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Defensive back Jerraud Powers returns to practice and quotes from players and Head Coach Jim Caldwell.


POWERS HOPEFUL FOR RETURNIndianapolis' secondary hopes to get a boost this week with the return of second-year defensive back Jerraud Powers. After being inactive the past two games against Houston and Philadelphia, Powers said he is looking forward to getting back on the field against Cincinnati Sunday as the 5-3 Colts host the 2-6 Bengals at 1 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Powers practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday. "Yeah, (I'm excited) it's another day at the job."

Powers hopes to rejoin the Colts secondary in time to face a Cincinnati receiving corps including Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and rookies Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley. Powers said he looks forward to testing his skills amongst some of the league's best receivers, especially Owens.

"Him being an Alabama native and me being an Alabama native, it'll be interesting," Powers said. "I respect those guys to the utmost. They are doing a fabulous job. T.O. is a heck of a player, though. He has been producing and been productive in this league a long time, and no matter where he goes he has been a threat on that team. We are really going to have our hands full.

"Every time you get a chance to face a top receiver in this league or a future Hall-of-Famer or whatever the case might be, it's a great opportunity for a young guy like me to showcase my talents to them and to the people who are watching. I always get excited when I have the opportunity to face these guys because I know they are great and they are going to be great at what they do, so I have to bring my 'A' game. If I do that, I feel pretty confident in myself."

Owens is third in the NFL in receiving yards and receptions, accumulating 770 yards on 55 catches. Gresham and Shipley are second and third, respectively, in receptions by rookies, and Ochocino, who has drawn double coverage much of the season, has 40 catches for 473 yards.

"Anytime that you have, number one, tall, fast and powerful guys like both Ochocinco and Owens, those are guys that certainly can catch the ball and not only just catch it, they can do something with it after they catch it," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "It does take concentration and effort to make certain that you keep those guys in front of you, and when they are in front of you, you have to make certain that you contest every pass that is thrown and be in position. They are good players, they are going to make some catches and what we have to do is make certain that we contain them."

The Colts on Wednesday activated wide receiver/returner Brandon James to the active roster from the practice squad. James originally signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent in April out of Florida. He had five receptions for 58 yards and three touchdowns in the preseason, and he also averaged 23.2 yards on 12 kickoff returns and 5.8 yards on six punt returns.

"Certainly. There are still some great opportunities there. We feel like, though, we need to improve in this second half of the season. We still kind of break it down into quarters, but we do need to make improvement. We have some new guys playing. That's one thing about football, other sports you're playing a game every night, but in football you've got a week in between. There should be a chance to improve there with the new guys that are playing. We have some newer guys this week, as well. The key is using that time in between games to try and improve, work on your weaknesses and let's hope that we'll be playing our best football here late in the season."-Peyton Manning on the goals the Colts set early in the season still being attainable.

"He is making good progress I think overall, and right now day by day his symptoms are subsiding and he is really in the hands of the physicians. They are going to look at him and make a determination on that until they feel he is clear and ready to go, but I think he is coming along."-Head Coach Jim Caldwell on the status of Austin Collie.

"He is definitely improved from his days in Chicago. Last year he had a breakout season, and I think he is still running the ball pretty well. I saw him a little bit Monday night and obviously watched some film on him. He is doing a good job moving the chains, a big guy, lowers his pads down pretty well and so he is a load stop."-Gary Brackett on Bengals running back Cedric Benson.

"Antoine (Bethea) is, I don't know the right word, he is a leader. He tries to be a vocal leader at times. He is working on being more vocal because we are at a stage now where Bob (Sanders) is out and (Melvin) Bullitt is out. Bullitt is really the talkative guy and Antoine is more of a guy if you watch him, you can tell he is going to do his job and (he) leads by example. I think he is now in a situation where he has to speak up and he has to teach guys because we have (Aaron) Francisco who is a veteran guy, but after that it is just young guys that are backing them up at corner and at the safety position. He is a tremendous leader and every day he brings his 'A' game. He is very professional about what he does and takes his job seriously. He is one of the players on this team that you can definitely depend on. I was talking to him earlier in the season about my opinion that he is one of the top five, if not even higher, safeties in this league. If you just look at his production and how he plays the game, he is exciting to watch. He has done a lot for me, developing me in my first two years, teaching me the ropes, and I depend on him a lot."-Jerraud Powers on teammate Antoine Bethea.

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