Just Like Rodney Dangerfield Over The Course of His Career The Indianapolis Colts Still Can’t Get No Love Or Respect …………
Did I miss something here ? A 14-0 team in the Indianapolis Colts, isn’t viewed as the best team in the AFC ? But the pundits view the San Diego Chargers at 11-3, are viewed as the better team ? But now that’s the pundits, as we all know they’re always enamored with style over substance. Pardon me for saying this but shouldn’t one’s body of work over the course of the season matter ? Granted, should these two teams meet in the AFC championship game, then the Chargers might just have the slight edge in the match-up.
The Chargers are riding high at present with the team sitting atop of the AFC West and there’s nothing else for them at all to fear within their own division and over the remainder of their schedule. This Norv Turner team has hit their stride and they’re playing with a great deal of confidence. Phillip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles and Shawne Merriman are all playing with a great deal of zeal. And the defense of the Chargers has literally come into their own. And the offense is as potent as ever, both on the ground and through the air. It may well be, that finally the players are buying into and believing what it is that their coach is selling them. Mind you, at the start of the season , I’m sure that their the fans may well have felt somewhat differently. But that’s how fickle the fans can be, when it comes to the inconsistent play of their team.
For the Colts, only the second time in their career have they reached the pinnacle of being 14-0. And now having surpassed the feat of the New England Patriots in having won 21 consecutive regular season games. They now seek to add ‘perfection’ and the raising of the Lombardi trophy, as the culmination to their prolific season under their quarterback, Peyton Manning. But what might be even more surprising is that this being done with first year coach, Jim Caldwell. The footsteps that Caldwell stepped into, are those of Tony Dungy, the former beloved coach of the team and well respected throughout the NFL. Now the Colts’ fans and fans around the NFL wait to see if the team’s march towards perfection will be a historic one, or will they end up falling short at that last obstacle placed in their way. These are things that await the fans of the Colts and the fans of the NFL in general.
Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports
By Barry Wilner , AP Football Writer
As the NFL’s lone unbeaten team, the Indianapolis Colts will have even more of a spotlight on how they approach their final two games of the regular season. They recognize that, but their mantra won’t change: winning the Super Bowl is the goal.
The Colts returned to practice Monday after a long weekend of rest and relaxation. Their 35-31 victory over Jacksonville on Thursday night earned them that reward, and when New Orleans lost to Dallas on Saturday night, the Colts became the NFL’s only spotless team.
How much does that mean to them?
“Obviously, it’s an honor for our team to have an opportunity to stand alone at this point,” coach Jim Caldwell said Monday, “but the fact of the matter is that it is a real task to maintain this position, as well. I think our guys are certainly up to that challenge.”
And they want to meet that challenge.
“Obviously, we’ve been here before. It helps in dealing with the media and helps us in how we should feel,” linebacker Gary Brackett(notes) said. “Everything is measured by the end of the season. But we welcome (the spotlight). We’re not under the radar anymore.
“I think we’ve got a pretty good team. What we’ve done is nothing to take lightly. We’re definitely proud of where we’re at right now. And it’s a good problem to have, deciding whether you’re going to play or whether you’re going to sit.”
So, will they get the chance to prove it? Or will the Colts back off in their final two games, against the Jets at home on Sunday, and then at Buffalo?
Judging by how they performed at Jacksonville, and how Peyton Manning(notes) and Reggie Wayne(notes) have been vocal about wanting to be on the field, it would seem matching the Patriots’ 16-0 mark of 2007 is a priority. Just not the main priority.
“Right now I could not tell you exactly what it’s going to be, whether or not a guy plays one series or the entire game,” Caldwell said. “The other thing is the health also includes, obviously, looking at them from a standpoint at what they’re going to be able to do in the future as well. That’s also included.”
Only two other franchises have reached 14-0 in the regular season: the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who went on to 17-0 and won the Super Bowl, and the ’07 Patriots, who were 16-0, won two playoff games, then fell in the Super Bowl to the Giants.
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In 2007,we witnessed the New England Patriots’ march to perfection in the NFL, during the regular season, only for the team to fail in their bid to win the Superbowl. Unfortunately the team would fail in their quest for perfection and equal the feat of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots were upended by the New York Giants in a memorable game that was highlighted by David Tyree’s phenomenal catch and then we saw the Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress reception that would eventually win the Superbowl for the Giants.
