FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell has been asked plenty of times about his decision to rest some Colts down the stretch of the regular season and not focus on chasing a potentially perfect record.
He stands by the choice, and points to Marty Schottenheimer as a reason why.
"You're hired to win Super Bowls," Caldwell said Friday in his final news conference before Indianapolis faces New Orleans on Sunday in Super Bowl XLIV. "You're not hired to have outstanding seasons. There's been a number of guys, you can probably check back three or four years ago, and there was a coach in this league, a great coach who got fired because he was 14-2 and lost in the first round of the playoffs."
That would be Schottenheimer.
He was fired by the San Diego Chargers after going a league-best 14-2 in the 2006 regular season. The Chargers lost their first playoff game to New England 24-21, and Schottenheimer was dismissed about a month later.
"What does that tell you? It's pretty simple for me to understand that the most important thing is to get where we are today and have an opportunity to win it all," said Caldwell, whose Colts started 14-0 this season before dropping their last two games entering the playoffs. "So that's what our focus entailed."
The 1972 Miami Dolphins remain football's lone start-to-finish perfect team, finishing 17-0. Caldwell said he hasn't seen former Dolphins coach Don Shula since arriving in the Miami area for the Super Bowl.
"His record still stands," Caldwell said.