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Caldwell tells players not to talk about Week 16

Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell is sick of hearing about his decision in Week Sixteen to bench quarterback Peyton Manning and other top players, surrendering a shot at a perfect season in an effort to keep his team healthy for the playoffs.

And Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com reports that Caldwell asked Colts players to deflect media questions about the decision, because Caldwell wants all the focus to be on the playoffs.

The real key is what you do this time of year,” Caldwell said. “That’s how everybody is judged in this league. I’d like to be judged that exact same way. Can you get your team to the biggest game and vie for the most coveted trophy in professional team sports? And can you win it?”

Caldwell is right that what really matters is what a team does in the playoffs: If the Colts come out looking sharp and win on Saturday, the idea that they’ve lost momentum will be largely forgotten, and everyone will be talking about the Colts as the favorites to win the AFC Championship next weekend and get to the Super Bowl.

But if they lose to the Ravens, Caldwell instructing his players not to talk about Week Sixteen won’t stop him from being questioned about it for a long, long time.

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39 Responses to “Caldwell tells players not to talk about Week 16”
  1. Dayton Dolfan says: Jan 15, 2010 4:34 PM

    this is going to end bad. if they lose to the Ravens this week, this all they are going to hear about all off season. they obviously didn’t expect this much of a backlash.

  2. BillsFan27 says: Jan 15, 2010 4:36 PM

    Whatever – you can’t hide from it Fraudwell. And if you lose this weekend you may not have to.
    Manning could coach this team, right now, with his eyes closed.

  3. kennethnoisewater says: Jan 15, 2010 4:37 PM

    What’s a matter Jim? I thought you didn’t care what anyone thought about your decision…

  4. 4ever19 says: Jan 15, 2010 4:37 PM

    But it’s OK if the fans talk about it, Jim? Actually, I was tired of the whole thing the next day. As a long(longlong)time Colts fans, I was disappointed that the team didn’t go for 16-0 but the last time I looked, I was not the Jim making the decisions. Anyway, GO HORSE. Bring back the Lombardi and all is forgiven.

  5. IsawFloriokissingBrettFavre says: Jan 15, 2010 4:38 PM

    I hope they lose. If only to see the look on Caldwell’s face as he’s banished from Indy for life.

  6. Tim. says: Jan 15, 2010 4:38 PM

    Even if the Colts win this year, no one will care next year, and no one will remember the year after that. They should have gone for it and made themselves a staple in NFL history like the Dolphins from the ’70s.

  7. Katmanduu says: Jan 15, 2010 4:40 PM

    No worries this weekend. The Ravens, who are fortunate to even be in the playoffs, will get LIT UP!! This is a bad match up for the Ravens. If, I mean when, they fall behind by 10-14 points, it’s gonna get real ugly, real fast. Should be fun to see the look on Ray-Ray’s face, and the tears running down their crybaby coach’s face.
    C-L-A-S-S-I-C

  8. gmitch23 says: Jan 15, 2010 4:42 PM

    I cant believe this is still an issue. Had they beat the Jets, there’s no way Petyon and co. would have played in that blizzard in Buffalo and would have lost anyway.

  9. WarrenMoonGOAT says: Jan 15, 2010 4:43 PM

    just great now u just brought it up

  10. DiamondDuq says: Jan 15, 2010 4:45 PM

    I hope the Colts get their doors blown off this week! I actually really wanted the Jets to get lined up with the Colts in the playoffs, which would have been the ultimate irony, let the Jets in the playoffs then get bounced from the playoffs by the Jets. The truth of the matter is, Peyton and everyone else has as much chance of being hurt in week 1 (Tom Brady ’08) as in week 16, week 17, first series of the playoffs (Carson Palmer ’05), whenever. If you wanted to rest players and prevent injuries then why not do it all season in the second half of games in which you have a 5 point lead in the 3rd quarter? If someone is legitimately injured then rest them, if not, they’re paid to play and are at no higher risk of being injured by playing in week 16 or 17 than at any other time in the season. That ridiculous thinking and tanking of games is unethical and disrespectful to the game and I hope the Colts, mostly Caldwell, pay for it this week. If a team tanked games to get the first pick in the draft they would most certainly face repercussions so why wouldn’t a team be treated the same for tanking games going into the playoffs?

