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Caldwell Fires Colts Special Teams Coach

Last updated on Thursday, January 15, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - The Indianapolis Colts announced Wednesday afternoon that the team will not renew the contract of long-time special teams coach Russ Pernell.

The 60-year-old Purnell has been special teams coach since 2002. The Colts have routinely ranked near the bottom of the league in punt and kickoff coverage in recent years.

It is the second significant change in the Colts' coaching staff since Jim Caldwell took over as head coach on Tuesday. Former NFL quarterback Frank Reich was named the club's quarterback coach on Tuesday, replacing Caldwell in that position.

Caldwell said during his news conference on Tuesday that he would spend a day or two evaluating the staff he inherited from Tony Dungy.

One question mark is defensive coordinator Ron Meeks. Meeks interviewed for the vacant head coaches' job with the New York Jets last week and along with Caldwell was a leading candidate to succeed Dungy as head coach of the Colts when Dungy was mulling his future following the 2007 season.

Caldwell was designated as the Colts' next head coach one year ago.

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