LESS IS SOMETIMES MORE, TAJ SMITH RETURNS, DALLAS' RECEIVING THREATS AND QUOTES FROM THE LOCKER ROOM 'SOMETIMES, LESS IS MORE'Following the season-opening loss to Houston this year, many players after the game said they tried to do too much at times during the contest instead of concentrating in on their position and individual responsibilities.
And it is something Head Coach Jim Caldwell said the team will have to guard against in its upcoming game this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium against another team from Texas, the Dallas Cowboys.
"I think it is always something you have to address," said Caldwell. "We talk often about (it), it doesn't have to be anything extraordinary. All you have to do are the ordinary things. Do your job and really don't worry about anyone else's. That is really the task.
"Oftentimes you do get into that mode where you think you have to do something extra to get us over the hump, but obviously the reality is that sometimes, less is more."
With a solid core group of savvy, veteran leaders in the locker room, younger players like rookie running back Javarris James said that the older, more experienced players have expressed the need to stay the course and continue to focus in on individual roles.
One of those players is All-Pro defensive end and Dwight Freeney, who is in his ninth season with the Colts.
"I think that happens sometimes and that is human nature," Freeney said. "I think everybody does it. Maybe a defensive player may make a different move or do somebody else's job. I think it happens because you are trying to win and you have to kind of stay focused and do what you do. The rest is going to handle itself."
TAJ SMITH RETURNS
The Colts welcomed back wide receiver Taj Smith, who spent time the past two seasons on Indianapolis' practice squad, signing him to the 53-man roster for the first time this week.
"For me, I was just hoping they would call me back and I just tried to stay ready," Smith said smiling. "It is a blessing. God works in mysterious ways and he just put me in the position where he wants me to be. With the Colts calling me back, I appreciate that. I feel like I can contribute to whatever they have me do. I am going to give it my best and go out there and do my job."
When asked Wednesday if Smith would be instrumental on special teams, Caldwell had this to say: "Certainly. He's been a guy that is really, really familiar with what we do from a special teams standpoint and someone that we'll count on. So he may be able to lighten the load for a couple of guys here or there."
Smith said he continued working out, waiting for a phone call and staying ready for "whatever the situation would be, whether it was here or anywhere else."
Smith recognizes how hard it is to get a chance in the NFL and is serious about this moment of possibility.
"It is business with the opportunity I have to potentially do something," Smith said. "It's always business. I'm going to come in here with a clean mindset and do my job. With that being said, I can't wait until Sunday hits."
Colts safety Antoine Bethea and the rest of Indianapolis' defensive backfield know they will be challenged with Dallas' potent passing game.
Tight end Jason Witten and receivers Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Roy Williams make up a set of big, fast and talented options for Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna to find down the field.
"They have a real good solid receiving corps," Bethea said Wednesday. "They are a big team, so we have to come to play."
'Big' may be an understatement when describing Dallas' receivers. All four primary receiving threats are at least 6-2, and each is well over 200 pounds.
But it is just another week in the NFL, according to Bethea.
"Each week in this league you are going to play against some guys who can get it done," Bethea said. "Last week we had some and the week before we did. So throughout the rest of the season we are going to go up against some receivers who can make plays."
"I think that oftentimes that we try to talk to them about certain aspects of how to look at things and view things. I've always said, and I'll continue to say, that this is not an inspiration by exhortation. Most of our guys are pretty intrinsically motivated, but you still need to give them some direction. You need to pick them up every once in a while, and that's my job. Obviously, our veterans are guys that understand it, but I think that there are still a lot of guys that need to hear it and talk about it. We need to address some issues that we address on a weekly basis, but the real object is to get better. I think it is better to show than to tell. The proof is in the pudding. We have to go out and play better than we have played, more consistently."-Head Coach Jim Caldwell on how the team's leaders are motivating the rest of the players.
"It is just that 'it.' If you look at last season, we won 14 straight or what not, but seven or eight of those games were seven-point games, three-point games, whatever the case may be. We just had that 'it' that we knew how to find (a way) to win those close games at the end. This year, besides the Chargers game, we have to tip our hat to them, all of those other games we just could not get over the hump to win those close games. We could still be sitting differently if we could just get over that hump. We just have to find whatever we need to be more consistent. Hopefully down the stretch we will get hot and go into the playoffs rolling."-Defensive back Jerraud Powers on where the Cots need to look to find consistent play.
"I think it is something we are not accustomed to, obviously, with our recent success. I think seven years in a row with 12 wins, people kind of got spoiled by our success and do not realize how hard it is to win in the NFL. This is a tough place to play. If you look at the parity in the league this year and you can see week in and week out it's hard to pick a winner. It is the nature of this business. We just have to continue to improve and get better. The good thing is we are still tied in our division. We still have our destiny in our own hands."-Linebacker Gary Brackett on the team's 6-5 record.
"I think so, but if you need more motivation than what you already have inside you then maybe that's a problem. We never want to play like we did last week, and it happened, so we just have to move on. Guys like Peyton (Manning) and Reggie (Wayne) have been through it and know what it is all about to win. So you just have to push through times like this and get better. Those are the guys that we follow."-Rookie receiver Blair White on if the way the offense performed last week gives the team extra motivation and how the team's leaders are stepping up during this time.