A Rundown of Friday's Happenings at Training Camp
Colts fans watch defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis spin, bull-rush and sack the quarterback every Sunday during the season. It is natural to only think of the players and not the coach who has helped those players get everything out of their talent. For 31 years, Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinck has done that. He has taken players with different backgrounds, abilities and natural talents and gotten them all to do one thing extraordinarily well—sack the quarterback. This weekend, Teerlinck will not be in Anderson with the team, but instead in Canton, Ohio, presenting his former player, John Randle, for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Teerlinck was instrumental in coaching Randle, a former undrafted free agent who finished with 137.5 career sacks, in Minnesota. Randle asked Teerlinck to be his presenter in February right after he found out that he had been voted in.
"He always said we would do this, but in the back of my mind, I (never knew). I'm sure you get bombarded with everybody that you've ever known (after being voted into the Hall of Fame), everybody that you've ever been coached (by) and probably some heavy-hitters. It would have been easy to be swayed and go with somebody more flashy and beautiful and glamorous then stick with the real blood and guts," Teerlinck said.
But Teerlinck got the call, and it is an honor that he does not take lightly.
"I've coached 31 playoff games, six championship games, four Super Bowls and this is bigger than all of those. For an assistant coach, this is huge."
Teerlinck a former NFL player who spent four seasons in the league before retiring because of a knee injury, has taken time this offseason to diligently pull together his thoughts on Randle and his accomplishments. He had a speech prepared, more than one in fact, as he tried to put together the perfect words for Randle's moment; only to find out that the Hall of Fame no longer has the presenters give a speech. Instead, an NFL Films crew was dispatched to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center to interview Teerlinck. The interview will then be cut to four-to-five minutes and shown over highlights of Randle's career.
Teerlinck downplays the change, though, and instead is glad the focus is on Randle, where he thinks it should be.
"I think it's a reaping of a reward. I think it's a coming of age. I don't have to perform. All I had to do was quote a few stats and I can lay back and embellish and absorb (in) the greatness that is around (me)."
Teerlinck has surrounded himself with greatness in his Colts' office. He has framed pictures of some of his former pupils, including a signed program cover of Randle. But Teerlinck takes a humble approach to his role in the development of his defensive linemen.
"I'm just the guy that was there when we got the work done, that's all."
And work definitely has gotten done under Teerlinck. Currently, there are 24 players in NFL history that have amassed more than 100 sacks, five have studied under Teerlinck (Randle, Chris Doleman, Neil Smith, Kevin Greene and Bubba Baker). Teerlinck also has two more apprentices (DT-Trevor Pryce with 90 career sacks and Colts DE-Dwight Freeney with 84 career sacks) closing in on the century mark.
"JT has a very unique and effective way to make guys better and motivated year-in and year-out," said Freeney. "We all buy into his system."
The 2010 Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
PLAY OF THE DAY
The Colts worked on their goalline offense on Friday afternoon and Curtis Painter dropped a beautiful pass into the corner of the endzone where Jacob Tamme was able to cradle it in and tap both feet inbounds to score the touchdown. Tamme's momentum sent him flying into the crowd and up and over the rope separating the spectators and the playing field. Tamme and the fans seated behind the rope were okay.
NOTE OF THE DAY
The Colts' nine playoff berths in the 2000-09 decade tied the NFL record set by Dallas in the 1970s.
"This is the time when you have the opportunity to put your team through a bit of a test. Last night was a good, solid practice. And this morning getting them up and going and also we'll go again this afternoon in pads and then tomorrow morning we'll go as well, so it's a good stretch. You know I always say the mental to the physical is 10-to-1. So really what you do mentally counts more so than what you do physically, so we have to tie all those things together, and I think our team has responded well thus far. We have a little bit of a test ahead of us." – Caldwell on his team's ability to stay focused in training camp.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I think it's great. It makes a difference. When you have someone encouraging you or you hear some applause, there's no question that makes a difference for players to kind of push through when you feel like someone's watching and cheering you on. Crowds have been great every day, and it was great to see after the rain out crowds came back to see the turnout the next night. That's been outstanding, and hopefully that will continue throughout camp. I think that helps practice have more enthusiasm and more energy, and I think it's great." – Peyton Manning on the fans attendance at practice.
The Colts held two practices at Anderson University on Friday. The morning practice began at 9:30 a.m. and ran until 10:45 a.m. The afternoon session commenced at 3:30 p.m. and lasted two hours. On Saturday, the team will hold the annual Blue & White mock scrimmage. The scrimmage begins at 10:30 a.m.
The weather in Anderson on Friday was sunny with a high of 80 degrees according to weather.com. Saturday calls for more sunny skies and a high of 83 degrees.