Caldwell Speaks Out About Super Bowl Loss

AP/Lynne Sladky

The Colts' management has taken some heat from fans and the media for not talking a lot about what happened during Super Bowl XLIV. Head coach Jim Caldwell, however, recently spoke about the game and how the team has responded to the loss. See what Caldwell had to say and get more notes and quotes inside ...

He also responded to questions concerning remarks made by team president Bill Polian a few days after the game. Polian had singled out the performance of the Colts' offensive line and special teams during his weekly radio show.

"We're all always on the same page, in terms of our organization so there's no bickering, no fragmented sort of response," Caldwell said. "I can tell you this, when you look at a ball game and look at it closely, there are certain things that jump out at you and those are things you have to address."

He admitted to sitting down and watching the game, several times in fact, since he returned from Miami.

"I watched it right away, three times. Go through it, study it, analyze it, get it out of your system, and move on," Caldwell said. "One of the reasons why was because I had one more radio obligation I had to fulfill. I felt if I had to go on, I better know what I was talking about. There were no great obligations. You're always going to look at a game you lose and have a lot of what-ifs.

"If we play the game the way we know how to play it, I think our chances are pretty good. But the fact of the matter is, that night, they were the better team. If I had to do it all over again, we'd come with the same approach. All we'd do is do it a little bit better."

Now he's more than ready to move on and get prepared for 2010. That's the message that he has relayed to his players.

"The big thing was they got the majority of the disappointment out of their system. What we have to do is from this point forward, we have to become a better team than we were last year," Caldwell explained.

"There's a couple of things that can derail us. One is fatigue and the other is complacency. We get started on our offseason program on April 12 and some guys have obviously begun. We're looking forward."

Notes and Quotes

The list of changes associated with the Indianapolis Colts during the current offseason includes some movement with the team's coaching staff.

After weeks of speculation, Colts officials have finally outlined the responsibilities of the returning assistant coaches and clarified what the duties for two new assistant coaches will be.

Starting off, veteran offensive coordinator Tom Moore is set to become the team's senior offensive assistant with assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Clyde Christensen taking over as offensive coordinator. Newly hired assistant Ron Turner will become Indianapolis' new receivers coach.

Also, assistant offensive line coach Pete Metzelaars has been promoted to offensive line coach. Metzelaars, a former NFL tight end with Buffalo and Seattle, replaces Howard Mudd, who retired at the end of the 2009 season.

Ron Prince, an assistant at Virginia who used to be the head coach at Kansas State, will be the Colts' new assistant offensive line coach. Also, Indianapolis has moved team assistant Jim Bob Cooter into an offensive assistant's role.

What's not known is how much input Moore will have in developing the weekly game plan or how much say Moore will have during a game.

He has had a close relationship with quarterback Peyton Manning since the four-time league MVP has been with the team. It's expected that Moore will move from the sidelines to the press box during games, a move that the Colts experimented with during last year's preseason schedule.

"Tom was getting to a point where he wanted to transition for a reduced amount of work that he had to do," Colts head coach Jim Caldwell said during the recent NFL owners meetings.

"Our system has been one that has been pretty effective. The guy who knows it, and knows it well, is Clyde Christensen. He's next in line to become the coordinator. He's a very capable guy. He's smart. He's been doing a lot of things — the passing game, the red zone stuff — the past couple of years. For us, it's been a transition heading in that direction. Tom wanted to transition down."

Christensen's only other experience as an NFL offensive coordinator came at Tampa Bay during the 2001 season.

"Every year you tweak it," Caldwell said. "We're always looking for new wrinkles. Clyde's a forward thinker. He has a lot of good ideas.

"It's probably much like my taking over for (former Colts head coach) Tony (Dungy). Clyde's been there for eight, nine years, knows the system very well and really influences what we do."

Team owner Jim Irsay understands that the time is right to make some moves on the offensive coaching staff. Caldwell brought in new defensive coordinator Larry Coyer and special teams coordinator Ray Rychelski prior to the 2009 season.

"This is Clyde's time to step up and have much more involvement with the offense," Irsay told the Indianapolis Star. "Clyde will have the biggest voice running the offense."

He added that he thinks that Moore's time with the Colts could begin to wind down at some point in the near future.

