Jim Caldwell January 17 Quotes

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he has heard anything about DB-Antoine Bethea’s injury) “No, I haven’t, but when we left the game they didn’t think it was anything that would hinder his performance this week.

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he has heard anything about DB-Antoine Bethea's injury)

"No, I haven't, but when we left the game they didn't think it was anything that would hinder his performance this week. That's how it ended, but oftentimes those things may change."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he thinks RB-Joseph Addai will be okay after suffering a shoulder injury against Baltimore)

"I think so, and that's without the advantage of having a chance to see him here in the next couple of days. I think he'll get through it. At least, I hope he will."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on what his plan is for today)

"We really don't know (who the Colts will play). What I did this morning is come in and took a look at our game to do some evaluating on that, just kind of looked at some of the different areas where we need to make some improvement this week, regardless of who we play. Obviously, we have a fairly decent familiarity with the Jets because it hasn't been that long since we've seen them. Besides that, we prepped for them last week as well, pretty thoroughly, I think. So, what I'll do today is watch the game, watch it with a critical eye, and see what we can pick up. As soon as it gets narrowed down, we'll really focus in on the team that we are going to play."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if the win validated his decision to rest the starters at the end of the regular season)

"No, winning the game had nothing to do with vindication or retribution or anything of that nature. It was just putting ourselves in what we feel to be the best opportunity to take advantage of the situation, and our guys played well."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if the Colts defense looked fast to him)

"There's no question about that. That was, obviously, the intent. One of the things I want you to understand, back on March 16 of last year, I had our first team meeting all together, collectively, as a team. I told them then at that point in time, we wanted to enter the regular season fresh, hungry and well prepared, those were the three things. I promised them that we would enter that first game with those types of characteristics, and I believe we did. Going into the second season that was one of our goals, as well. Our guys, I think, understand our vision for that. I really believe in speed, particularly at the time of the year where you may be able to gain a step or two. It's not guaranteed, but I'd rather lack a little bit in preparation and pick up a step or two in speed, because you can make up for a mistake or two here and there."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if it helped being at home and having Baltimore play its fourth consecutive road game)

"It doesn't give you any guarantees. It really doesn't. When we made our march before we had to go into visiting stadiums and forge our way through. There have been so many teams that have been able to go through and do it. It doesn't give you any guarantees. It's just kind of what you believe in, what are your convictions, and trying to get your team to also believe in those and play well when it comes time."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if this is the position he wanted to be in when training camp opened in August)

"I'm not certain, but I don't think there is a better position to be in, unless somebody can tell me there is. I think that's what you strive for. It's very difficult to reach. So, there's no question about that. But all in all, it still doesn't give you any guarantees. You still have to show up. You still have to play well. You know your opponent is going to be equally as good and equally as well-prepared."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he thinks they can get more out of the run game)

"I think you always can. I think you can up until the ninth hour. You just have to keep working on it and keep trying to get a little bit better. I think sometimes we did better, our short-yardage was better. I do believe that was an area where we had a little bit of difficulty, but our guys did a real fine job in that area. We just have to keep working on it. I looked real hard at the film this morning, trying to identify where we kind of failed in that area, and they are correctable. That's the thing about it. It's without question correctable. So, we will work at getting that done. The problems we had can be corrected, and they can be corrected quickly."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on both No. 1 seeds winning yesterday)

"Statistically, for whatever the reason, that has occurred, but none of those things play a part in the ballgame in itself. None of the conjecture, none of the hypothetical sort of situations that we can all think of, or none of the past history really matter between those white lines. That's what we try to get our guys to focus in on, what can we control? We can't control anything that happens outside of that. We can't control what people write. We can't control how people think. We can't control statistics of the past. We can't control any of that. What we can control is how we play, how we approach this game, how we prepare for the game. That's what I try to do. I try to narrow their focus. You hear me say this time and time again, I like to reduce things to the lowest common denominator. What's most important? That's what we look at. All that other stuff, oftentimes I don't even entertain. So, that's probably why I end up not giving you guys any great quotes, because I don't think about that kind of stuff. I have to do my job, and my job is to win. I reduce it down to the bare facts and forget about all the philosophical platitudes."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on not reflecting today)

