Caldwell made it clear he was disappointed that the Vikings controlled the line. DT Antonio Johnson, who is the starter beside Ed Johnson, was out last week and he practiced several times this week, but with or without him, the Colts no doubt want to see the interior hold the line a bit better against the Eagles.
Dave Schwab at Bleeding Green Nation
While the Colts would certainly love to come away with a victory, the more important goal will be to keep moving forward with the Dungy to Caldwell transition. The players need to continue to gain confidence in their new head coach and his ability to lead this team. As much as Caldwell has learned from Dungy and tries to follow in his footsteps, he will need to put his own stamp on this team to truly make it his. The Eagles on the other hand will try and make a stamp in the preseason win column.
As we all know, despite what the team says, the Colts do not give two craps about pre-season. Eight players are out for the game, but by my count three of those eight would play if this game were real. Also, only three of those eight who are out are starters.
The Colts are something like 5-17 in pre-season the last few years while averaging 12 wins a year the last six years in the game that actually, you know, count. Winning in the pre-season does not build confidence. The Lions went undefeated in pre-season last year. Need I say more? Pre-season is about keeping important players fresh, giving rookies reps, and finding cohesion as a team.
For me, I want to see three very specific things in tonight's pre-season game:
- Indy's defensive first unit must control the line of scrimmage. Philly's o-line is completely rebuilt. I want to see the defense start dominating a little bit. We know the secondary is fine (or, at least, should be fine). The d-line needs to start looking like it should.
- The first team offense needs to score a TD. Philly is without their MLBer (Stewart Bradley), and Brian Dawkins is gone to the Denver Broncos. The first team offense should score on Philly. If they don't, I'm going to start getting irritated. Indy's offense is better than Philly's defense, historically.
- Charlie Johnson. If he stinks, he needs to get benched and Tony Ugoh re-promoted. This silliness needs to end.
What are you looking for?
Also, following the game, we will have a special podcast of Stampede Blue Radio to discuss who looked good, who looked bad, and what needs to happen as the team moves forward into 2009.