certainly don't."

On if he'll try to install the game plan this week:

"We're going to go into it and try to get our guys prepared as quickly as we possibly can. That's our intent. We're going to prepare this week exactly like we would be playing them on Sunday."

On if he'll take the same approach this week that he took when the team had two weeks to prepare for the Divisional Playoff game:

"No, not exactly. A similar approach, (but) because at that time, we didn't know who our opponent was going to be. We'll probably have a pretty delicate balancing act there to make certain that we still get some up tempo work, but nevertheless, we'll focus in on our opponent, as well."

On if he ever takes QB Peyton Manning for granted:

"I don't, and I don't think anyone else does on our staff, either. He seems to get better all the time. You think that he may level out, but he never does. He never gets complacent. He never gets content with his status and just continues to improve and get better. Every year it seems like he takes it to another plateau."

On if being in Miami three years ago for the Super Bowl helps:

"I think from a familiarity standpoint. We're staying in the same hotel. We've been through the routine, same practice facility. There are 25 guys that are on our team that have actually been through this before. So, that does indeed help, but it doesn't give you any guarantees."

On if it's a sign of progress that it is not a story this year that an African-American is coaching in the Super Bowl:

"I think so. Obviously, when Tony (Dungy) and Lovie (Smith) had that opportunity it was quite special, quite unique and rightly so in that it was a huge story. Mike (Tomlin) made it in a short period of time in his second year. I also think that was a big story, as well. Now, we've gotten to a place where we've grown somewhat accustomed to it, and I think that's a good thing. But there are still certainly some other thresholds to be crossed, as well."

On Super Bowl XLI memories:

"Here's the thing I remember most about it; in coaching, wins like that, big wins, are very fleeting experiences. They leave you quickly. It's just like last night, it doesn't take very long for you to start thinking. As I was sitting down having dinner with my folks and my wife and kids and watching the ballgame, I started analyzing that game just like I was working. It doesn't take long. All of a sudden, you see what problems you may have, what problems may occur. It doesn't take long for us to get focused on that next ballgame. In that particular game, what I remember most about it, because it was so fleeting, was the enjoyment that those around you get out of it. My father was there in the rain. He was the happiest, soaked, 75-year old that I've ever seen. That's what pops into my mind."

On New Orleans being a feel good story all season:

"We're not trying to stamp it out. We're just trying to get in position to win. I think it's a great story, and certainly they have done so much for that city. That region was absolutely devastated, and they brought a lot of pride back, a lot of civic pride. The enthusiasm that you could see surrounding that team is incredible. You saw the pictures of Bourbon Street and Canal Street after that win last night, it was absolutely unbelievable. I understand a little bit about that city. I spent a lot of time in New Orleans. I recruited that area when I was at Southern Illinois University, my first coaching job. I recruited a lot of guys from a number of schools down in that area. So, I understand a bit about the culture. They have a lot of pride. We don't want to stamp any of that out. We hope that continues, but what we want to do is win this ballgame."

On if he thinks DB Jerraud Powers will be ready to play in two weeks:

"I'm not certain, but we'll know a little bit more after the next couple of days about how guys are feeling. For the most part, I think we're in pretty good shape."

On DB Jacob Lacey:

"He has been consistent, and he has been solid. I think he is a guy that continues to get better, and he has a big upside. Obviously, he had a little difficulty last night on the long pass, but he recovered and came back and played well the remainder of the game."

On if having fresh legs played a role in yesterday's game:

"I do think that we've shown the ability to endure with our quickness and speed towards the end of ballgames, and I do think that may be attributed to the way in which we've practiced. Overall, I think it's the mindset of our guys, more than anything else. I do believe when you are fresh, maybe you can make up for a mistake, here or there, with a little extra speed."

On QB Peyton Manning's unsuccessful goal line sneak in the second quarter:

"Our intent was to get on the line of scrimmage as quickly as we possibly could and get that ball snapped, so maybe he could find a quick crease. Typically, they (officials) won't stand over the ball if the offense has not substituted, so (the) defense substitute at (its) own peril. If we happen to get off quickly, that is to our advantage as an offense. But on the play before, the officials came running in to mark the spot of the ball, and so they had to come in fairly tight. So, his explanation was – he being the umpire in this particular case – stood over the ball to wait for them to get back in position. He wasn't waiting for the defense, necessarily. That was the explanation there."