Well, much like the famed comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, the Indianapolis Colts can’t seem to get the respect they so richly deserve. And that’s even with the team having won a Superbowl with Manning and Dungy in tow. Will a second win, give validation and respectability to this team ? Or will they be continually disrespected by others, who simply value style over substance ? They were comedians during Dangerfield’s era who many felt were far funnier but none could elicit a laugh the way that Rodney Dangerfield could from an audience. And in many ways this is the same problem that the Indianapolis Colts now face with the purists at heart. What many of them seem to forget, is that apart from Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday, Joseph Addai and Dwight Freeney. This is a roster that has been revamped with a plethora of young players. And perhaps this may well be the reason why many aren’t so enamored with the Colts and so vapidly in awe of the San Diego Chargers.
It is quite possible that these two titans could very well meet in the AFC championship game. And that’s where it’ll be for all the marbles for what’s at stake. The winner of that matchup may well be viewed as the presumptive favorites to raise the Lombardi trophy. But that’d be predicated upon these two teams being able to steer their way through the obstacles that will be placed in their path throughout the postseason. So as of now, just watch the displays of the Colts and their quest towards perfection. One way or another, the journey could be just as exhilarating a joy ride as you could ever wish for. Along the way there might a smile placed on your face as you watch this great team’s chase at glory and history.
NB: Click here to view the Indianapolis Colts’ 2009-10 NFL roster.
Coach: Jim Caldwell
Jim Caldwell became the Colts coach following the retirement of Tony Dungy on January 12, 2009. Caldwell has served with Indianapolis since 2002. He spent the first three seasons as quarterbacks coach before earning the expanded title of assistant head coach prior to the 2005 season.
Caldwell’s leadership has helped the Colts continue to have one of the league’s most prolific offenses. In 2007, Indianapolis ranked fifth in NFL offense, the club’s fifth straight top five league finish. The club amassed 450 points to rank third in points per game, the fifth straight year the club was among the league’s top three scoring units. The Colts set an NFL record with a fifth consecutive season with at least 12 victories. The club’s victory totals of 50 from 2003-06 and 75 from 2003-08 rank among the best in NFL history over any four- and five-year spans. The club earned an NFL-best ninth playoff appearance in the last ten seasons, and Indianapolis extended its franchise record with a fifth consecutive AFC South championship. Additionally, Indianapolis became the first team in 76 years (Green Bay 1929-31) to open three consecutive seasons with 7-0 starts. cont’d…………
Offensive coordinator; born January 28, 1956, Covina, Calif. Quarterback Fresno (Calif.) J.C. 1975, North Carolina 1976-78. No pro playing experience. College coach: Mississippi 1979, East Tennessee State 1980-82, Temple 1983-85, East Carolina 1986-88, Holy Cross 1989-1990, South Carolina 1991, Maryland 1992-93, Clemson 1994-95. Pro coach: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1996-2001, joined Colts in 2002.
Defensive coordinator; born April 19, 1943, Huntington, W. Va. Linebacker Marshall 1962-64. No pro playing experience. College coach: Marshall 1965-67, Iowa 1974-77, Oklahoma State 1978, Iowa State 1979-1983, 1995-96, UCLA 1987-89, Houston 1990, Ohio State 1991-92, East Carolina 1993, Pittsburgh 1997-99. Pro coach: Michigan Panthers (USFL) 1984-85, New York Jets 1994, Denver Broncos 2000-06, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2007-08, joined Colts in 2009.
Asst. Strength And Conditioning; born February 19, 1972, Bladenboro, N.C. Quarterback Davidson 1990-93. No pro playing experience. College coach: Davidson 1994-98, North Carolina 1998-99. Pro coach: Barcelona Dragons (NFLE) 1999, joined Colts in 2000.
Running Backs; born July 20, 1947, Uniontown, Pa. Defensive backwide receiver Wyoming 1965-68. Pro running back San Diego Chargers 1969. College coach: Wyoming 1970-73, New Mexico 1974-76, Nebraska 1977-1986, Arizona State 1987, Ohio State 1988-1991. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 1992.
Offensive quality control/Asst. offensive line; born May 24, 1960, Three Rivers, Mich. Tight end Wabash College 1978-1981. Pro tight end Seattle Seahawks 1982-84, Buffalo Bills 1985-1994, Carolina Panthers 1995, Detroit Lions 1996-97. College coach: Wingate 2003. Pro coach: Barcelona Dragons (NFLE) 2003, joined Colts in 2004.
