This calm, reassuring mindset, this trait of being authentic and straightforward laced with keeping some things close, some things covered, has its roots in former coach Tony Dungy. General manager Bill Polian also helped to cultivate it. Coach Jim Caldwell has continued the teaching, the craft.
“I’m pretty authentic and straightforward,” Caldwell said in his news conference here on Monday and used the same words to describe his offensive line coach, Howard Mudd, who after 36 NFL seasons, the last 12 with the Colts, has told the franchise that this will be his last game. The Colts have 12 of 22 starters back from their Super Bowl championship team from three years ago. It is a veteran team with youth sprinkled in spots. Everyone involved knows to follow the template of Dungy and Polian and now Caldwell.
“All three men are similar,” Colts defensive tackle Daniel Muir said. “They are humble and hard working. They all worked together for a long time. And when you do that, there are certain traits that you pick up from each other and that you pass down to the players. Polian is at practice every day. You can talk to him and coach Caldwell every day about anything. I’m not sure that is the setup with other teams around the league.
“The way we are as a team, it’s something that is taught. This franchise is built like a family. There is a family atmosphere in the locker room. You can see why, with good players, that would be successful.”
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