News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 5, 2013

Switching sides: Colts-Ravens matchup includes old friends on new teams

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Just as Baltimore Ravens players and coaches will be seeing some old friends returning to M&T Bank Stadium today, several Indianapolis Colts veterans will also have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with a familiar face.

Four Indianapolis coaches — head coach Chuck Pagano, special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf, safeties coach Roy Anderson and linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald — were all formerly employed by the Ravens. Three current Colts players — defensive end Cory Redding, offensive guard Joe Reitz and safety Tom Zbikowski — once played for Baltimore.

On the flip side, Ravens offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell was an assistant coach for seven seasons in Indianapolis under Tony Dungy.

Caldwell replaced former Terre Haute South player and Indiana University coach Cam Cameron as Baltimore’s primary play caller on Dec. 10.

Caldwell was Dungy’s eventual successor as the Colts head coach from 2009 to 2011, leading the team to Super Bowl XLIV his first year in charge.

 One thing is certain. None of the former Ravens coaches and players, nor Caldwell, were eager to discuss any sort of reunion or to talk of the irony of this week’s AFC wild-card playoff game. Everybody is focused squarely on Sunday’s matchup.

“You stick with the process. It’s another week. We know the stakes are higher. The energy, the excitement, all that stuff, is higher. But don’t get caught up in all that stuff,” Pagano said Friday. “Do what you’ve been doing for the last 16 weeks. It will be good enough.

 “With what we’ve sacrificed as a team, collectively, there’s no way that we get to this point, this week, have this opportunity sitting in front of them and have a let up.”

The Colts coach admitted that it will feel a little bit strange at first walking onto the field at M&T Bank Stadium as a member of the opposing team.

“[The former Baltimore players on the Colts roster] understand [about] going back. I understand. But, again, it’s about this team. It’s about preparation. It’s about the process,” Pagano said.

 “I hate to keep going back to it. But I’m sure, like myself, it’s a great opportunity for them to have a chance to go back and face a former team. But at the end of the day, we still got to strap it on, buckle up, put the mouth piece in and play football.”

• Injury list — Offensive guard Joe Reitz (concussion) is the only Indianapolis player ruled out of Sunday’s game. Offensive tackle Winston Justice (biceps), nose tackle Antonio Johnson (ankle), running back Delone Carter (ankle) and Zbikowski (knee) are questionable.

Quarterback Andrew Luck (knee), outside linebacker Robert Mathis (rest), Redding (quad), inside linebacker Pat Angerer (illness), inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (thumb), outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (rest), and defensive tackle Kellen Heard (illness) are all probable.

 Carter saw limited work in Friday’s practice. The rest of the Colts’ injury list fully participated in the workout. Inside linebacker Kavell Conner (hamstring), who has seen very limited playing time in recent games, should see more work against the Ravens.

 Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who missed Thursday’s practice with the flu, was back at practice on Friday.

 Chargers interview Telesco — The San Diego Chargers interviewed Colts vice president of football operations Tom Telesco Friday in Indianapolis. Telesco is reportedly a candidate for San Diego’s vacant general manager’s position.

As for Arians, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson told NFL Network Friday morning that Indianapolis would like for the veteran assistant coach to remain with the team if at all possible. Arians, though, has been mentioned as a potential head coaching prospect with Chicago, San Diego and Cleveland.