INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 6: Jim Caldwell of the Indianapolis Colts looks on during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Let's keep up the poking. He'll crack and show emotion eventually!
Two weeks ago against the Saints, 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.
This week, it is clear that the coaching staff (I put this on Christensen and Coyer more than Caldwell) is doing something that I absolutely despise: coaching to keep their jobs. Nothing is worse than coaches who are doing things 'the proper way' just to look good in the eyes of fellow coaches Besides the irony in that it usually results in the coaches looking pathetically inept, coaching to keep your job is at best stubborn at worst for losers.
You'd think at 0-8 the coaches might be open to trying new even radical changes. Perhaps Coyer could blitz regularly or Christensen could pound the run.
A truly visionary coach might say we're 0-8, without our star qb and facing a better team, screw it. Let's give them hell and blitz every down. Or work in a 3-4 defense to give Mathis (and Hughes) a chance to change it up and wreck havoc. Or run the ball down their throats 15 straight times. Or throw in a few reverses and trick plays. Or a fake punt or two.
Hell anything! But the conventional same ole, same ole crap that has gotten the Colts into the mess has to stop. It's the safe, unimaginative and cowardly strategy that passes the blame onto the players but doesn't help the team win.
Creative and unorthodox play calling can lead to a bad rap and others in coaching profession criticizing their football knowledge. Who cares. Are the coaches, coaching for other employment or for their own team and players?
Either way, it's time for a new voice. 0-9 simply isn't acceptable.
It's time to get coaches with more imagination, more cajones and passion (see both Harbaughs) and the willingness to buck convention and think outside the box!
* 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.