via: Monique Walker, Boston.com
Listen to Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell long enough and you will hear a reference to a verse or proverb. He will bypass his own words for a line he believes sums up his point better, and credit the author or origin.
Caldwell leans on passages and phrases because he says he “is not an individual gifted with golden-throated oratory.’’ Yet he has gained the attention of an undivided audience in his players, who may disagree with his self-assessment.
Whatever Caldwell might not be saying he is showing in his first season leading the Colts. After joining the franchise in 2002 as quarterbacks coach, Caldwell has progressed through the system, and on Sunday he will lead the Colts back to the Super Bowl for the second time in four years. When his team takes the field at Sun Life Stadium, he could become just the third rookie head coach to lead a team to a Super Bowl championship.
Considering the changes a team might face with a new coach, the Colts have had a smooth transition. When Tony Dungy retired, Caldwell brought along a host of characteristics and principles that were similar to those of his former boss. As a member of Dungy’s staff, Caldwell said he learned many lessons, and meshed those ideas with others he picked up from coaching positions that date to 1977.
Yet his relationship with Dungy is a special one that continues. From their faith to their family to their coaching style, Caldwell said, Dungy was an example to him.
“He paved the way for me,’’ Caldwell said. “Obviously, because we do kind of have the same coaching style, we’re not guys that scream and yell. I may tend to raise my voice a little louder, but it’s more to encourage, more so than anything else and for instruction.
“His demeanor and the way he handled the situations during the course of the game has made it possible for guys like me to coach and for people not to consider our style of coaching as a negative because he won with it and won consistently. We certainly are thankful to him for that.’’
But that relationship did not stop Caldwell from making changes to the Colts once he took over. Defensive coordinator Ron Meeks and special teams coach Russ Purnell were replaced with Larry Coyer and Ray Rychleski. Coyer’s approach was aggressive and showcased the Colts’ speed. Rychleski led his group to improved results.
“[Caldwell] did a great job of tweaking this here and there,’’ tight end Dallas Clark said. “We had success the past few years, so he didn’t really want to go crazy and change a lot of things.