Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell and quarterback Kerry Collins spoke to the Houston media via conference call on Wednesday morning. Here is a transcript of their interviews.
Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell
Colts QB Kerry Collins
Colts QB Kerry Collins
(on the latest information on QB Peyton Manning) "I don't know if you guys have had a chance to see our release, but we'll send it out. We released it a couple days ago and that's basically all the information we have at this point in time. Until something else further occurs or we give an update, you'll have to go off that release."
(on what he has done to get QB Kerry Collins caught up on the offense) "Obviously, he's been here a few days now and he's been working extremely hard at trying to get a good grasp on the material. Obviously, we have to look at it in a way in which we don't anticipate that he's going to be able to come in and operate the entire offense in such a short period of time, so we're adjusting things to best suit him in terms of things he does best. We're working hard at it and obviously we've got an opportunity for a great week of practice this week and we'll certainly work hard to make sure he's ready."
(on what impresses him about the Texans' 3-4 defense) "They certainly do a great job of getting off the ball. They come with a real good force. You have (Mario) Williams from the outside has really been doing a tremendous job in just collapsing the pocket, pressuring the quarterback, stopping the run. He's been very good at all those phases. I think he and (Antonio) Smith are two guys that you have to be able to know that they're going to be coming, they're coming hard and I think this defense gives them an opportunity to use those skills. Obviously, overall it's a very experienced group and a lot of good players, so we've got a lot of good guys to contend with."
(on what impressed him about DE J.J. Watt) "Obviously, he's got speed and power and he's tenacious. He's a very very talented guy who you're going to have to block because if you don't, he's going to disrupt your offense and make some things happen."
(on if he watches film on teams that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has coached in the past to prepare) "Certainly, I think that's nothing new. That's commonplace and yes, we've done all those things."
(on if the uncertainty at quarterback and the Texans' new defense adds to his workload in preparing for Sunday) "It doesn't add to our workload. It's the same as if we were preparing for any other team that has maybe a new staff member. It's just something that you just don't start preparing for today. You have to begin and take a look at it and gone through it, which we have. Obviously what he (defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) does presents problems because he's got good scheme and good personnel."
(on if he has to scale back his offense for QB Kerry Collins) "Our offense is one that can be pretty complicated, so we don't anticipate that someone can, and I don't think you guys would, I think you'd understand, that we don't anticipate that someone could come in and run our entire offense after either a month or two months. So we certainly don't anticipate that and we would not expect that, but he'll be able to operate what we need and obviously like I said, we're kind of tailoring things to suit his skill level within our offense."
(on being more organized this year when dealing with the crowd noise at Reliant Stadium) "I'm not certain I would characterize it as something as being organized. We work on situations every week when we travel away in dealing with noise and things of that nature. We just have to play better than we played last year. I think that's the key."
(on how the run defense has looked in the preseason) "I think preseason, we gave it a pretty good test and it looks like the guys have certainly been making some progress, but the real test is obviously when we start playing in the regular season. It will be a great opportunity for us to see the adjustments that we've made, how much they'll be able to improve us and things of that nature, but we're excited about that opportunity."
(on if it's been overplayed what's going to happen to the Colts without QB Peyton Manning) "I'm not certain. I haven't read, so I don't know what you're talking about. That's one of the reasons why I don't because of the fact that we stay focused on what we can control here and focus in on our team. So I'm not going to answer in regard to that because I haven't thought about it. I'm not aware of it, but I can tell you this, we're doing the exact same thing that we would be doing if he was here. If he was here, we would prepare, prepare intensely and that's exactly what we're doing at this stage of the game. He's a great one. There's only one. There will only be one like him probably in my lifetime and more than likely yours too, depending on how old you are, but you're just not going to see another guy quite like him. He's a very very special individual, but the fact of the matter is, we've kind of always kind of built our program around the fact that we look forward to the next man stepping up and being able to get in there and perform and perform well enough for us to win, so I think we're still in that frame of mind."
(on QB Peyton Manning coaching QB Kerry Collins) "I think one of the great things about our group, our team is that guys are experienced guys at their position. I have been willing to share knowledge and information to try to help the next guy. I think that's something that through the years has helped us and this year is no exception. Obviously, Peyton is one of those guys that does a great job just in terms of making certain that the guys that are playing that position have a good understanding of what's going on around them and I think you see that from our offensive linemen as well who interact in that capacity, but then all across the board our unit believes in that. It's certainly served us well over the years."
(on how important it will be to stop RB Arian Foster) "I think there's no question about it. He's a great one and you better pay attention to him. You know also when you're facing guys like that, they're going to get some yards. There's no way you're going to completely shut them down because they do what they do very well and he is extremely talented. There's not going to be anybody that's going to shut him down completely, but what we're going to try to do is make sure we can contain him, but he's going to get his yards."