Sr. Offensive Coordinator; born November 7, 1938, Owatanna, Minn. Quarterback Iowa 1957-1960. No pro playing experience. College coach: Iowa 1961-62, Dayton 1965-68, Wake Forest 1969, Georgia Tech 1970-71, Minnesota 1972-73, 1975-76. Pro coach: New York Stars (WFL) 1974, Pittsburgh Steelers 1977-1989, Minnesota Vikings 1990-93, Detroit Lions 1994-96, New Orleans Saints 1997, joined Colts in 1998.
Sr. Offensive Line; born February 10, 1942, Midland, Mich. Guard Hillsdale (Mich.) College 1960-63. Pro offensive lineman San Francisco 49ers 1964-69, Chicago Bears 1969-1971. College coach: California 1972-73. Pro coach: San Diego Chargers 1974-76, San Francisco 49ers 1977, Seattle Seahawks 1978-1982, 1993-97, Cleveland Browns 1983-88, Kansas City Chiefs 1989-1992, joined Colts in 1998.
Linebackers; born September 25, 1944, New York, N.Y. Guard-linebacker Huron (S.D.) 1963-66. No pro playing experience. College coach: Vermont 1970-73, Idaho State 1974-76, Western Illinois 1977-78. Pro coach: Saskatchewan Rough Riders (CFL) 1979-1983, Chicago Blitz (USFL) 1984, Detroit Lions 1985-89, Arizona Cardinals 1990-93, Seattle Seahawks 1995-97, joined Colts in 1998.
Special assistant to the defense; born September 11, 1953, Fresno, Calif. Defensive back Colorado 1972-74. Pro cornerback Los Angeles Rams 1975-82, Cleveland Browns 1983-84. College coach: Columbia 1985, Fresno City College 1986, Fresno State 1987-88. Pro coach: Seattle Seahawks 1989-1991, Los Angeles Rams 1992-94, Houston Oilers 1995-96, San Diego Chargers 1997-2001, Carolina Panthers 2002-06, joined Colts in 2007.
Quarterbacks; born December 4, 1961, Freeport, N.Y. Quarterback Maryland 1981-84. Pro quarterback Buffalo Bills 1985-1994, Carolina Panthers 1995, New York Jets 1996, Detroit Lions 1997-98. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 2008.
Special Teams; born September 27, 1957, Old Forge, Pa. Attended Millersville (Pa.) State College. No college or pro playing experience. College coach: Temple 1981-88, Northeastern 1989-1990, Penn State 1991, East Stroudsburg 1992, Wake Forest 1993- 2000, Maryland 2001-07, South Carolina 2008. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 2009.
Defensive assistant; born July 23, 1978, Champaign, Ill. Defensive end Chadron State 2000-02. No pro playing experience. College coach: Indiana 2003-04, Illinois State 2005-06. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 2007.
Defensive Line; born April 9, 1951, Rochester, N.Y. Defensive lineman Western Illinois 1970-73. Pro defensive tackle San Diego Chargers 1974-77. College coach: Iowa Lakes J.C. 1977, Eastern Illinois 1978-79, Illinois 1980-82. Pro coach: Chicago Blitz (USFL) 1983-84, Arizona Wranglers/Outlaws (USFL) 1985-86, Cleveland Browns 1989-1990, Los Angeles Rams 1991, Minnesota Vikings 1992-94, Detroit Lions 1995-96, Denver Broncos 1997-2001, joined Colts in 2002.
Tight Ends; born March 29, 1965, London, England. Safety Alabama 1983-86. College coach: Kentucky 1996, Gardner-Webb 1997. Pro coach: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997-2001, joined Colts in 2002.
Strength And Conditioning; born November 16, 1973, Livingston, N.J. Linebacker Springfield (Mass.) College 1991. No pro playing experience. Pro coach: Buffalo Bills 1995-97, joined Colts in 1998.
Defensive Backs; born November 4, 1969, Norfolk, Va. Running back William & Mary 1988-1991. No pro playing experience. College coach: William & Mary 1996-2000. Pro coach: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2001, joined Colts in 2002.
Colts’ Front Office: Jim Irsay , Owner & CEO
Bill Polian , President & General Manager
Carlie Irsay-Gordon , Vice President
Casey Irsay-Foyt, Vice President
Peter Ward, Senior Executive President
Tom Zupancic, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing