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Jim Caldwell-Indianapolis Colts: Time to Give Him His Just Due

Posted By Eddie Garrison On November 30, 2009 @ 6:25 pm In Colts News, Featured | No Comments

So you say you want me to take over a team that was coached by one of the most well-respected coaches to ever stride the sidelines in the NFL [1]?

And you are saying I am going to be without five of my defensive starters from a year ago?

No Bob Sanders.

No Marvin Harrison.

No Anthony Gonzalez.

And to top it all off, let’s throw two rookie wide receivers and cornerbacks in there as well, how’s that?

Sure Mr. Irsay and Mr. Polian, I can do that for you, no problem.

This is what Jim Caldwell has faced so far this season with the Colts [2].

There is to be a bit of a drop off expected when you replace your head coach in the NFL. You can even argue the fact that if you don’t make the playoffs or come out of training come a little sluggish the fans will understand.

New system, new coach, new almost everything as far as coaching is concerned.

But first year head coach Jim Caldwell has come out of the gates with his Colts so far through week 11, still without a mark in the loss column. Undefeated and already clinched the AFC South title for 2009.

Not bad for a first year coach, wouldn’t you say?

And yes, you can argue he has Peyton Manning [3] as his quarterback and one of the best wide outs in the game in Reggie Wayne, along with one of the best tight ends with Dallas Clark.

The facts still remain that its Jim Caldwell that has this team believing, even before they step foot on the field, they are not going to lose.

It’s not just No. 18 that gets this team going from week to week. It’s the preparation, the practice, and the belief instilled by Jim Caldwell that has the Colts to 11-0 this season.

The Colts this past Sunday polished off yet another divisional opponent after being down 17-7 heading into halftime. But still, the Colts and their fans somehow knew their team would be the one walking off of the field with a victory.

It’s become common place for the Colts to be down late in games and somehow come back to win. Five times in a row as a matter of fact, actually setting a new NFL record for comeback wins in a season.

But can it last?

Will it last?

How has it lasted?

Those answers come from the top and none more than straight from the head coach himself.

As I stated earlier, he has his team believing they will not lose before they step onto the field.

In meetings and practices through the week, Caldwell gets his unbeaten Colts prepared to do battle with the target on their back. Yet they contest, THEY are the hunters not the hunted.

It’s tough to argue with a team that has yet to see their first loss of the year. The team that has already clinched their division crown in week 11 of the season. The team that battled back, for five straight games, after halftime to finish off their opponents.

Many teams have been up on the horseshoes but none to date have been able to close them out.

And it all starts with the head man Jim Caldwell.

Much like his predecessor in Tony Dungy, Caldwell is not much of a vocal coach. Although when he needs to, he will raise his voice in practice to instill what he wants that particular player to do or not do.

But it’s his even keel on the sidelines and, as some players have said, during halftime when he tells them there is still a half of “Colts” football to be played and there are NOT out of it.

They seem to draw from him and continue to grind it out all the way until the last play of the game if need be, to get the victory. And so far this season, it has worked.

With a make shift secondary, starting two rookie corner backs that have faced the likes of Randy Moss [4], Wes Welker, Andre Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald, the Colts have ground out nothing but 11 wins in a row and 20 straight regular season games to begin the season.

Without the future hall of famer Marvin Harrison for Manning to throw to, the offense has found ways to move the ball with two first-year starters at wide receiver.

Losing their first round draft pick from two years ago in Anthony Gonzalez, to what looks to be for the season.

Down 17, no problem. Down 20, big deal. On the ropes on the road, no issue there.

The Colts keep finding ways to win behind the calm, even-keeled coach that I believe has earned the just due coming to him.

You may argue he has an on-field coach in Peyton Manning but the fact remains this is now Jim Caldwell’s team and not the Tony Dungy team he has just taken over.

He has them believing they WILL win no matter what and who is to argue with a mark of 11-0, unbeaten, and the division champs right now?



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URLs in this post:

[1] NFL: http://bleacherreport.com/nfl

[2] Colts: http://bleacherreport.com/indianapolis-colts

[3] Peyton Manning: http://bleacherreport.com/peyton-manning

[4] Randy Moss: http://bleacherreport.com/randy-moss

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