Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell Conference Call

(on being the quarterbacks coach with the Colts and what his role was)


I think every situation is different, let me put it that way. I don't think coaching that position is any different than coaching others. That was what we we're trying to do, get as much information as we can to the player so that he can synthesize it. Obviously, teaching the game plan but also trying to work on fundamentals and techniques which are extremely important. Other than that, the implementation of strategy as it goes along with the game. I'm not certain there's any real big difference between coaching quarterbacks and what's required of guys coaching the defensive line. I think we all approach it the same way.

(on if he's impressed with the improvement Vince Young has shown)

He's playing extremely well. He's playing great right now actually. Obviously, he had an opportunity to sit back and kind of observe and watch Kerry (Collins) for a while. He's taken full advantage of it. You can see by the way in which he plays. He's throwing the ball extremely well, making great decisions and obviously when nothing's there he's using his God-given ability to run as well. He's operating at an extremely high level right now.

(on Dwight Freeney and if he will practice today)

Not real sure. We'll put out an injury report after the practice is over with to see where we are. It's kind of day-to-day.

(on if Vince Young can be considered a pocket passer after his performance last Sunday)

That's probably a great question to ask Coach Fisher. I don't like to get in the business of assessing other players in terms of those kinds of things. I think I was pretty straight forward in terms of how I thought he was playing. He's playing great, but I think that assessment type of thing you might want to ask Coach Fisher that.

(on the impact Dwight Freeney has on the field)

Overall, he's a talented player, there's no question about that. He is indeed a force and certainly draws a bit of attention when he's in the ball game because of the fact he's been very, very effective in terms of rushing the passer. He's been playing the run extremely well.

(on hiring special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski and if they are better than last year)

You have to prove yourself every week, but when you look at us overall you'll see that what is different is the way in which we are covering. Our coverage teams have been doing a great job of getting down the field and certainly making some things happen. That's been key because drive-start average is extremely important. So, our return game is still a work in progress for us. Our punter and place kicker have been kicking the ball very well. So, those things we want to keep up, keep our coverage going the way it's going and keep working to improve our return game.

(on punter Pat McAfee)

I think when you look at that in terms of touchbacks, the further a team has to go in order to get in to scoring territory, the less their chances are of being successful. If we can make them start at the 20 or inside the 20, obviously that's a great benefit to our defense.

(on how different the Titans look on defense compared to the first meeting)

I think you may recall the last time I think we spoke that these guys are a talented group. I felt the same way when we played them the first time. They're an extremely talented group. Obviously, it's the same cast of characters that have been there for a number of years that have played extremely well, a lot of great football. They were missing, I think, (Cortland) Finnegan didn't play when we played them and maybe Nick (Harper) was in there a short period of time or didn't play at all against us, I can't recall. But nevertheless, they have been playing really, really good football lately. They were playing tough even back then. I mean, when we were played them they were playing tough football. That was a tough game that we had against them. Every week we anticipate seeing one of the best defenses in our league.

(on if there is a secret formula to slow Chris Johnson down)


He's one of those guys that you are not going to stop. He's a talented guy and he's going to get his numbers. There's no question about that. Obviously, anybody who can churn out 800 yards in the month of November and the tear that he's been on, you're not going to stop him but you hope to be able to contain him.

(on how Chris Johnson is different from other backs)

His speed obviously. There are a lot of great backs in this league but he sets himself apart I think because of the fact that he's so fast. He can hit a seam on you, every time he touches the ball he's a threat to go the distance.

(on whether to try and stop Chris Johnson or Vince Young first)

Well, in this game you have to be able to take a look at all of the weapons. That's the thing about us from a defensive standpoint. We try and make certain that we cover our responsibilities in terms of just our area of the field etcetera, within the scheme of the defense. Your hope is that you'll be able to contain most things that are done by any one of them, but you've got to pay particular attention to Chris Johnson with the way he's running the ball and you've got to know were Vince is located. And not only that, they have wide receivers that can hurt you as well. (Kenny) Britt's playing well, Washington's playing well, the tight end corps is talented. So, what we have to do is make certain from a defensive standpoint that we're playing our techniques and fundamentals.

(on offensive guard Kyle DeVan)

It was more a thing of performance. There was a stretch during the season where we were just kind of interchanging them by series or every couple of series because they were both playing fairly evenly. Kyle just kept progressing. This is obviously a performance based league and that's what counts. He started to perform on a regular basis, consistent in terms of his strength and overall knowledge of the position continued to increase. He's a good and solid player. He's a guy that certainly gives you great effort as well.

(on how difficult it is to sacrifice roster spots to keep Adam Vinatieri and Anthony Gonzalez)

In this league, I think that's one of the things you just have to adjust to. We've been accustom to dealing with that around here because of the fact—or any place else I think—when you look at all the teams at this time of year you're going to have a few of those. Particularly when things start to get a little thin those spots are valuable. You hold them for a reason because you really believe you're going to be able to get them to pay dividends for you in the long run. So, that's how we feel about it. We just keep sawing wood.

(on getting a wide receiver to be productive his rookie year)


Well, you know we've had a little experience with that of late. I think it takes a pretty unusual guy to be able to come in and play consistently well like (Kenny) Britt is doing. He's doing similar to our guys, in particular Austin Collie. It takes a guy that certainly is willing to study and get well prepared just in terms of the day-to-day operations. A lot of times our guys are seeing coverage's maybe they haven't seen run with the same kind of speed that they see in this league. So, there are some adjustments they have to go through. But also the great offseason work is something that's also extremely important. You have to have a diligent individual who's able to adapt and adjust and continue to improve during the course of the year and it's a long year. Often times by now, you look at guys that ordinarily would have had their season over with and they may be preparing for a bowl game or something like that with a fairly decent break. So, this is really the real test for the guys down the stretch. It takes a very unusual guy to be successful and consistent throughout the year in his first year.

(on preparing for the Titans with Vince Young at quarterback compared to Kerry Collins)

I think they're equally tough. Kerry has his strengths and Vince has his strengths. You just have to look at those and adjust. Both of them will give you problems, both of them are very good at what they do. They're talented guys. So, we try to separate that and try to take a look at who we're going to face and work at it that way and not try and judge one against the other because both are very talented men that do a great job.

(on if it makes it easier to deal with the undefeated questions because of past success)

I think so. I think because of the fact this is not really new ground for us or new territory. We've seen this before so our guys look at it for what it is. That is that it's something we don't focus in on, it's a goal that's secondary in mind. We just try to focus in on one game at a time. That's an old cliché, but that's indeed what we do. We try and look at this situation as an opportunity for us to practice hard and try to get better in practice and go out and play a great game against a great team.

(on if he feels the pressure is off because the Colts have clinched the AFC South)

No sir, I don't. For us, every game is still just as important. We've still got a lot to fight for and this game for us will be no different than anyone we've played up until this time. We still are going at it the same way in terms of our preparation and we know that if we don't get better this week, we've got a problem on our hands. So, we've got to continue to get better.

(on if he senses a hungry Titans team coming to play)

I think that's the way they are all the time. There's not a time when you've faced them that you don't feel this team is eager, hungry, tough, physical team that's mentally tough and ready to get after you.

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