"Zero. I look at the things we can correct. I looked at our team this morning. I make certain to look at areas where we need to improve and that we have to improve upon to move a step closer, in order for us to get prepared to play in this next ballgame, and then I'll focus in on who we're going to play. Right now, I'm jumping around between two teams, looking a little bit more at San Diego than I am the Jets (because the Colts prepared for the Jets twice recently). As soon as that ballgame is over, we'll narrow that focus and get to work. We can evaluate and analyze after the season is over."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on giving players two days off)

"Because it was such a late game. Night games take a lot out of you. You played on Saturday, but it's like playing on Sunday. Most of them, if they are anything like most of you guys, you guys were probably up late, when you got home you probably couldn't go to sleep right away. Most of us were up late, 3-to-4 o'clock this morning. To come back and do something on Monday doesn't make a whole lot of sense. We gave them a little time off. Our guys have used it wisely. They are in here, they are lifting weights, they're watching film. Matter-of-fact, I just walked by the meeting room just now and one of the guys is in there already watching film. That's kind of the attitude around here. They are going to use it and use it wisely, to promote health and also to get ourselves mentally prepared for the game, as well."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on what it says about the team that players are already watching film of last night's game)

"I think we have a real blue collar type of approach to each and every game. I think that's healthy. I think the guys don't take anything for granted. They are extremely humble, and they understand hard work is what is going to take them to that next level. They work at it, and they take great pride in that, as well."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on having Tony Dungy there yesterday)

"It was great. It was tremendous. It's always great to see him around. He's done so much for this franchise, this organization, this city, (and) this state. Obviously, now he's on a national and global type of run. For the guys to have an opportunity to see him and for him to come and give us support was special."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if Dungy talked to the team)

"You know him don't you? He's one that doesn't look for any attention or anything out of the ordinary. He came to support and be there. He didn't necessarily have to say anything. Just like oftentimes how he lives his life, his actions speak a lot louder than the level of his voice."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on a number of his players seeing their first playoff action and handling themselves well)

"I think that now a lot of the young guys aren't considered to be inexperienced any longer, not after you have 21 games under your belt. That's literally almost two college seasons. I do believe that they have gotten accustomed to it. I think the speed factor that was increased, I think we got a really good sense of that even last week during practice. I remember mentioning that to (Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers) Clyde Christensen, we were talking and both of us kind of looked at one another and said, 'Boy, did that seem fast to you out there today? Everybody seemed to be moving awfully fast and at a completely different level,' and he agreed. I think the practices that we had and the preparation were good. It certainly gave them a taste of what it was going to be like on gameday."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if that is the fastest he's seen WR-Pierre Garcon run when he chased down Baltimore S-Ed Reed and stripped him of the ball)

"He can run. There is no question about that. But I think that particular play was a great play. He epitomizes the type of effort our guys put forth. Oftentimes, you'll find on a change of possession that guys might not run the ball down quite like that. He'll be dejected, kind of watch what happens and jog along. But our guys have an attitude that when things happen, a sudden change, they can flip the switch quickly. The effort that he put forth, I think, was indicative of the style of play we've had from our guys throughout the year."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the play of LB-Gary Brackett last night)

"He is a consummate leader. He's a guy that loves what he is doing. He has an infectious sort of personality and it rubs off on every single guy on our defense, even with his voice inflection. They trust him, they know he is going to be right when he gets the defense set, and he plays recklessly. He's a guy that people have considered to be a bit undersize, but he plays big every single night out. The play that he had on the screen play where he ended up making contact with the guard, getting off  the guard and hitting (RB-Ray) Rice was some kind of play because he hit with some force. The sack was incredible, coming up the middle, working through his gap and then putting pressure on the quarterback. He was all over the field. I think that's the way the entire defense played. I looked at the film this morning and the guys were swarming to the ball. DE-Raheem Brock's play was certainly one also that you could probably classify in that same sort of realm. He hustled down the field and made a huge play. That might have been 10, 15 yards downfield. Oftentimes, defensive linemen stop and watch during that time, but not our guys. Our guys hustle to the end. I have to attribute a lot of that to our defensive coaches, Larry Coyer, John Teerlinck, Mike Murphy, Alan Williams, Bill Teerlinck and Rod Perry. They do a tremendous job of getting those guys ready. They don't settle for anything less than all-out hustle on every snap."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on practice tempo helping dictate what happened in the game)

