DATE: Friday, August 14, 2009
SITE: Lucas Oil Stadium
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT)
The Indianapolis Colts initiate 2009 preseason play and embark on a new era on Friday, August 14 by hosting the Minnesota Vikings. Kickoff in Lucas Oil Stadium is 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT).
The Colts will be opening under new Head Coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell was elevated to head coach in January, and this is his eighth season with the franchise. Caldwell began with the club in 2002 as quarterbacks coach, eventually adding the responsibilities of assistant head coach (2005) and associate head coach (2008). In addition to Caldwell, the club opens with a new defensive coordinator in Larry Coyer and a new special teams coach in Ray Rychleski.
Indianapolis reported to training camp on Sunday, August 2 at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. Players who opened camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list included DB-Bob Sanders (knee), DB-Marlin Jackson (knee), WR-Sam Giguere (leg), K-Adam Vinatieri (hip/knee), OT-Charlie Johnson (pectoral), DT-Antonio Johnson (knee). Johnson, Johnson and Jackson were cleared from PUP on August 10. The club practices daily in training camp prior to this weekend's game. The Colts return to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on the Monday following the Minnesota game for three days of practice before breaking camp on August 19.
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (114-46) since the start of the 1999 season, while being the only team to earn nine playoff appearances in the last 10 seasons, Indianapolis has won 59 of its last 73 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 32-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 95 of 119 weeks of the division's existence. The Colts won five AFC South championships from 2003-07, the best divisional-title streak in club history.
Indianapolis is the only NFL team to have double-digit victory totals and playoff appearances each season since the 2002 NFL Realignment.
PERSONNEL REPORT: DB-Bob Sanders (knee), DB-Marlin Jackson (knee), WR-Sam Giguere (leg), K-Adam Vinatieri (hip/knee), OT-Charlie Johnson (pectoral), DT-Antonio Johnson (knee) opened camp on PUP, with Johnson, Johnson and Jackson being cleared for practice on August 10.
TELEVISION/RADIO: WTTV-TV telecasts with Don Fischer, Mark Herrmann and Jeffrey Gorman (field reporter). 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts Philadelphia on Thursday, August 20 at 8:00 p.m. (EST), a game telecast nationally by FOX Sports.
**WWW.COLTS.COM**: Please check the official website of the Indianapolis Colts for the latest in team information and merchandise.
JIM CALDWELL was named head coach of the Colts on January 13, 2009, and this marks his eighth season with Indianapolis. Caldwell joined the club in 2002 as quarterbacks coach before adding the title of assistant head coach prior to the 2005 season. Caldwell was promoted to associate head coach with the club prior to the 2008 season. The club's offense has produced levels prolific enough during Caldwell's tenure to allow the club to earn an NFL-best seven consecutive playoff appearances. The club has earned 10 victories in seven consecutive seasons, tying the second-longest NFL streak, and the club's six consecutive 12 -victory seasons set the NFL's all-time standard. From 2004-08, Indianapolis became the only NFL team to earn winning streaks of at least seven games in five consecutive seasons. Caldwell joined the Colts after serving as quarterbacks coach with Tampa Bay in 2001. Caldwell has more than 20 years of collegiate coaching experience. He spent 1993-2000 as head coach at Wake Forest. He served as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois (1978-80), Northwestern (1981), Colorado (1982-84), Louisville (1985) and Penn State (1986-92). Caldwell has coached in six bowl games and won a national championship with Penn State in 1986. In addition to serving on Joe Paterno's title staff, Caldwell tutored under three other coaches who won collegiate crowns (Rey Dempsey, Southern Illinois; Bill McCartney, Colorado; Howard Schnellenberger, Louisville). Caldwell was a four-year starter at defensive back at Iowa and worked as a graduate assistant for Iowa in 1977. He hold a bachelor's degree from Iowa. Caldwell was born on January 16, 1955 in Beloit, Wis.
BRAD CHILDRESS was named the seventh Minnesota head coach on January 6, 2006. Childress joined the Vikings after serving 1999-2005 with Philadelphia. He has directed Minnesota to records of 6-10, 8-8 and 10-6. His 2008 unit won the NFC North Division. Prior to joining Minnesota, Childress spent the previous four seasons with the Eagles as offensive coordinator, a period when Philadelphia advanced to four consecutive conference championship games and to Super Bowl XXXIX. He served 1991-95 at the University of Wisconsin, and he was a part of two co-champion conference teams that won the Rose Bowl. Childress served collegiately also at Illinois 1978-84, Northern Arizona 1986-89 and Utah 1990. He served in an offensive capacity with the Colts in 1985. Childress was a QB/WR at Illinois before transferring to Eastern Illinois. He is a native of Aurora, Ill.
COLTS/VIKINGS SERIES NOTES
Minnesota owns a 5-4 preseason series advantage, with the last preseason meeting coming on August 24, 2001 in Minneapolis. The Vikings took a 28-21 decision. The clubs last met in Indianapolis during preseason play on August 24, 2000, with Indianapolis emerging 32-30 victors. The preseason series dates back to 1961. The league series stands 14-7-1 in the Colts' favor, plus the Colts won the only post-season encounter between the clubs (24-14 on December 22, 1968 in the Western Conference Championship). These teams met in the Metrodome last September 14. K-Adam Vinatieri booted a 47-yard field goal with :03 remaining to cap an 18-point second-half rally as the Colts won, 18-15. K-Ryan Longwell booted field goals of 45, 27, 53, 46 and 28 yards, but his miss from 48 yards midway through the final period helped set the comeback. QB-Peyton Manning (26-42-311, 1 TD/2 ints.) teamed with WR-Reggie Wayne (5-93, 1 TD) on a 32t strike with 5:54 left, and RB-Dominic Rhodes added the tying two-point conversion. Indianapolis forced a late punt to move into range for Vinatieri. The Vikings took the lead five minutes into the game, and Indianapolis played from behind most of the way. RB-Adrian Peterson rushed 29-160, while the Vikings tallied 179 rushing yards to the Colts' 25. WR-Anthony Gonzalez was 9-137, while WR-Marvin Harrison caught a pass in his 177th consecutive game, tying Steve Largent for the 4th-longest NFL streak. In the last series meeting in Indianapolis, the Colts took a last-second 31-28 home victory over Minnesota on November 8, 2004. K-Mike Vanderjagt's 35-yard field goal with :02 remaining capped a back-and-forth battle as the Colts produced a thrilling win. The Colts moved to a 14-0 lead, then earned margins of 21-14 and 28-21 in producing the win. Manning (23-29-268, 4 TDs) hit TEs-Marcus Pollard (2-29, 2 TDs; 10t, 19t) and Dallas Clark (3-38, 1 TD; 4t) and Wayne (3-22, 1 TD; 5t) on scoring receptions. The teams met in Indianapolis on December 24, 2000, with the Colts taking a 31-10 win. Manning (25-36-283, 4 TDs/1 int.), RB-Edgerrin James (26-128 rushing/5-79, 1 TD receiving), WR-Marvin Harrison (12-109, 3 TDs) and the Colts defense (236 net yards allowed) shined as the Colts earned a playoff berth by besting Minnesota. Manning hit Harrison on 4t, 15t and 18t strikes and James on a 52t pitch to lead the Colts. These teams met twice annually from 1961-66 and once a year from 1967-69, but the series has been contested only seven times since the 1970 NFL Merger (1971, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2000, 2004).
COLTS ARE NFL'S WINNINGEST TEAM FROM 1999-2008: The Colts stand as the NFL's winningest team since the start of the 1999 season. The Colts own a 114-46 record during that span.