Colts Hope Familiarity Breeds Repeat Success

The fact that the Colts have already played a Super Bowl in Miami means a lot to Colts coach Jim Caldwell. Indianapolis will practice at the same field (the Miami Dolphins training complex), stay at the same hotel and work under pretty much the same practice routine that prove to be successful for the team in Super Bowl XLI.

But first, the team will go through a routine regular season week of practice at the team's facility in Indianapolis.

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

"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."

Twenty-five current Indianapolis players were on the 2006 team that won Super Bowl XLI. That fact should be a plus for the Colts this time around.

"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," Caldwell said.

The team got together on Tuesday to discuss off-field distractions heading into the Super Bowl, such as how to handle ticket requests from family members.

"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," the Colts coach said.

"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."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

— QB Peyton Manning questioned why game officials would allow New York to get set before allowing the Colts to quick snap the ball on a third-and-one goal-line play this past Sunday. Manning's attempted dive was swarmed under for no gain, forcing Indianapolis to settle for a field goal.

"The rule is that if the offense makes a substitution, then you have to allow the defense to match that," Manning said. "But we didn't substitute anyone for the play. So I was a little baffled why we weren't allowed to run the play."

— RB Donald Brown (toe) may see limited work in practice this week. Brown, is expected to play against the Saints. He had a big 12-yard run in the first half for the Colts that helped set up the team's first field goal of the Jets' game.

— WR Reggie Wayne (knee) might have his practice time narrowed a bit this week. He has been experiencing a little swelling in his knee. Team president Bill Polian said that it's a normal situation for Wayne at this point in the season and that he will start the New Orleans game.

After all, Wayne will be playing against his home town team. His favorite receiver, the guy that he patterned his game after, is former Saints WR Eric Martin.

— WR Pierre Garcon continues to impress. His 11 catches for 157 yards against the Jets set an AFC Championship Game record.

"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," said Colts coach Jim Caldwell.

"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."

— TE Dallas Clark waited all this time to earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl. But now that the Colts will be playing in the Super Bowl, he'll miss out on the opportunity.

Peyton Manning, though, joked recently that Clark may still decide to play in the game.

"There's no rule that says that you can't play (in the Pro Bowl if your team is in the Super Bowl)," Manning kidded.

— DE Dwight Freeney (ankle) sprained his right ankle in the closing minutes of the win over the New York Jets. Freeney saw be given some time off during practice this week in order to rest his foot. But he should be fine to play in the Super Bowl.

— S Antoine Bethea (back) is experiencing some soreness in his back. Bethea fell awkwardly late in the AFC divisional round playoff game with Baltimore after picking off a Joe Flacco pass. He played the entire game against the Jets this past week and is expected to start the Super Bowl game with New Orleans.

— CB Jerraud Powers did not play against the Jets this past Sunday after suffering a foot injury in the Baltimore game the week before. He did not practice last week and his practice time this week is expected to be limited. Powers' status for the Super Bowl game won't be known until the weekend at the earliest.

— DE Raheem Brock has become the do-everything man for the Colts defense. He has experience as both a starting defensive end and as a starting defensive tackle. He'll move around and rotate play-to-play on occasion.

"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," coach Jim Caldwell said.

"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."

— P Pat McAfee continues to garner attention from the Colts coaching staff with his punting, his kickoffs and the way that he's handled the pressure of replacing long-time Indianapolis P Hunter Smith.

"He steps up and performs well in big games. He doesn't panic. He had some great field position-changing punts for us (against the Jets). He got it high in the air when they had to fair catch it," Caldwell said.


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