INDIANAPOLIS — Jim Caldwell's Super Bowl ring will forever be his reminder of his time with the Indianapolis Colts.
But, for Caldwell, it's the people he crossed paths with every day in Indianapolis — even those not on the roster or on the coaching staff — that really matter, and it's those folks that he thinks of every time he makes a return trip to the Circle City.
Caldwell has been back in town since Thursday, when his Detroit Lions team arrived for two days of joint training camp practices with the Colts at their facility before the two teams meet this afternoon for their preseason openers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"I know my surroundings pretty well and I actually lived about a minute and a half from here, so I'm close to my old home and the whole bit," Caldwell told reporters after Friday's practice at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "But the big thing that jumps out at you is all the guys that were here … More so than anything else is the relationships over the years."
While Caldwell could likely run off a long list of the players and coaches he worked with in his 10 years on the Colts' staff from 2002 through 2011 — the first seven of which spent as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach before he was named head coach in 2009 — it's those who play more of a behind-the-scenes type of role that he remembers most.
Most of them, of course, have awesome nicknames.
"T (Brian Seabrooks), and Frog (Sean Sullivan) and Smack (Mike Mays) and all of them are all here," Caldwell said. "So, immediately when I see them it kind of takes me back to those days when they were hard workers, things were well run, we won a lot of football games, so it was a lot of good times out here where we had a lot of fun. … Seeing Bob (Lamey) and some of rest of the folks—Pam (Humphrey) and some of the rest of them that we've had an opportunity to deal with over the years. Those relationships jump out at you."
(Sullivan is the team's equipment manager, Seabrooks and Mays are the team's assistant equipment managers; Lamey is the "Voice of the Colts;" and Humphrey is the Colts' public relations coordinator. Caldwell also previously mentioned Troy Glendenning, who is the team's director of facilities and grounds.)
Caldwell, who has a 27-21 overall record as the Lions' head coach entering his fourth season in 2017, said he comes to Indianapolis at least once a year for the annual NFL Scouting Combine, where he can see his team's Super Bowl XLI championship banner every time he enters the building.
Also hanging in the Lucas Oil Stadium rafters is the AFC Championship banner from 2009, when Caldwell led the team to an appearance in Super Bowl XLIV in his first season as head coach.
Asked his favorite memory of his time in Indianapolis — besides those people he interacted with every day, of course — and Caldwell's answer was relatively easy.
"We had so many great ones, but obviously that's the pinnacle," Caldwell said of winning the Super Bowl. "That's when you've won it all and there's nothing quite like that, so I think that's the obvious choice for me. But there are a lot of other things in terms of relationships and things like that we developed over the years. Fortunately, I have a lot of guys that were here with us at Indy during that time that are on our staff. But overall, I think if you wanted to point to one particular incident or event, that would be it."
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