"I think those kind of go hand-in-hand. They feed off of one another. The same type of intensity that we see from our defense, in terms of speed to the ball, etc., I think you get the same type of demonstration from our offense, as well. They run, they certainly catch it. The speed that was involved on that side was also quite evident during the course of our week's practice. I think those things kind of feed off one another."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on what a culture of winning or success means to him)

"I think it's pretty basic. I think it's kind of a philosophy around here that has been in place for a long time. Folks in our personnel office do a great job of fitting individuals to our beliefs; guys that are talented, guys that are smart, guys that have an incredible work ethic, guys that are intrinsically motivated, that you don't necessarily have to stand up in front of them and give inspiration by exhortation. They are guys that understand what their job is and certainly go about doing it in a very professional matter. I think what is important in creating an atmosphere of success, I just think that you have to be able to look at your men and see what they need. Sometimes it's a little rest, sometimes it's a little more work. Sometimes it's a little prodding, but oftentimes it's getting out of the way and letting them go and letting them work and letting them play and do what comes naturally to them. I think our coaches do a great job of that, and our players do a great job of responding. It's a long process. It's not something that just happens. Our attendance, even during OTAs, has always been good, and I think that is the reason why our team has been able to be so consistent over the years. We work during March, work during April, as hard as they work in September; not in length of time, but in terms of intensity level, the guys don't do anything half speed. I think that is quite unique."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on young guys not necessarily knowing what it is like to lose in the NFL)

"I think that the great thing is we have leaders that understand how difficult it is to get there. During the preseason, we kind of focused our first team discussion on a book by Jim Collins called Why the Mighty Fall. In that book he is comparing companies, but the same thing can be applied to our profession, as well. He had a number of different points as to why they could possibly fail or why they failed. So, we put each of those up and then put them in our jargon, the things that applied. We found that our team, for the most part, stayed away from all of those things. They were very humble. They didn't become arrogant, he used the term hubris. We didn't change much from the center of the core of how we've been successful, year-in and year-out. We weren't reaching for and extending our boundaries with a lot of gimmicks and things of that nature. I think all of those things made a huge difference, in terms of our elevated play. Also, if there was a concern or a problem, we didn't try to sugarcoat it. We addressed our issues and moved forward. And setbacks were not something that we carried around with us, day-in and day-out. That's why I think young guys are able to step up and play because we expect them to, and we treat them like starters when their time comes. There is a level of expectation that they all sort of rise to."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on how he would assess the pass rush)

"Effective. They put pressure on. Oftentimes, you may not get as many sacks as you would like, but when you look at the effect of the rush, I think that's important, you'll see that he (QB-Joe Flacco) was hurried, he was rushed. A few of those errant passes weren't simply because of the fact that he was off, he had to release it a little early. DE-Dwight (Freeney) just before half on a pass down the right sideline, if he had just held the ball another second or so, it would have been a sack, but when he hit him it did distort the release of the ball. When I think you look at that overall, we were effective, in terms of our pass rush."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on Baltimore leaving people in for more pass protection)

"You have to, I think. When those guys are really rolling, you have to. There was one time when (RB-Ray) Rice slipped out of the backfield on us for a pretty nice size gain. He let a guy go and slipped around, and he was able to get the ball to him, but he was getting hit right when he was releasing it, as well."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he showed the Jim Collins book to the team because of the team's past playoff history)

"No. That was really just talking about overall and how to maintain excellence. That is where the idea of the book came from. In terms of those things, unless it comes up from guys reading the newspaper or different articles that address it, they wouldn't know nor would I think it would affect them. We try to keep them fairly focused. They can't necessarily tell you what happened in some of those years and why it occurred, but the thing that we know for certain is that it all boils down to what happens on that particular day at that time. That's the key. You can practice well, but if you don't carry it to the game and don't play well, you're going to have some difficulty."

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