Questioning The Enemy: Colts Looking For Reset Button

Indianapolis is playing for pride at this point of the season with a 0-12 record.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 11:02 am | Categories: Questioning The Enemy, Ryan Mink

The Indianapolis Colts have been the class of the AFC South for about a decade.

This year has been quite the opposite.

Without Peyton Manning under center, and due to a rash of other injuries, the Colts are in danger of joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16.

Here’s what Head Coach Jim Caldwell and defensive end Dwight Freeney told the Baltimore media about how their season has gone and how they keep moving forward:

DE Dwight Freeney

On if he wishes they could hit the “reset button” on this season: “Absolutely. Obviously, you don’t want to ever have a season like this. Us especially, we are not used to this at all. We are used to making the playoffs nine years straight and all that, winning records and all of that. This is definitely a different feeling.”

On how they keep the frustration at bay: “The years that we have won is actually helping our mentality this year. We are trying to take each opponent as the most important thing. Let’s not worry about what happened last week or what’s going to happen in the future. You kind of take each opponent and dissect them and focus all your energies on them.”

On what the mood of the team is like: “The mood is not great, but it’s not as bad as you may think. Obviously, around this time, we are used to it meaning a lot more than it is. But it stills means a lot. You are playing for pride, and we have a lot of pride.”

On if the team gets frustrated when people focus on the loss of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning: “There is a lot of frustration, but we also understand that. So much focus goes on that position, it’s a no-brainer to understand that when you have not only your starting quarterback, a Hall of Fame quarterback, but also one of the faces of the league go down in injury, and then don’t play as well, it’s easy to kind of associate your bad season with that. I’m not saying it doesn’t have anything to do with it, because obviously it does, but there are a bunch of other factors. We lost our starting linebacker [Gary Brackett] in the first game, and we lost our starting safety [Melvin Bullitt]. We’ve lost a lot of key guys at a lot of key positions.”

On what he remembers from his matchups with Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie: “Bryant is probably one of my first marquee matchups. It goes back to college with Syracuse vs. Miami. He was the offensive tackle. He did a great job. I had a bunch of sacks going into that game, he had never given up [a sack]. They ended up winning the game, and I ended up not getting a sack.”

Head Coach Jim Caldwell

On how difficult this season has been for his team and how they’ve managed to stay positive: “It’s obviously not an easy thing, but I think the good thing is that we have a number of guys with certainly great character and great leadership qualities; in particular some of our older guys, they understand what it takes and that it’s certainly not going to get done by complaining and things of that nature.”

On how proud he is of his players: “Well, one of the things is they’ll fight you. They’ll fight you right up until the bitter end, and the only thing that we can do is basically go out and prepare extremely well. But, the fight and the determination and the drive that they have all the way up until the final whistle is uncharacteristic, particularly in this day and age. So, I certainly am proud of that aspect of it. We’ve just got to continue to get better and see if we can find a way to get us a victory.”

On whether he feels the Colts still have some playmakers on their team: “I think if you look from a statistical standpoint, you probably could answer that question yourself. I do think we have guys that can make plays. We just need those plays when the game is tight. We need to be able to tip it in our favor. That’s what we’re looking for.”

On what he thought about quarterback Dan Orlovsky’s performance last week: “I thought Dan did a nice job. Dan certainly showed some poise and made some real good decisions for us. He was able to move the ball; we had quite a few long drives that he helped us engineer.”

On running back Ray Rice and the job he did last week in Cleveland:  “To say he’s an integral part in what they do is an understatement. He’s an invaluable asset to them. He does everything so well. He’s an unbelievable competitor.”

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