Colts Get Back To Work and Monday Quotes
BACK TO WORK
Colts players arrived back at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this week following last week's bye, and said they feel rested and ready to take on AFC South rival Houston Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"I'm coming back today with my body feeling good, mentally feeling good," Colts Pro Bowl safety Antoine Bethea said. "I think you need both. (Our) six games have been some hard-pounding games and mentally just to get away and really not focus on football, just do some other things (was good)."
The Colts' record stands at 4-2, but each of their two losses have come to division opponents, a 34-24 loss in the season opener at Houston and a 31-28 last-second defeat at Jacksonville. So with four division games remaining—including three at home—Colts players said Monday those outcomes must change if they plan to meet their goal of capturing the division title and an automatic playoff berth.
"That's always goal (number) one, to win your division," Colts center Jeff Saturday said. "Obviously, we have our work cut out for us after losing two division games already. (Houston) coming in here, it's a home division game. Those are the ones that you have to win and secure to keep yourself on track."
Since 2002, the inaugural season of the AFC South, Indianapolis has claimed seven of the nine division titles, but Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell spoke Monday about how difficult it is to win in the division.
"There's no question about it – it's been a very, very tough division for a number of years," Caldwell said. "This year is no different. It's one where every team has talent, ability – 'Any Given Sunday,' as the old saying goes. I don't see anything different than our division has been for quite some time.
"They run the ball well, they play good defense and they have excellent kicking games. In all areas, in our division you'd better be on top of your game when you play them. The opposition certainly will be."
Houston's record also stands at 4-2, and with a win over Philadelphia this past Sunday, Tennessee holds the AFC South lead with a 5-2 record.
"We definitely have our work cut out for us," said Colts defensive captain and middle linebacker Gary Brackett. "We have to get prepared and come with our 'A' game for Monday night."
With Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark being placed on injured reserve Tuesday, the 'Next Man Up' philosophy again comes into play for the Colts. And with that philosophy comes an opportunity for third-year veteran tight ends Jacob Tamme and Gijon Robinson and rookie Brody Eldridge.
"You never want to get onto the field due to an injury, and that is no different here," Tamme said. "But, when you are out there you have to go out and do your best. I will step in there and do whatever I can do to help us win, help us move the ball and put points on the board.
"As a group, I think we will all be working together to fill that void," Tamme said. "Whatever position we get put in, we will go out there and do our best."
Tamme has six career receptions for 47 yards in his three seasons, but he has been productive when given the chance in preseason. Tamme had 10 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns in 2008, and had 11 catches for 107 yards in 2009, leading the Colts in receptions each preseason. Tamme had four catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns this past preseason.
"It is something that we have built ourselves on here," Saturday said. "Tamme is going to have to step in and do well. The next guy up has got to step up and meet the challenge. I've got faith in those guys. Obviously losing those guys hurts, but you have to find a way to continue to win. They ain't calling any games off, that's for sure."
"You look at all of it. You take all of it into consideration. You certainly look at the more recent ones, obviously, because a team certainly does indeed evolve and change throughout the year. Injuries force you to do a certain things, your personality may change a little bit, you may lean on one side of the ball more than another. So we have to look at the most recent games more so than anything else, but we also have to take into account that they played pretty well against us in that first ballgame, and you would not anticipate that they are going to deviate a whole lot from maybe what they've done. You're going to see some of it at least, some of the game plan that they had put together for us in that first game, I would assume." – Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell on when preparing for Houston, if he looks more at the first game between the teams or more at Houston's most recent games.
"Just rest. That was the time for the bye week, just to get rest, get away from football for a little while, clear your head because you know you are coming back to it, but you want to come back to it right, and that's getting your body right. That's what is most important, getting your body right and of course studying Houston, like we've been doing, but getting your body right. That was really important for us."- Colts defensive tackle Dan Muir on the most significant aspect of the bye week.
"We are down 0-2 in the division, and we just want to start with this game and get our first win. It is going to be a tough task because they are a great team offensively. They can run the ball and they can throw the ball, but as a defense we are ready for the challenge and we accept it. Hopefully, we will come out victorious." – Colts sixth-year defensive back Kelvin Hayden on Monday's game against the Houston Texans.
"I'd say this is about as good as you feel. Since the first Monday of the season, coming out of the week off of the last week of the preseason, this is about as good as you can feel. I'm going to go downward the rest of the year. You feel good and I think more than anything mentally for me, just to get away from here and just be with my family and catch up. Now it's on for the grind of the season." – Colts Pro Bowl Center Jeff Saturday on the aspects of the bye week for him.