  11. Ufanforreal says: Jan 15, 2010 4:46 PM

    You can bet if the Colts come out hitting on all cylinders there won’t be anybody from the media saying, Caldwell was right and the media and the so called sport experts were wrong.

  12. BigEasy33 says: Jan 15, 2010 4:47 PM

    Why are we talking about it then??

  13. KrazyTrumpeter05 says: Jan 15, 2010 4:48 PM

    Even if they win the Super Bowl, people will wonder if they could have gone 19-0, and he’ll catch plenty of flak for that, too. It’s lose-lose, really.
    Ugh, whatever. Go Colts! I’ll just be happy with another Super Bowl win.

  14. Rivers is better than Manning says: Jan 15, 2010 4:50 PM

    …or all the talk will about a real quaterback coming to Indy to end their season for the third year in a row.

  15. vinceV says: Jan 15, 2010 4:51 PM

    In advance of all the coming comments on the Colts:
    I realize it’s hip to pick against the Colts. And Indy’s success has been very polarizing outside the Hoosier state. And Peyton is either loved or despised (no in-between).
    But they still have the best record in the NFL. And they only lost because they allowed it. And they still have the best QB in the league. And nine of Peyton’s 12 seasons, the Colts have given the fewest sacks in the NFL.
    Are they going to win? Maybe. Probably.
    Are they going to lose? Maybe. Probably not.
    The past is the past and I don’t play into what has happened before having very affect on this season.
    So keep that, “Colts suck!” crap to yourselves. If that’s all you have, then you ain’t got much.

  16. Stetson wears panties says: Jan 15, 2010 4:53 PM

    Even if they blast the Ravens, Chargers, and Saints 45-0 each, it doesn’t change the fact that the Colts made a mistake during Week 16 and 17.
    They threw away a chance at perfection and winning super bowl is great, but they threw the way a chance of a life time and they owed that to their players.

  17. Dave J says: Jan 15, 2010 4:55 PM

    And if Peyton was injured in either that game or the next, Coach Caldwell would never be able to escape questions about why he did not bench the starters.

  18. dangeralert says: Jan 15, 2010 4:55 PM

    This dead horse has been beaten for far too long now. I think it’s about enough already.

  19. XLI says: Jan 15, 2010 4:56 PM

    And rightly so.
    The media is incessant about this non-issue. They drive the story with TMZ-like drive.
    A good head coach is focused on quality of play and getting a team into and ready for the playoffs.
    They are 0-0 and getting ready for a game tomorrow and don’t have time or the mindset to answer weeks-old questions and certainly shouldn’t be looking back on the Regular Season as the Sports Media appears to be doing.
    Leave it to the Hacks on PFT and Deadspin and Yardbarker, etc… to continue to beat this drum.

  20. Rivers is better than Manning says: Jan 15, 2010 4:57 PM

    …or all the talk will be about if the Colts will choke away another playoff game to the Chargers.

  21. leatherneck says: Jan 15, 2010 4:57 PM

    And don’t talk about Fight Club, what happened in Vegas, or criticize the Chinese government on Google, either.

  22. buzzbissinger says: Jan 15, 2010 4:58 PM

    The Colts 2009: 15-2

  23. Rivers is better than Manning says: Jan 15, 2010 4:59 PM

    How long do they “hold” these comments anyway? Judging by other comments on this site I can’t imagine there is some sort of censorship going on. Is there?

  24. Rivers is better than Manning says: Jan 15, 2010 5:06 PM

    Leatherneck: GREAT POST!

  25. bornman3 says: Jan 15, 2010 5:33 PM

    I love the people that criticize the media for asking questions and telling stories that the “majority” of sheep want to hear.
    The media doesn’t ask questions that will not sell air time and advertising. Stop paying attention to the story and it will go away. And if it’s still there because people are still reading, than tough sh*t.

