Conference Call: Colts C Jeff Saturday



(on how challenging it has been to go through a season like this)

It' been tough, obviously you don't prepare yourself for this type of season. It's been one of those where I felt like we have been in some games late and had opportunities to win and we just haven't found the right way to get a win. Coming down to Tennessee, this is obviously a big division game for us, we know we need to get a division win and get the first one on the board  and it's going to be a tough thing to do but we need to get it done.

(on if it's easy to get motivated after the way they played on Sunday)

It's not going to be difficult to get motivated for Tennessee. We have had some great battles and I have a ton of respect for the way they play football and we have had some great games over the years. Motivation wouldn't have been an issue regardless but coming off of a 67-7 whipping, you can't wait to get back on the field and try to get some redemption.

(on how the pass protection has stayed good despite that the fact that this game will be their fourth or fifth offensive line combination)

Well we have had a lot of guys who have gone down with injuries, they are not these season-ending type of injuries, they are just ones that put guys down for three or four weeks at a time. I think the guys who have stepped in have done a really good job. Obviously, Quinn (Ojinnaka) coming in at right tackle, he has played well. (Jeff Linkenbach) moving over to left tackle and he is doing a good job for us. Like you said, with Joe (Reitz) being out, it's going to be Seth's (Olsen) turn to step up and make plays for us and be the same solid type of player for us that Joe has been the whole season.

(on how much Peyton Manning is around at practice)

It's kind of been a mix. As the year has progressed and his treatment has gotten less he has been out there more often. Obviously, at the beginning of the season it was tough because he had just come off of surgery and those kinds of things, but as his schedule has allowed and the rehab schedule has allowed, he has been out there with us and been talking through with (Curtis Painter) and Dan (Orlovsky) and those guys and just try to help them see the field and see the defenses the way he does. I think that's an invaluable service that he can provide for younger players. He has been through so many games himself to be able to help those guys.

(on if not having  Peyton Manning is the reason they are 0-7)

I think obviously if you have Peyton (Manning) you are going to have a better team. He is the best quarterback in our game right now. You would always like to have him back there, but the reality is the players on the field determine whether we win or lose and we just haven't done enough to win football games. You can't put that on one position by any stretch of the imagination. We as a team have to overcome mistakes that we have made. We are creating issues for ourselves just not playing disciplined football and until you get back to that you are not going to find a win. You have to be disciplined in this game and you have to follow your rules and your techniques and let the game take care of itself. (Jim) Caldwell has preached to us from the first day he was going to coach that 'take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves,' and that's what we are looking to do. We are looking to fix those errors and try to get a win.

(on the talk about how this shows Peyton Manning as a MVP as much as some of the big seasons he has had)

I hadn't heard that, I didn't know that that was even in consideration. I think the players on the field who are participating, I think that's kind of silly. You have guys who are having great years and to have that kind of conversation isn't worth discussing.

(on if Kerry Collins may regret his decision to come back and play another year)

No, we are competitive. I love Kerry, (Collins) I thought he was a great guy to have in the locker room. He took a nasty shot. It was a shot that was late that was penalized, not penalized on the field but got fined. He was outside of the pocket, there was really no pressure, it came late and he took it right under the chin. It's one of those things where he can't control it. You can control your mind and the concussion issues and he needs to do what's best for him and his family. I wouldn't think he would have any regrets. The guy came out and played as hard as he could and put as much into this team as he possible could. I have a lot of respect for the way that he handled himself.

(on Curtis Painter's development)

(Curtis Painter) is doing a great job for us. I think he has been well prepared each and every week. He is making plays with his arm, he has helped extend some drives with his legs a few times and I think he is getting more and more comfortable each week. I'm glad he got an opportunity to show himself and he has really met the challenge. He has done a good job and a good enough job to keep us in games to win them, we just got to get a win for him.

(on if he finds the "suck for Luck" campaign ridiculous)

Yeah, I have done this 13 years and I will steal a Robert Mathis quote, "I aint suckin' for anybody." That's the reality of it, Robert (Mathis) said it best. I am out there every week trying to win games and don't care about all the rest of it. I am trying to take care of this week against Tennessee and that's the way I set my mind.

(on the overall attitude of the team)

I think we are one of those teams where we are not going to be discouraged. We are disappointed by the way we played on Sunday night, but we are not going to be discouraged by it. We know that each week is a game of its own and we need to go out and play this game like it is the only one we have to play. I think that every week we come back being 0-7, I can assure you our preparation has been very good. Guys show up to practice, they are ready to work, they are focused, I haven't seen any drop off as far as guys' preparation, it's just mistakes on the field on Sunday. We try to tell the guys that if you keep doing what you are doing in practice and it shows and turns over into the games then we are going to win some games. You have to stay true to the idea that you have to keep working hard Wednesday through Saturday and let's try to make something happen on Sunday. 

(on his irritation about his out of context quote from after the game Sunday)

Yeah, that was ridiculous. You got a 45-year old man who probably lives with his mom down in his basement freaking blogging about something that was a direct misquote. It had nothing to do with what I said. At 62-7 there was no redeeming qualities in the way any of us participated, and this is a team thing 100 percent. I made it very clear that Coach Caldwell didn't have on any pads on Sunday, we did and all of us as a team failed to get our job done. I can assure you, I don't need the media to clarify what I'm saying, I speak pretty clearly and I was insulted that somebody would do that and try to divide our team and put things in people's minds that really don't need to be there.

(on if there is big change ahead if the season continues down this path)

That's not my job, that has nothing to do with me. I need to go play and participate and be the leader on this team that I'm supposed to be. Like I have said before, I believe in what Coach Caldwell is doing, I believe in our staff and I think they have done a good job of getting us prepared each week. We have made mistakes at crucial times and we as players have to take that upon ourselves. We are responsible for what happens on that field on Sundays, we are going to need to get better and we are going to need to get better on Sunday.

(on what he does as a lineman when the run game is struggling)

We talk about run efficiency. For us, we had one of those offenses that we didn't necessarily get as many carries per game as teams. We look at we want to get four to four and a half yards per carry and let our backs do the things once they get to the linebacker level. We call those efficient style runs and I think for an offensive line to get back on track you have to dial into that number. Find whatever your number is that you need to get and we felt like, 'look, if we get third-and-two, if we have gotten two good caries of four yards those are third downs that we should get.' So that's kind of the number as an offensive line that we have always focused on and what we are trying to accomplish here.

(on if an offensive line can press too hard to make corrections)

From an offensive line standpoint, you can only do so much. You have to focus on the task at hand and whatever defense that it is, it's make sure that each guy knows his block and he is responsible for his job. I think if you try to overdo it or overcompensate, you can create problems or you try to force something. I think you just let your run game bring yourself along by you getting your job done and everybody kind of looking an evaluating themselves as players and that usually contributes to getting right.

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