NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 30: Jim Caldwell the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts walks off of the field after the Colts lost to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 30, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Colts lost 27-10. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Let's keep up the poking. He'll crack and show emotion eventually!
Last week, I finally gave up on Caldwell after he told Michele Tafoya during a halftime interview that he Colts needed to focus on the little things and get back to the basics after falling behind 34-7. If that was the best response Caldwell had to one of the team's worst first halves in their history, it was clear to me, that he was over his head. The little things are what determine the winner in a 24-21 game. Being down 31-7 requires a radical change of philosophy in all aspects of the game. This week though was a new week. A chance to fix the little things and show that is all that mattered. How did the Colts respond to their coach's edict of correcting their fundamentals? By committing 10 penalties, 2 turnovers, 2 sacks and allowing a blocked punt.
Now while some people say the Colts have no talent, I don't buy that. Personally I think that Wayne, Clark, Garcon, Carter, Freeney, Mathis, Angerer, McAfee all no how to do the little things. So either the players have stopped listening to the coaches and Caldwell no longer has control, the players stopped caring and Caldwell has lost the ability to motivate or Caldwell doesn't know the fundamentals as well as he thinks he does.
Either way, it's time for a new voice. 0-8 simply isn't acceptable.
* In addition to the 'poke Caldwell campaign' the Fire Larry Coyer campaign is also off-and-running. Simply put giving up 62 points and being the worst defense in football while being far from the worse talent wise, is unacceptable. So much for the 'new wrinkles.' The Coyer experiment in Indy hasn't worked.
Supporters call him stoic. Some say he's emotionless (borderline permanently grumpy) while others wonder if there's blood flowing through his veins. Whether you like Caldwell as coach or think he's over-his-head, it's indisputable that his blank, dead-pan stare is kind of creepy and a bit unnerving.
I mean come on, Coach! Show some emotion. When we score, celebrate. You don't have to chest-bump or run around like an idiot - both this guy and this guy come to mind - but give us something. A smile, an approving nod, a clinched fist. Anything to let us fans know you've still got a pulse.
We like that you are professional. That's great. We aren't asking you to go wild or be obnoxious nor do we want you to take on a shady nefarious persona either (please don't ever wear a hood).
All we want is to see a little joy, frustration, excitement. We want to see you've got passion.
Now, many - especially on the blog - feel that Coach Caldwell might not have this needed passion. In years past with Peyton running the show that was fine. With a top-tier team, major overhauls and changes weren't needed. Impassioned speeches, bludgeoned cliches and outlandish and gimmicky motivational tools had no place in the Colts organization. Stability and consistency were key. Both which Caldwell was very capable of providing.
But, unfortunately with the ship and season sinking fast and no Manning at the helm, there now might be a cause for substantial modifications and bold decisions need to be made. More importantly, a fire needs to be lit and a new uplifting energy be brought into the locker room, which is why I am launching the 'poke Caldwell' campaign.
Everyone, including Coach Caldwell, has a breaking point and it is our mission to find it. Whether it's on Facebook (unfortunately you can't poke on fan pages and I don't know his real account), at the grocery store or at a press conference, give Caldwell a friendly (but firm) poke to the ribs and see what happens. Let's see that stoicism put to the test and unleash his inner beast.
He might not react on the first poke or even the 10,000th but at some point, somewhere down the road he will break and when he does, that fan will have released a wild and frenzied beast so intense and animated that he might just show us a fist pump.
If not, at least he will know he's officially on the hot seat. Hopefully though it doesn't push him too far.
Sorry Coach Caldwell. I hope I don't cause you too much discomfort...then again, maybe I do.