On if he watched the Saints during the regular season and two No. 1 seeds facing each other in the Super Bowl:

"I didn't look at it from a critical standpoint, but obviously, it's tough to ignore. When they were playing well, we were playing well. I read some of the reports where it talked about that very rarely do you find that the two No. 1 seeds end up playing one another. I guess it hasn't happened since 1993. Obviously, that's something we were aware of. They are a good team, a talented team and played well and fought through all of the traps that you typically fall into as a No. 1 seed. We're looking forward to playing them."

On if this Super Bowl matchup says that offense can win championships:

"I think it's certainly worth consideration and examination, in that regard. Overall, I think good, solid teamwork is what wins for you because every game is different. Every game has its own identity. So, when you go into a ballgame sometimes it requires your offense to play extremely well. If your offense is not firing on all cylinders, your defense has to be able to step up, or you win it in your kicking game. Two out of the three phases you typically have to win in, in order to win a ballgame. I just think both teams have a lot of firepower offensively, but both teams are capable of playing very good defense as well, which our team has shown, week-in and week-out. Every time that we talked about teams that have come in with really vaunted running attacks and talking about how vulnerable we've been, our guys seem to be able to step up and make some plays. But I do think there is great value in being able to play great defense, also."

On Saints' QB Drew Brees:

"I think he's certainly a lot like QB-Peyton (Manning), in regard to a guy that can move the ball down the field quickly in chunks, who has great vision and great touch. We're going to have to be able to cover the field, and he's able to find weaknesses in coverage, quickly. They don't depend solely on the run to open up the pass. They're a team that can spread it out and really open up their running game because you have to deploy your defense in a style where you might create some seams and play a little soft upfront in trying to cover the pass. I think that we're probably going to have to have a little shift in mindset, in that regard. Where we could sit in and say, ‘We have to stop the run, it's extremely important.' This team has balance, I think, and they give you problems in both areas."

On progress of WR Pierre Garcon:

"He's made great strides. Coming in, in a year where he primarily worked on our (look) squad learning the system, getting a feel for the system, having come from a little different type of background, in terms of what he was familiar with, he had a little catching up to do. He worked at it. You could tell early on that he had the skills required to play the position. He could run, he could catch, he's physical, he's strong, and has a great passion for the game. So, all of those things, those intangibles, were in place. We just had to work with him and give him the opportunity to learn and develop. Through the spring, we spent a lot of time with individual sessions, he and Peyton, he and (Asst. Head Coach/WRs) Clyde Christensen, with their drill work, etc., working extra in certain areas to try to get him caught up. Now, I think he's really starting to come along and show what he is capable of doing."

On the franchise trying to deal with all the hype that goes along with the Super Bowl, so the players can concentrate on the game:

"We try to relieve a lot of the anxiety for them with the organizational meeting. We lay it all out for them, ticket issues and rooms, etc. All the things that everybody is probably asking questions about today, we'll answer for them tomorrow. We'll get those things out of the way, and be able to get focused in on our next opponent as quickly as we possibly can. This game draws quite a bit of attention. I can attest to that. I think I looked on my phone and there were 200 and something emails and 150 text messages, which I haven't even started to go through yet. So, I can imagine what it's like for anybody involved in this game."

On DE Raheem Brock:

"I think Raheem is certainly greatly appreciated, I think in all circles. He's been able to show up at the end of ballgames and really made some huge plays for us that jump out in your mind. (For example,) last year vs. Houston, with the big man hit that caused a fumble, which LB Gary (Brackett) picked up and ran in for a touchdown. This year, just last week, with (Baltimore's) Ray Rice, he breaks out and (Raheem) circles around and makes a big hit down the field and causes a fumble. He does a lot of things extremely well, some of them you might not notice, some of them may not be that extravagant. But he's a guy that we utilize in a number of different positions. He's versatile enough to play inside for us, as an inside rush in some of our nickel situations, and he's versatile enough to play outside and be an effective rusher. So, we allow him to kind of loop and move to get him in the most advantageous situation, and sometimes even to kind of free up the guys on the outside with a real heavy inside rush."

On Raheem Brock being instrumental in helping prepare the young defensive tackles:

"I think he sets a quality example for them, just in terms of his knowledge. He freely passes it on to the younger guys. He's been around awhile. He's been around a long time, and has made a lot of big plays for us."

On if he'll change anything on this Super Bowl trip from the last one:

"We'll change some things. We'll tweak them and adjust them a little bit, according to how we envision some things, and it depends on what happens to us this week, as well. We'll make some adjustments, it's not an iron-clad sort of routine. But, overall, we'll probably be fairly close to what we've done previously."

