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Jim Caldwell expects Marvin Harrison to return in 2009

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Jim Caldwell spoke with the media today for the first time since his introduction as the new head football coach in Indy. As we are seeing with Caldwell, he is not one to beat around the bush. When asked about free agents Marvin Harrison and Jeff Saturday, Caldwell seems to suggest an alternative to Adam Shefter's proclamation on Marvin Harrison's future with the Colts. From ESPN's "blogger" Paul Kuharsky*:

[Caldwell] indicated he expected Marvin Harrison would be back and said "we did not see any diminishing in terms of his skills and ability" in 2008.

18 to 88 wrote a piece recently on how re-signing Kelvin Hayden (and the way he was re-signed, without needing the franchise tag) actually leaves the door open to bring Marvin back. Caldwell's assessment of Harrison's skills obviously does not jive with the numbers, as Harrison had his worst statistical season since the 1998 season (Peyton's rookie year). However, after watching games like the Baltimore game, it was clear to me that Marvin had not lost any of his speed or quickness. He did look rusty and unsure, but that might have been because he missed so much time in 2007, and spent a lot of last off-season rehabbing.

In any case, Caldwell has no reason to lie about Harrison's skills, and both he and Polian have said that Marvin hasn't lost his skills as a WR. I mean, it's not like they can trade him and his huge cap hit.

Caldwell also had some interesting comments regarding free agent Jeff Saturday:

The veteran center has been a key piece to the offense, and Caldwell spurned questions about how the team would go forward without Saturday.

"That's a bit premature, just in that you're beginning to act if he's already gone," Caldwell said. "I'm looking at it from a different perspective. He's with us until otherwise indicated. Yeah, he's been, and certainly we anticipate will continue to be, a very, very important part of our offense."

In the coming days, it will be very interesting to see how the Colts deal with Marvin and Jeff.

*I like Paul Kuharsky, and I think he does a great job writing for ESPN. But the Worldwide Leader is Gossip Journalism's idea of "blogging" is pretty silly. Guys like Kuharsky aren't bloggers. They're beat writers.