Indianapolis Colts Unfazed By Preseason Record
Colts coach Jim Caldwell said they do, and the defending AFC Champions enter every preseason game wanting to win.
However, the Colts organization believes the preseason is more about evaluation and preparation. It is a general philosophy followed by Caldwell the past two seasons and for then-Head Coach Tony Dungy for seven seasons before that. It is one that Colts President Bill Polian believe, too,
While winning is important, being 0-2 in the preseason doesn't bother the Colts. Also, sporting a 4-20 preseason record since 2005 really doesn't matter, either.
"The thing about it, there's certainly not a time that you go into a ballgame without considering the score-because obviously you're trying to win every time you go out-but we also balance that with the fact that we're trying to also learn something about our squad, put some guys in positions where we can evaluate as well as sharpen our skills," Caldwell said Sunday. "And that's kind of how we look at it, we look at the performance more so than anything else, and in due time it will all come together."Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was more direct.
When asked if he was concerned about the team's preseason record, he replied, "No, it really doesn't."
"It's certainly more fun when you win the game, being in the locker room or on the plane ride," Manning said. "But I think the main thing is what we are we trying to accomplish in each game? Is it a certain play? A certain personnel grouping? A certain formation? Whatever it may be, that is usually what it has been for us. There are just some things we're doing a good job with, some things we need to improve on. Hopefully, we can take it a step further this week."
The Colts will visit the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay Thursday. It will be a nationally-televised game on ESPN, and like many teams, the Colts will approach this week, the third week of the preseason game, in dress-rehearsal mode. They'll game plan and play starters throughout the first half and into the second.
They have the NFL's best regular-season record since 1999, and have won six of the past seven AFC South titles. Their seven consecutive seasons with 12 or more victories is an NFL record.They have learned how to use the preseason to prepare for what matters.
"It's hard to explain," Manning said. "I would think that Coach (Jim) Caldwell and Coach (Tony) Dungy before that, it's not their goal. I'm not saying they don't care about the score, but certainly our record has been pretty bad in the preseason. I think we are looking at certain things. I know we do experiment with certain people, certain plays. You're going to call certain plays that you want to get a look at it knowing it might not be the best play, but you want to get it on film and make an evaluation of certain people and players. Certainly, you're getting a lot of young guys and giving them a chance to play."