"It's really year-to-year," Irsay said, "but I think this (2010) could be his last year."

— Head coach Jim Caldwell is happy that middle linebacker Gary Brackett will be back and will most likely end his NFL career with the Colts.

Brackett recently signed a five-year, $33 million contract with the team. He had been an unrestricted free agent.

"We wanted him back, we know how important he is to us. He's our quarterback on defense, he's a big-play guy. He's kind of underestimated. Not only that, but what he does for us in terms of leadership off the field," Caldwell said.

— Caldwell was pleased to hear that former Colts defensive tackle Ed Johnson has been signed by another NFL team. Johnson was released by Indianapolis during the 2009 season but has been picked up by Carolina. He had initially signed with Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent after the 2007 NFL draft. Johnson, who started as a rookie in 2007, had missed the 2008 season after an arrest for speeding and possession of marijuana.

"I'm glad he got another chance. We had him early on when he came in. He did a tremendous job for us his rookie year. Had a little bit of a problem in the second year," the Colts coach said. "We felt he had really worked to turn his life around. I thought he'd get another shot somewhere, I never thought it would take this long. He's worth it. He's a quality guy."

— The Colts have been awarded two compensatory selections in the 2010 NFL Draft. The Colts received two seventh-round compensatory selections — the No. 33 selection of the seventh round, which becomes the No. 240 overall selection; and the No. 39 selection of the seventh round, which becomes the No. 246 overall selection.

That increases the team's draft allotment to eight overall picks. They have their own picks in Rounds 1-5 and Round 7. They traded this year's sixth-round pick to Philadelphia during the 2009 draft and selected punter Pat McAfee in the seventh round.

Compensatory selections are awarded based on free agent losses and acquisitions from the previous off-season, with the idea of the complicated formula being to award teams who lose more in free agency than they gain. The Colts last offseason lost DT Darrell Reid (Denver) and P Hunter Smith (Washington).

— Team president Bill Polian agrees with the decision of the NFL to change its rules concerning overtime during the postseason.

Polian is a longtime member of the league's competition committee.

"No matter where you came down on the subject, whether you were a pure two-possession guy or a status quo guy, as I was going in, when you saw the statistics broken down from 1994-2009, and you saw the team winning the toss winning 60 percent of the time, and then you saw the accuracy of field-goal kickers, both in distance and accuracy over that period of time, it's obvious that it's a game that from 1994 on is very different than what we had prior to 1994. (Before that), essentially, there was no difference between a team winning the toss and losing it," Polian said.

— With the probable return of WR Anthony Gonzalez, who missed most of the 2009 season with a season-ending knee injury, the Colts could very well use a four-receiver formation more often in 2010 with Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Gonzalez.

Throw TE Dallas Clark into the receiving mix and Indianapolis could wind up having a formidable receiving corps next season.

"We may go four wides. That's a strength. You think I'm kidding. But I'm also half serious about it, too, because if that proves to be the case, maybe that could happen in some cases. But obviously we're not going to take (tight end) Dallas Clark off the field, either. Obviously it's a great situation to have," head coach Jim Caldwell said.

"We're in a situation we haven't been in since (2004) when we had three receivers over 1,000 yards, Brandon Stokley, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. That was a good group. This group is as talented. As much as we throw the ball, we'll find a place. If they're all healthy and ready to go, we'll find a place. I don't think Gonzalez is quite where he'd like to be, but by the time we get rolling he'll be there."

— CB Jacob Lacey earned an additional $263,563 this past season thanks to the NFL's performance-based pay system. Lacey played extensive minutes as a rookie because of injuries to starters Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden in 2009.

S Antoine Bethea, meanwhile, ranked seventh among the Top 25 players from 2002 to 2009 in earnings from the league's performance-based pay system.

— The Colts have used Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute for its training camp site since 1999. Team owner Jim Irsay said the team is "leaning toward" a return to Terre Haute this summer.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I wasn't aware of it. But I'll tell you this. It's unwarranted. The guy had a great year. He's the finest quarterback that's ever played the game. If we didn't have him, we certainly wouldn't be quite where we are today." — Colts head coach Jim Caldwell on negative comments made about quarterback Peyton Manning since the Super Bowl XLIV loss to New Orleans.


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