Colts coach Jim Caldwell has used a saying -- "Be the hunter, not the hunted" -- and reiterated it many, many times this season.
Even if his team is favored, as it is heading into Super Bowl XLIV against New Orleans, he wants them playing as if they're underdogs looking to show the critics wrong. Even if they're undefeated, as they were most of the season, he wants them playing like they can't let down.
"It's utilized to do exactly what it did, and that is provoke some thought in their mind, which they can relate to," Caldwell said. "I think you can use a number of different analogies, and it doesn't necessarily have to coincide with my thinking. It's just how they get it that counts. I do think overall when you watch them play, they do get it, they do understand it. A lot of them will relate it to the lion and the gazelle or whatever it might be, whatever strikes their interest and gets them to kind of focus in on what we're trying to get accomplished. The real thing is that, oftentimes people will red-letter our game, for example, 'We have to knock these guys off, they've had a lot of success. Peyton Manning's a great player, let's target him.' Whatever it might be. They want you to feel as if you're being hunted, but we want the opposite to be true. There are things that we focus in on, that we have to gain from a win, as well. I think our guys certainly get it."
It won't be easy for the Colts to keep their hunter's mentality going, as everyone tells them they should down the Saints in Miami on Nov. 7.