One of the easiest and hardest things to do is the job you are supposed to do. It is hard because no job is easy, and it is easy to try to do more than just your job in some circumstances. Colts players are reminded to do their jobs at Houston.

INDIANAPOLIS – There have been certain moments in the past when Colts players were told to focus on just doing their jobs, nothing more.

One such moment came in Kansas City in 2004 when the club surrendered 590 net yards and 33 first downs in a 45-35 loss to the Chiefs. The loss left the club at 4-3, and players were told the team had the right personnel to win and to just do their jobs. The team won eight straight and finished 12-4.

Another came in Jacksonville in 2006 when the Jaguars rushed for 375 yards in a 44-17 win. The same message applied. The team won two of its next three games and won three playoff games before besting Chicago in Super Bowl XLI, 29-17.

There have been other moments, too. This week provides something along the same line as the club heads to Houston for the 2011 opener without quarterback Peyton Manning.

One of the approaches for the week – do your job.

Head coach Jim Caldwell has cautioned the players to do their jobs. It is a 53-man message.

"Well I think anybody does, not just the defense. I'm talking about the whole operation," he said. "The minute that you start thinking that you have to do something out of the ordinary, usually that creates problems. What we have to do is just focus in on our jobs and take care of our responsibilities. As a matter of fact, I spoke to the team about that very thing on Monday in the event that something of this nature (Manning's absence) did occur. We just have to focus in on the things that we can control. It does not require that anyone does anything else out of the ordinary."

It is simple advice, but even Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy used to tell his Buffalo players, 'It's simple, but it's not easy.'

Every day this week, Colts players have been asked about playing without Manning and if that created any extra onus to perform. Across the board, Caldwell has been proven to be a communicator, and his players have shown their personal integrity.

Cornerback Jerraud Powers was a mature player for the Colts even as a rookie. As a third-year pro, he sounds almost coach-like when asked if the defense feels any extra pressure.

"No, not at all. Every week we have that mentality," said Powers. "Our mentality is not going to change. We don't feel there is any more pressure put on us, regardless of who's playing and who's not. Our mentality is the same. Guys want to go out there and do their job and make sure we execute whatever the game plan is."

Defensive end Dwight Freeney feels the very same way because he only knows one speed and one approach. It has served him well for years, and he feels to undue stress this week.

"None of that. For us, I guess that would imply that when the offense is at full speed we say, 'Oh well, the offense, they have it.' That's not our mentality," said Freeney. "We go out, no matter who's out there and no matter what they're doing on the offensive side, it's the same mentality on the defense. We try to stop them every down, try to get them off the field, try to get our offense the ball back, and that's pretty much what it is."

When asked again if the reality of Manning not being available is sinking in, Freeney refuted the very existence of the notion.

"There is no reality. We go out there and do what we have to do," said Freeney. "I promise you defensively we have enough to worry about stopping Houston and what they do. Obviously, we would love to have Peyton out there, but, 'Next Man Up.' That's just our mentality, it really is. We're not used to not having him out there. He's a great player, a Hall of Fame player. You want to have that type of caliber guy out there, but there are 53 guys on the team and one guy does not win the game. So, I think we need to go out there and execute and do what we have to do."

Linebacker Gary Brackett has shared those past moments with Freeney when players were reminded about the importance of just doing their jobs. He refutes the notion, too, that more is needed from each player this week.

"It's always, 'I'm giving 120 percent.' Where are you getting this other 20 percent from? I think all year round, guys give a 100 percent," said Brackett of his team always giving a full effort and not needing to do more as individuals. "We want to do well…Our mentality is right. I think guys want to play for each other. They want to go out there and get after it. Knowing he's (Manning) down this week gives you added motivation, but I don't know where you get anything extra from. (If you weren't giving it before) what were you waiting for? We have a lot of guys who leave everything every week on the field…Guys are out on the field fighting for their team. You have to respect that about our guys…We always try to control what we can control. From my perspective, I can control what I can control, and that's to line up the defense as effectively as possible."

As for center Jeff Saturday, regardless of position, the only approach is 'Next Man Up' and move full speed ahead.

"It's got to be. You can't look (at it) any different," said Saturday. "We're still going to be 53 guys who go play. However it shakes down, whoever's available and ready, we've got to go play. We have to go out and win the game no matter what…He's (Manning) been down the whole preseason. We've shown up to play every game so far. It's like every other position, a guy goes down the next guy has to step up."


OUT (Definitely will not play – QB-Peyton Manning (neck)
DID NOT PRACTICE – LB-Gary Brackett (not injury related)
LIMITED PRACTICE – WR-Anthony Gonzalez (hamstring), WR-Blair White (back)
FULL PRACTICE – S-Antoine Bethea (hamstring), WR-Austin Collie (foot)

OUT (Definitely will not play – QB-Peyton Manning (neck)
LIMITED PRACTICE – WR-Anthony Gonzalez (hamstring), WR-Blair White (back)
FULL PRACTICE – S-Antoine Bethea (hamstring), WR-Austin Collie (foot)

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

2023 Colts Schedule Is Here!

2023 Colts Schedule Is Here!

The 2023 Colts Schedule has been revealed and single game tickets are on sale now! Score tickets to your favorite matchups today!