Colts withstand hangover questions

ANDERSON, Ind. –- The Colts were peppered with Super Bowl hangover questions Tuesday morning. A new round arrives each time a new national writer (not me, I promise) hits town.

They will peter out eventually. In the meantime, they help further reveal a piece of the team’s character: they grin and bear it.

It’s not a line of questioning I intended to pursue, but I did think some of the answers about how aware the team is that Super Bowl losers consistently fail to get back to the playoffs were of interest if only as a refresher on their mindset.

“I know we’re focused on trying to be a good team again this year,” Peyton Manning said. “We have some things we’ve worked on, we have some players that we’ve addressed to draft, to target to improve something on the team. That’s all we’re focused on is trying to get better. If we get better, hopefully some good things will follow.”

Said Jim Caldwell: “I’m keenly aware of it because you guys keep bringing it up. That’s something that we don’t focus in on. Someone asks me the question probably every day and I’m going to answer it kind of the same way. We’ve been pretty good, I think, overall, just in terms of compartmentalizing things -- from week to week from game to game, oftentimes you’ll see that our team has the ability to adjust and not get caught up in what happened last week.

“And I think you’ll find the same thing holds true for the previous year. People want to put labels on you about your window is closed, all these kind of things. But the fact of the matter is, if you really focus on on what you have to do in terms of getting better, our team is very mature in that regard and we don’t anticipate any lingering effects.”

Catching the themes? No looking back. A focus on getting better. Emphasis on short terms goals and focus. Cliches all. But ones that have worked for this team for quite some time and can certainly work again.

It’s just what we should expect from the Colts.

“This team has been pretty good at staying the course,” Gary Brackett said. “Seven straight years winning 12 games, winning the Super Bowl and coming back and getting to the playoffs. I think this team has enough leadership with our coach, to stay in line, stay the course, take it one game at a time and get back into the playoffs, try to get back to the Super Bowl and win another championship.”