Colts Balance Work and Family on Thanksgiving
Thursday is a working holiday for the Colts as they prepare to play San Diego Sunday, but Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said he hopes for there to be an even distribution between the two. Caldwell adjusted the players' Thursday schedule, with practice and meetings moved up in the day to allow for time with family and friends in the afternoon.
"My plans are to spend time with family," Caldwell said. "We do have family coming in and we obviously have to get our work done. That's the balance. I think we can do both. Certainly we are thankful for all of the blessings we have received, and it is a great time for that. So it is a great time to enjoy that with family, reminisce and talk about different situations. So it will be a great afternoon tomorrow."
For many Colts players whose families live elsewhere, there has been a standing tradition to make sure everyone on the team has a place to come together.
"We've got a number of guys, coaches and players that have always had open house policies for Thanksgiving, and that's a good thing," Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said.
Manning is one of the veterans that have players over, and with the amount of new faces in the locker room, he conceded that nametags may be a good way to go for everyone to get to know each other.
"Not a bad idea around here with some of our new players, especially on the practice squad," Manning said smiling in response to the suggestion of using nametags. "We haven't figured out the plans yet. We do have to make sure before practice that some of our new guys, which literally have been in Indianapolis for a week or two weeks, make sure they have a place to eat. We have as many young guys as we've had in a long time around here. We've got some work to do.
"I think the key is to make sure we introduce everybody to each other. It would be nice if you have somebody over to your house that you at least know who he is a little bit."
Many Colts players reflected on the holiday and expressed what Thanksgiving means to them this year:
Rookie linebacker Pat Angerer: "Just to be here. Obviously having this great job and living the dream. I think I am thankful for the fact that my family and me can go to sleep at night and not worry about bombs blowing up. We have such a great country, people fighting for our freedom. I think that's unbelievable. We are able to do all of this because men and women are over there fighting for our freedom."
Second-year defensive back Jerraud Powers: "The thing I am most thankful for is God blessing me to be in a position that I'm in. Because of the situation and where I grew up, I could be doing something else other than playing football. I am real thankful for the plan God has made for me to be here and be able to represent him through this whole experience."
Second-year running back Donald Brown: "I am thankful for every day. I am thankful for a great family and support staff that I have. I am grateful for being a part of this organization, and there are so many blessings. It is hard to just pinpoint a few."
Ninth-year defensive end Dwight Freeney: "I am thankful for my family and all of the support, my friends and just being blessed to be able to do what I have always loved and living a dream."
15-year veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri: "Clearly, my family. We had a new addition to our family. He is about eight months old now and he is pretty special along with my other two kids and my wife. In my immediate family and my extended family, everyone is doing well and I am glad for that and very thankful for that."