  26. comeondieyoung says: Jan 15, 2010 5:36 PM

    I’ve never wanted a team to lose a game as much as I want the Colts to lose on Saturday.

  27. Deb says: Jan 15, 2010 5:48 PM

    @MDS …
    Do you honestly believe any of that?
    Do you believe sitting the players actually was Caldwell’s decision–or Polian’s?
    Do you believe winning in the playoffs will abate questions about sitting the players in week 16? If they win the Super Bowl, won’t that just intensify the discussion about whether they threw away a chance to go undefeated?
    And of course … if they lose …

  28. nedirect says: Jan 15, 2010 5:55 PM

    if the colts lose this week peyton manning’s greatness will have to come under fire. jets ravens afc championship coming at you.

  29. skoolya says: Jan 15, 2010 5:58 PM

    bill polian said that I said that you guys shouldn’t talk about week 16. And that comes directly from me he said. he also said that I should say it with conviction. So I’m just saying. Say what?

  30. ZombieRevolution says: Jan 15, 2010 6:08 PM

    “Rivers is better than Manning says:
    January 15, 2010 4:50 PM
    …or all the talk will about a real quaterback coming to Indy to end their season for the third year in a row.”
    The comedy never stops at PFT.

  31. polishkingski says: Jan 15, 2010 6:34 PM

    who cares, they lose to the ravens the ravens were the better team. the colts win and all this shit is forgotten, talk about a non-issue.

  32. Rivers is better than Manning says: Jan 15, 2010 6:53 PM

    …or all the talk will about a real quaterback coming to Indy to end their season for the third year in a row.”
    “The comedy never stops at PFT.”
    Too true, too true. I laugh every time that happens.
    Seriously, Flacco is hurt (4 completions?). If the Ravens lose it will be dismissed as such, and I believe that is the way it will go down. If Flacco wasn’t hurt i would give them a chance but….
    All the talk WILL be if the Colts can beat the Chargers in the AFCCG because the Chargers are in their heads. Guaranteed.

  33. BigFella87 says: Jan 15, 2010 7:12 PM

    @Katmanduu…….honestly, I really shouldn’t be commenting on your posts, as feeding the trolls is one of the blogger’s “unwritten rules of the blogosphere”, but my god man….are you that pathetic that you must comment on every Ravens post that has absolutely nothing to do with you? Seriously buddy, get yourself a girlfriend (good luck on that one buddy, I know you’ll need it) and find something better to do with all the free time you are obviously “blessed” with…….Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, I for one am proud of how the Ravens played this season……through the ups and downs they still fought hard, and unlike the Squealers (Katamanduu’s team of choice) they were able to make the playoffs….Best of luck to the Colts tomorrow……hopefully you’ll be needing it!

  34. slipkid says: Jan 15, 2010 7:45 PM

    i see 4 favorites winning and perhaps covering.
    and san dee IS in peyton’s ead. there’s a lot of room in there.

  35. bian8 says: Jan 15, 2010 8:39 PM

    Rivers is better than Manning- Clever name
    nedirect- Why should his greatness come under question? Especially if he is on pace to break every record in the NFL for quarterbacks. He also has a Super Bowl ring unlike greats like Marino and Tarkenton.

  36. gforce89 says: Jan 15, 2010 8:51 PM

    Katmanduu…it gives us great pleasure to see your lame posts knowing how much it burns you that your “team” sucks so bad. If they hadn’t been so focused on unleashing hell on the rest of the league they might have actually beat some of the teams they were suppossed to beat. Enjoy the rest of the country watching the Ravens, win or lose! Sucker!

  37. Stetson wears panties says: Jan 15, 2010 10:25 PM

    Yeah it’s clear Rivers is a better quarterback than Manning.
    Cooper Manning.

  38. eph521 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:15 PM

    Did something happen? Why did you wake me up?

  39. Blue Horse Shoe says: Jan 16, 2010 5:56 PM

    ANYONE who believes that Caldwell gives orders in on another planet. Polian is the BOSS.

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