Colts Thursday Notebook
'THE URGENCY OF NOW'
'Now' is the focus.
And the past is the past.
So as questions were brought up this week about how last February's Super Bowl loss may motivate the 2010 Indianapolis Colts team, Head Coach Jim Caldwell could not have been any more clear as the club began its preparations for Sunday's season-opening, AFC South matchup at Houston.
"They (the players) have a drive and desire to be the best, there is no question about that," Caldwell said. "But more so than anything else, I have mentioned time and time again, they are motivated by obviously the challenge of this season. That is what they are motivated by, the here and now, the present, the urgency of now.
"We have an outstanding team that we have to focus on (Houston) that has very, very good personnel, a veteran group that has done nothing but gotten better each and every time they have gone out. We have our work cut out for us, so to reflect back (on past accomplishments) is something you will find that we do not do very often, and I think we are more motivated by the challenge of the season more so than anything else."
Four-time National Football League Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning echoed the thoughts of his coach while reflecting upon the Colts' veteran core and the foundation for adopting such a philosophy.
"This team, when you talk about being professional, as professionals, we get up for every game, we treat every opponent with great respect and we prepare to play as hard as we possibly can every game, regardless of what happened the week before or the year before," Manning said. "That is your job as a professional. They are not just paying you to work hard when you're winning and things are going good. I think this team has always had great professionalism when it comes to that.
"We're inspired because everybody in this room loves football and we like playing together and we enjoy working hard to achieve a goal, whether it's a win, a first down, two wins in a row, whatever it may be. That's kind of the make-up of this team. It's worked for us in the past, and hopefully we can get the season started off right this year."
For the second year in a row Manning (offense), Gary Brackett (defense), Adam Vinatieri (special teams) and Melvin Bullitt (special teams) were named as the Indianapolis Colts' team captains for the 2010 season.
For Manning, the longest-tenured Colts' captain, this is his eighth season as a captain, while it marks Brackett's fifth. Bullitt and Vinatieri each were named co-special teams captains for the first time last season.
"It is definitely an honor," Brackett said. "Anytime that you have been on a team that is so successful and been a captain now for a number of years, it is a special feeling and a sense of accountability."
Vinatieri added that the captains' leadership applies not only on the field, but it carries over into the locker room as well.
"That is the great thing about this team, we have coaches and players and everybody has a good relationship and can really convey what they think," Vinatieri said. "Everybody has an input on what they think can help the team, and that is the great thing about it. I feel like I am accessible enough to guys that if they have a question that they think that I can help them with, I am there for them. I am on the field when I am on the field, but hopefully I can help out in the locker room as well. That's the leadership role that we have here, to bring the young guys up to speed so that we are all clicking on the same cylinders."