Colts’ Chuck Pagano: It’s unacceptable where we’re at
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – All it took was for one obvious question to light a fire under Chuck Pagano.
With the Indianapolis Colts about to miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98 and the 3-12 Jacksonville Jaguars standing between them and the offseason, what’s at stake Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium?
Pagano paused briefly, and his gaze sharpened.
“The name on the back of your jersey,’’ he said. “The decal on the side of your helmet. Pride, Respect. Winning.
“It’s unacceptable where we’re at. We all know that, players and coaches. That’s not us. That’s not this culture. That’s not what was developed around here long before I got here.
“But that’s what’s at stake.’’
The Colts either will post an 8-8 record for a second straight season, or finish with a losing mark (7-9) for the first time since 2011 (2-14).
“Losing sucks,’’ Pagano said, adding he has zero intention of keeping any able-bodied player out of Sunday’s game.
“Why would we?’’ he asked. “I don’t see any reason to do that. Play to win the game. We’ll play our guys to win the football game.’’
It’s anybody’s guess whether the outcome of the Jaguars game will impact owner Jim Irsay’s decision either to stand pat, or fire Pagano, fire general manager Ryan Grigson or jettison both.
For his part, Pagano isn’t shunning his culpability.
“I take full responsibility for everything,’’ he said. “That goes with this job.’’
He insisted he doesn’t pay attention to speculation regarding his job security, but loathes that his family and friends must deal with it.
“I really don’t hear it,’’ Pagano said. “I don’t pay any attention to it. It comes with the job. We all know what we signed up for.
“I can deal with it. I hate it for my wife and my kids and family that have to read it and whatever. Try to calm them down and keep their blinders and ear muffs on.
He stressed his wife, Tina, and family “keep things in perspective.’’
“They’re good. They’re strong,’’ Pagano said. “They hate losing more than they love winning. They’re passionate, passionate, passionate about this football team and this organization and they’re pissed just like everybody else. Not about (rumors of job security) . . . because we’re not winning.
“That’s what they’re pissed at me about. They still love me, but they’re pissed.’’
Medical update: Cornerback Darius Butler sustained a concussion in the loss to Oakland and is in the league’s concussion protocol. Wide receiver Donte Moncrief was scheduled to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of a shoulder injury.