(on what RB Arian Foster accomplished last season) "Anytime you have someone in the National Football League that's done what he has done in terms of yardage, it's pretty impressive. That's not a common feat. He's a very unusual guy with a lot of talent and he's one that presents a real challenge for anybody they face."
(on what he's changed to improve the run defense this year) "We look at every single facet. We look at everything. We make adjustments in every area to try to help us, so we've made some adjustments in a number of different areas."
Colts QB Kerry Collins
(on what it like to have all that talent on the Colts offense) "It's certainly a very good group of players. I've been watching them for a long time and know what they can do. It's equally impressive to see it in action."
(on if Peyton Manning has been like a coach) "He's definitely been helpful, absolutely. He's been there to answer every question and to help me with tips, pointers, whatever it may be."
(on what the last couple weeks have been like for him) "It went from relatively quiet back into the whirlwind so to speak. The Colts have been great. I've come in here and they've been very helpful. I'm getting more and more comfortable with it every day. It's obviously been pretty crazy but I've been around awhile so I've seen just about everything."
(on going up against the Texans in a new defensive scheme) "It's definitely different. Having to have face them five years now, twice a year, they're changing what they're doing and it looks like they believe in what they're doing. They're playing fast and playing hard. It seems like they've made the transition very smoothly. It's going to be a big challenge for us."
(on how much he looks on Wade Phillips and his defensive tendencies from other teams) "A little bit. I'm certainly familiar with his defense. I've played against it a bunch of times. It looks like they're playing like all those defenses have played. They're playing hard and fast and they're sound in what they do. It looks like it's an overwhelmingly positive switch for them."
(on if he relies more on his knowledge of Wade Phillips' defense or what he's learned thus far with the Colts offense) "A little bit of both, but the really the main focus has been on me on learning the offense and getting comfortable with it, which I feel like I have. Based on that, you put together a game plan and make adjustments according to what kind of defense you're going to face."
(on if people are being unfair assuming he'll catch on to everything quickly as a veteran) "Obviously it's like learning a new language, but I really feel like I've come a long way in a short time. Are there things I'm learning every single day? Absolutely. For being here two weeks and just having a short time to get into this thing, I feel like things are going well."
(on if he will do a lot of the play changes that Manning does at the line) "The offense is what the offense is. Certainly Peyton, having been in it for so long, would do some different things maybe, but for the most part if I'm out there playing on Sunday, then I expect to run the offense efficiently."
(on how much better it is as a quarterback to go to a pass-dominant team like the Colts after having spent the last couple years in the run-dominant Titans) "I think it's here like it is anywhere else, you like to have a balance. I certainly don't want to be throwing it 60 times a game. You want to be able to run the ball a little bit. (Former Titans head coach) Jeff (Fisher) maybe had a little bit of emphasis on the run philosophically speaking, but I think every team looks for that balance."
(on his key to success against the Texans) "I don't know. Everything goes out the window this week because it's a brand new defense. The past is in the past. There's not anything that happened in the past that will determine whether I'll have success or not on Sunday of this week."
(on if he's ever wondered how much of his actions were real or not and if he's asked him now that he's his teammate) "Yeah, being such a unique guy in a unique offense. Watching him for so many years and seeing all the things he did at the line of scrimmage and what everything meant; now I'm getting to learn that. As a quarterback, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious about that coming here. Now that I see what it's all about, you can just see his impact and the way his fingerprints are all over this thing. It's pretty impressive. After so many years, he's done some amazing things and it becomes evident when you get inside and see what this thing all about."
(on if his history with Bill Polian had anything to do with him coming to Indianapolis or would he have been there anyway) "I think it certainly had something to do with it. Not only him, but Coach (Jim) Caldwell I had as a coach at Penn State. Certainly the Polians. A couple of the coaches I actually played with in Carolina. There were a lot of those things here that kind of drew me into wanting to come here. I'm appreciative of the opportunity."
(on what he was doing before he came out of retirement) "I was back in Nashville and spending time with my family and getting my daughter ready for school. I was planning on doing some hunting trips and that sort of thing. I kind of got into that song writing thing in Nashville. I was doing some of that. Retirement was great for about three weeks or a month and then I started realizing that I still had good football left in me and if the right opportunity came up, I would definitely consider doing it."
(on what jumps out from the Texans on the defensive side of the ball) "I think they've definitely upgraded at corner for sure. They've got a good player in (Johnathan) Joseph. I think moving guys around has kind of opened them up to playing hard and playing fast. I think they're all believing in what Wade is doing. The front seven is very good. They've upgraded the secondary. I expect it to be a huge challenge for us."
(on looking up to see Mario Williams as a standup linebacker) "Yeah, he's definitely an imposing figure and he always has been. He's a great player. He's going to, I'm sure, be a big challenge for us this week."