On the business-like celebration last night after the game:

"I think it's kind of the culture here that has been in place for quite some time. Obviously, the young men that we have that are playing the game are a part of that, but I think (Colts' President) Bill (Polian) and (former head coach) Tony (Dungy) had set a great tone here early on. The ultimate goal is to win it all. That's always the goal, and it's important in this league and you can't discount it. If you recall, there is a coach that got fired at 14-2 because he lost his first game in the playoffs a few years back. I've seen a couple of situations where you see coordinator changes from guys that go into the Super Bowl and lose it, but, yet, their team got that far, but they think there must be something that we can do a little bit better. So, I've seen coordinator changes on both sides of the ball. We understand that fact, that the most important thing is to win it all. Nobody is going to be satisfied until we do that."

On challenges of replacing Tony Dungy:

"First of all, we're talking about an iconic figure, who really transcends coaching. I think you've been able to see that through the impact he's had on our country. The books that he's written, I think he has a third one coming out, the first one is going in print overseas. So, when you talk about him as a person and what' he's done, not only for our sport, but for our communities as well, it's incredible. Never in my wildest dreams have I ever considered, or even thought about trying to measure up to all of those things. I can't do it. I am who I am. The other thing, just in terms of his impact around here and following his footsteps, is that I didn't have to do it alone. Our assistant coaches have done a great job, our franchise is in place and in firm, solid ground because of (Colts Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay and (Colts' President) Bill Polian and the rest of the guys in personnel, and we have a great staff and great players. I never had to do it alone, all I had to do is sort of make certain that I was keeping my promise. I wanted to keep them hungry, fresh and make certain that they're well prepared, and I think we've been able to do that to a certain extent."

On being aware that the last coach to replace Tony Dungy won a Super Bowl his first year:

"I'm very aware. He's left a couple of places in pretty good shape. Obviously, down in Tampa, and he left us in great shape here, as well."

On Antoine Bethea:

"He's been tremendous, I mean just extraordinary. I was just watching the film earlier this morning, and the plays that that guy makes, oftentimes, I think, get overlooked. He had a couple of plays in this ballgame where he shoots through the line of scrimmage, and it's not a blitz, it's a reaction to what he sees. He makes plays in the backfield from a safety position. He has an unusual instinct. He's a highly aggressive guy. But he does a tremendous job for us overall, in getting our secondary set and making all the proper calls. Once that ball is snapped he's a ball-hawk."

On Antoine Bethea being overlooked:

"I don't think our opponents overlook him, to be honest with you. They know who he is. I think he's a guy that is well respected, and he certainly has had a tremendous impact on our team."

On if K Matt Stover will be the primary kicker in Miami or if K-Adam Vinatieri will kick:

"The only scenario that that would occur is if there was an injury to Matt."

On if in the regular season game at Miami he pointed out to the team that the goal was to get back there for the Super Bowl:

"No, not at that time. We're too single-minded, in terms of our purpose and goals. We never talk about things that are that far off in the future."

On who he expects to stand up in the locker room and guide the young players who haven't been there before:

"The same guys who have done it from day one, QB Peyton (Manning), C Jeff (Saturday), WR Reggie (Wayne), all the guys that have been through it, DE Dwight (Freeney), DB Robert (Mathis) and LB Gary (Brackett). Some of them are more vocal than others. But every single one of those guys set a great tone, just in terms of what they offer, advice, mindset, things of that nature. They'll all be huge going down the stretch."

On if he thinks WR Pierre Garcon has been motivated by what happened in Haiti:

"I'm not certain that you can ever say that any tragedy like that helps. I'm certain that he'd rather be free of those worries and concerns about his family and the difficulties that they are having over there and still not able to get in contact with all of them and still not certain what their situation is. I'm not certain that can ever be considered something that would help you, but I do think he's shown some unusual resolve and used some of that to push him forward. I think I did hear him mention that, hopefully if he could do something and do it well, then it may bring a ray of sunshine to one or two of his relatives that they know are safe and sound. He's done a tremendous job."

On when the team plays well defensively, but DE Dwight Freeney and DE Robert Mathis don't have any sacks:

"They are doing some other things besides getting the glorious sacks. They are still defending the run. They are still taking care of their assignments, in terms of their gap control. Sometimes, teams come out with a little different sort of a focus. Don't think they don't plan to get that ball out of their hands quickly. Three-step drop, we see quite a bit of that, and the reason being because of those two guys on the end. Now that helps us overall, even though it might not show up on the stat sheet, but when a guy is going back and they're throwing quick, short passes, that means there are very few things going deep over our head or deep in the seams because they're a little nervous. The other thing it does is that they end up keeping extra people in to take care of those guys. When they do that, we have fewer receivers to defend. So, although you may not see quite the games you've expected, I think they still have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the ballgame."


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