The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Colts Camp

August 16, 2011

Indy’s youth is served

Scoreboard matters, but Indianapolis values evaluation above all else

ANDERSON, Ind. — Saturday’s 33-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams was the Indianapolis Colts’ seventh straight preseason defeat.

The games don’t count, but head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday he is not ignoring the scoreboard.

“When they stop keeping score, I’ll stop paying attention to it,” he said. “They keep score so we want to try to win. But we also know that we have to try to evaluate our team as well. I think that’s key. But no matter who’s in there, we should try to get some things done and put points on the board.”

Evaluation certainly has trumped competition of late.

The Colts haven’t finished with a .500 record in exhibition games since 2004. During that span, the team is 4-23 overall and posted winless preseasons in 2005 and 2010.

New faces dotted the stat sheet Saturday.

Rookies accounted for 18 of the 23 carries by a running back against the Rams, and 19 of the team’s 25 pass attempts were thrown by a player who wasn’t on last year’s roster. The story was the same in the receiving corps, where seven of 10 receptions came from newcomers.

It’s part of a philosophy that preaches patience.

Wins might be hard to come by in August, but the fruits of all that labor are evident throughout the roster.

Melvin Bullitt, Gary Brackett, Jeff Saturday and Blair White each went undrafted before the Colts gave them their big break. Each benefitted from a wealth of preseason playing time.

So when their number was called once the games started to count, they were ready to answer.

It’s far too early to predict who might emerge from this year’s rookie crop, but Caldwell liked what he saw overall against the Rams.

“I think they responded pretty well, for the most part,” he said. “It’s always a little different sort of an atmosphere than they have been accustomed to. Bigger (and a) faster collection of guys. More so than anything else, they have to adjust to the speed of the game, and I know they got a taste of it. Now that’s usually when you see a pretty good jump and improvement. So hopefully this week they will make that jump.”

The Colts have a short week to prepare, with the home opener scheduled for Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

They’ll practice twice today — at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. — and then once each Wednesday and Thursday before breaking training camp.

Brackett said he and his teammates need to make the most of that time.

“Obviously, we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “We just want to get back to playing some sound football, get better in our run defense and try to create some turnovers. We played a lot of snaps out there (against St. Louis) and didn’t get a sack or a turnover. So we definitely want to get better in those areas.”

Caldwell said the Colts’ own turnovers skewed the evaluation process.

But after he studied the game film, Caldwell found some things to take pride in — like the fact the Colts did not commit a penalty on offense or defense.

“We did see a lot of guys that played well, came along and made some strides,” Caldwell said. “But we just got to make certain we take care of the little things.”

The coach might not be ignoring the scoreboard Friday against the Washington Redskins, but it’s not the only measure for preseason success.

“It’s a competitive game but at the same time, it does not count against your record,” cornerback Jerraud Powers said after Saturday’s loss. “It’s basically something you can learn from and try to get better in certain areas. Next week, we want to be better than we were this week.”

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Colts Camp
  • 0914 Wheeler.jpg ‘Blue Review’ debuts from Hoosier Park

    Colts linebacker Philip Wheeler was back in Anderson on Tuesday for the first time since training camp closed on Aug. 18.
    And he said the team is looking forward to Sunday’s home opener against Cleveland, coming on the heels of a 34-7 loss in Houston.

    September 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0819 sports colts camp 053.jpg Colts break camp

    As the team broke ranks and prepared to return to Indianapolis for today’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins, there was still no word on when Peyton Manning will make his season debut.

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo 1 Video

  • 0819 sports colts camp 140.jpg Stay at AU brings ‘brothers’ together

    For punter Pat McAfee there was just one little thing missing from Indianapolis Colts Training Camp this year.
    “My bed, not even a question. I love my bed. I enjoy Anderson University, obviously, but I’ve taken time on my bed to make it perfect for me and that’s what I’m excited to get back to,” McAfee said after the Colts’ final practice at AU on Thursday. “If I could have brought it here, which is what I should’ve done and what some vets do, it would have been a perfect experience.”

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • Detienne sends team back to Indianapolis

    A face familiar to Anderson football fans joined the Indianapolis Colts final huddle Thursday morning at Macholtz Stadium.
    Kerry Detienne, who was diagnosed with leukemia as a Highland senior in 2008, broke down the huddle and helped send the team on its way back home to Indianapolis.

    August 18, 2011

  • 0818 spts peter king.jpg Clarification

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0802_stand_colts005.JPG 2011 Colts Training Camp Timeline

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0818 spts tyler brayton.jpg Brayton hits ground running with Colts

    Defensive lineman Tyler Brayton got something of a rough introduction to the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday night.

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo

  • 0819 sports colts camp 106.jpg Colts wrap up training camp

    The Indianapolis Colts broke training camp Thursday with a 75-minute practice at Macholtz Stadium.

    August 18, 2011 1 Photo 1 Video

  • 0818 sports colts camp 051.JPG Colts shuffle O-line

    One of the more interesting developments from Tuesday night’s practice was a shifting of positions along the offensive line.
    Rookie Anthony Castonzo and second-year player Joe Reitz were to the left of center Jeff Saturday, while Jeff Linkenbach was at right tackle with Ryan Diem at right guard.
    The biggest shock was Diem’s move from tackle to guard — a position he hasn’t played in nine years.

    August 17, 2011 2 Photos 1 Video

  • Teverbaugh, Rick.jpg Rick Teverbaugh: So long but not farewell

    If you’re heading out to the final Indianapolis Colts practice and it isn’t your first visit this year, be prepared for a bit of culture shock.

    August 17, 2011 1 Photo

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