News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Pro Sports

September 20, 2011

Big change not in Colts’ plans

Getting better the goal after 2 losses

INDIANAPOLIS — Change? No way, say the Indianapolis Colts despite an unsettling 0-2 start to the 2011 season.

Tweak things? Yes. Try to improve in several areas? Of course. But if anybody is looking for the Colts to attempt to make massive across-the-board changes, either in scheme or personnel, they should think again.

“From our standpoint, it’s a long season,” center Jeff Saturday said Monday. “We’ve got to keep working every week. We have to continue to get better from Week One to Week Two. We definitely have to find a way to get better from Week Two to Week Three. Keep growing on what we are doing well. Kind of define our team for what it’s going to be and how we’re going to find ways to win and finally get a victory.”

That kind of talk is great for the locker room between teammates and coaches. But the Colts’ fan base wants improvement quickly and not over the long haul.

“That’s not how we operate. We’re not a big change-type team. As a player who’s been here for 13 years, I hope we don’t go through a lot of ‘changes’ because I might be the first. The reality is we have to be consistent, play better,” Saturday said.

“You can put your finger on exactly what we didn’t get done [against Cleveland]. Keep cutting down on the penalties. As a player, you don’t need to change a bunch of people. I’m telling you that timing just doesn’t come overnight. You’ve got to work together as a team. That’s what we'll continue to do.”

Middle linebacker Gary Brackett, who missed the Cleveland game with a shoulder injury suffered a week earlier against Houston, understands the concerns of the team’s fans. But staying the course is a more viable option than attempting to make the kind of wholesale changes that some fans may want.

“We just have to be more consistent in doing what we do,” Brackett explained. “We just have to be careful in analyzing the game. We need to do what we do and do it well.”

• Manning at practice Monday – Quarterback Peyton Manning made an appearance at the Colts’ walk through practice Monday afternoon. Manning, who underwent neck surgery two weeks ago, walked at a brisk pace around the perimeter of the practice field at the team’s indoor facility.

The four-time National Football League MVP teased a couple television cameramen who were on hand for Monday’s walk through practice. “Save a copy for me for my scrapbook,” Manning kidded as he was taped walking around the perimeter of the field.

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne made note of Peyton Manning's presence at Monday’s practice by nodding at the quarterback as he made his way around the team’s indoor practice field. “[He’s] walking it off,” Wayne joked, referring to Manning's recent surgery.

• Offensive woes – The Colts have scored just two offensive touchdowns over the first eight quarters of the season. Both of the touchdowns came in the fourth quarter of the first two games.

Wayne (vs. Houston) and tight end Dallas Clark (vs. Cleveland) have Indianapolis’ only two touchdowns this year.

• Not so “special” teams – The Colts special teams, specifically Indy’s kickoff and punt coverage units, haven’t been all that special through the first two weeks of the season.

Indianapolis has allowed an average of 28.6 yards on five punt returns (including one for a 79-yard touchdown against the Texans ) and 42 yards on three kickoff returns (with a long of 52 yards against the Browns).

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