The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Caldwell in Catbird Seat

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Not every first-year coach has the luxury of inheriting a team with a starting quarterback who is a three-time MVP and a lock for the Hall of Fame. For Indianapolis's Jim Caldwell, he has that and plenty more, making him a prohobitive favorite among rookie coaches to win right away.

The best example of a first year coach soaring to the top was George Seifert, who won a Super Bowl in his first season with San Francisco. Seifert, an assistant to dynasty architect Bill Walsh, took over a team with an embarrassment of riches, including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Roger Craig. Caldwell has Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and Joseph Addai, not to mention a number of other impact players.

Barry Switzer had similar success in Dallas after Jimmy Johnson decided to step down. Switzer guided the Cowboys to the NFC title game in his first season and won Super Bowl XXX the following year. Like Seifert, Switzer was lifted by a star-studded roster the previous coach had assembled years earlier.

Caldwell is a caretaker for the team Dungy and GM Bill Polian helped construct, and it would be imprudent for him to fundamentally restructure how the team prepares and goes about its daily routine. After all, Indianapolis has been a consistent winner in large part because of continuity on the field and in the front office. Why mess with success, right?

The Colts were one of the hottest teams in the NFL during the second half of last season, and nothing indicates they won't resume where they left off, regardless who's coaching.

By Gene Wang  |  June 2, 2009; 6:15 AM ET  | Category:  Gene Wang , Indianapolis Colts Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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