The regular season always approaches quickly, whether it is May, June, July or August. Now certainly is no different.
League play looms ahead and the Colts hit September this coming week.
With a showing last Friday against Green Bay that demonstrated a good effort and some bright moments on both sides of the ball, Head Coach Jim Caldwell and the club forges on in getting ready for Cincinnati, and the regular-season action that ensues just afterward.
Just in the rearview mirror is the 24-21 last-second loss to
The Colts took a 21-13 lead into the final minute of the game before surrendering a touchdown, a two-point conversion, an onside kick and a last-second field goal in falling. Still, the performance left
"I thought overall we had a real fine effort," said
"I thought our guys, offensively, played pretty well. Joseph Addai had a good night running the ball, ran it pretty consistently. Curtis (Painter) played well. You can see by his numbers (11-21-171, 2 TDs, 111.4 rating) he did a nice job. We had some good things offensively and defensively. I think we held them to 41 yards rushing, (and) that's a team that does a little bit of everything well, obviously. We also did a fairly decent job rushing the passer. We had five sacks and did a nice job pressuring the quarterback. Reggie (
"Well, you know that is one of the things about him, his strength is the fact that he doesn't let a whole lot of things get under his skin and affect his performance," said Caldwell. "He is pretty steady. He has been very good in those situations, and that's what I told him earlier in the week. I had an old high school coach that always said, 'The cream will rise to the top if you are good enough,' and that's what I told him. Obviously, he was able to step up and make some things happen, which is good."
In meeting the Bengals in six days, the Colts will have matters to work on like all teams do at this point of the preseason.
Quarterback Peyton Manning continues to rehabilitate after neck surgery in May. He remains under the care of the club's medical staff. Painter played extensively against
"I am not certain how much time (he will get), but I am certain he is going to play," said
Caldwell and Collins go back many years together. Three of
"Nobody can operate our offense like Peyton (Manning) can in terms of its totality and its entirety, because of the fact that he's been in it a while and he has a great grasp of it," said Caldwell. "So we don't anticipate and expect people to actually be able to do exactly what he does. Even Curtis (Painter), his package is not the same as Peyton's package, and Dan's package is not the same as Curtis' package, so neither would carry his package the same. We'll adjust it and try to make certain we fit things in that sort of lean towards their strengths."
Collins is a true competitor, and he never has backed down from a challenge.
"I would like to get a pretty decent amount of time," said Collins. "The more I do in practice, the more I do next week is going to help me. I will take all the reps I can get.
"It (learning the playbook) is going to be a challenge. It is like learning a new language. The contents are the same. There isn't a concept I haven't seen before, but it is, 'What do you call protections? What do you call routes? What are the adjustments on this or that?' Those are all the things that I am going to have to learn. I am hard at work at it. I have been grinding away in the meeting room with Coach (Ron) Turner. I feel like things are starting to click. It is good for me to keep seeing it, seeing it. It was good for me to see it (Friday night) where it is actually in a game situation and guys are running it and hear what they are saying coming off (the field). I have made a lot of progress the last couple of days."