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Conference Call: Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell



(on the attitude of his team with three games left)

We are looking at this next one as an opportunity to play a real good football team that is playing extremely well and we know it is going to be a great challenge.

(on what Jake Locker brings to the quarterback position)

Well, one thing is for certain having the opportunity to watch him function in the last ballgame; he does a lot of things extremely well.  He has great anticipation, certainly has a nice touch and made some nice tosses.  Also, obviously his foot speed is quite legendary, so he can run and make you miss and also run by you.  He is a talented guy that brings a lot of different dimensions to a ballgame.

(on potentially finishing the season against three rookie quarterbacks)

For us we just have to look at one ballgame at a time and each one, obviously these last three games, all three teams we struggled with last time.  What we have to do is stay focused in on one at a time, just this particular one and getting ready for Tennessee.  Tennessee is playing well, they are playing very well on their special teams, their defense is doing a tremendous job, they have a plus five in terms of their turnover ratio.  They are doing a tremendous job, so we better just stay focused on this next challenge because they present so many problems for us.

(on preparing to face both quarterbacks)

Yeah, we sure do.  We have to prepare. (Matt) Hasselbeck has been around a long time now.  He is a tough guy and we are anticipating that he will be back, but if not then we will certainly be ready for (Jake) Locker as well.

(on the importance of getting an early lead at home)

Well, that is not a necessity.  We certainly aren't in position to sort of dictate what is going to happen in a ballgame.  We have to do that with our play and not certainly by wishful thinking.  We will certainly go out and fight and battle and however it ends up the most important thing is to get yourself in position to get a win, however you have to do it.  Whether it is to come from behind or start with a lead, the one thing you know for sure, these games typically come down to the last drive of the game.  Either you have the ball and you are trying to drive it down the field to get in position to score either a field goal or touchdown to win or tie it or vice versa.  That is what we anticipate however it goes that it is going to end up a close game.

(on if there is such a thing as a spoiler role in the NFL)

No, I don't think so, at least we don't.  We are just obviously trying to find a way to get better.  That is our focus.

(on the psychological challenge of this season for the veterans who have been so used to winning)

It's different obviously. We have to make certain that it's one of the things that we do and it's part of our job that we take a look at things with a brutal honesty in terms of what we are not doing well, but it's also a delicate balancing act. As Charles Hodge had a great statement I thought when he said 'you have to be able to praise men without exalting them, and humble men without debasing them.' That's a delicate balancing act because you certainly don't want to tear them down too far and obviously that's more so than anything else we have to be concerned with on this end. On the other side of it, when things are going well, when you exalt men, to make sure that they don't get inflated. It's a real delicate balancing act and that's something that we have had to fight against but our guys are pretty steady. Our veteran guys, even though they have been accustomed to winning they are also guys with great character that you just don't see a lot of big blow-ups and things of that nature. So that's the thing that we are trying to preach and fight against, but obviously don't want to hide from the brutal facts either.

(on what Dan Orlovsky's strengths are)

I just think he is a guy that has had some experience playing in the league and has been around a number of years. He certainly has a good sense of preparation and has been in a number of tough situations so he has a lot of poise. Obviously, last week we didn't protect him as well as we would like to be able to and so you can't place everything on him in terms of the performance that we had last week. You can see when he does have time he can deliver the ball and he is accurate and he does have a good feel for the game.

(on Orlovosky needing to protect the ball better against the pass rush)

In both of those situations, obviously a couple of them in the pocket, one of the big things that you have to be able to do is protect the ball but there were a couple of them where he was in the process of getting ready to begin his delivery and he caught it. We have to be able to protect the ball in the pocket, but we also have to do a better job of pass protecting for him as well. That doesn't necessarily fall all on the offensive line, at some times it was obviously the back or tight end or it's the timing of the pass or the receiver running the routes. There are a number of things that are involved in pass protection.

(on if he ever thought it would be this bad even without Peyton Manning)

We are where we are and the fact of the matter is I believe we should be playing better, plain and simple.

(on how the move to switch the quarterback and receiver coach has worked out)

We made the adjustment because we thought it was the best adjustment for us and we think that obviously it's working. It doesn't necessarily mean that it always translates into victory. It doesn't necessarily mean that is has anything to do with where we are in terms of our production as well, I will leave it at that.

(on how the Titans look better now)

All around, they are better defensively, they are playing very well. They are better offensively, they certainly have a good grasp of things and obviously (Chris) Johnson has gotten things rolling pretty well. They get the ball to him a number of different ways, not only in handoffs where he is running the ball well, they are emptying the backfield and getting it to him out there quickly, getting it to him in space. I think he is their second leading receiver on the team. I think as always their special teams is very solid, very good guys that have played for them over there obviously with 31 and 33, (Cortland) Finnegan and (Michael) Griffin do a great job. (Patrick) Bailey does a great job for them obviously; he blocked the punt against us the last time around. They have a really solid unit all across the board.

(on his future as the head coach of the Colts)

There are no guarantees in this game. I never worry about my job; I worry about doing my job right, plain and simple.

(on if it bothers him to hear people speculate on his future)

If you have been coaching for as long as I have, you know what this business is all about.  This business is about production and that is the way it is.  I have been coaching for a long time and from the first day that I started coaching at 23 years of age I had a really good understanding of what this job is all about.  I'm accustomed to it.  I saw guys get fired at 14-2.  One of the guys I worked for was one of the legendary coaches of all-time that won more games than anybody in college football history, I saw him getting vilified in the media early on.  What makes me any different?  So no it doesn't bother me, it doesn't surprise me.  It is the way it is in this league.

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