Coach Pagano has the Colts ready for Monday Night Football.
The Indianapolis Colts are riding high after a dramatic victory over Seattle last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. They battled for four quarters and handed the Seahawks their first loss of the season while improving their record to 4-1. The game was back and forth and the Colts relied on all three units to get the win 34-28. Andrew Luck connected with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton on two scores including a 73-yard strike and picked up his ninth fourth-quarter comeback win in 21 career games. The Colts next play in San Diego against the Chargers on Monday Night Football.
Coach Pagano has fond memories of Monday Night Football. He mentioned watching it many times growing up and listening to the voice of famous commentator Howard Cosell.
"To be able to coach and play on Monday Night Football, on that stage, it's exciting. But once you kick the ball off, it's just one game and you need to focus on that."
The Chargers have been up and down so far this season but Pagano knows that a big game can come at any time for veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers.
"He is a great quarterback playing at a high level. Anytime you are completing 78 percent of your passes for 610 yards and 13 touchdowns, you are doing something right. He's a winner."
And don't forget about Rivers favorite target, tight end Antonio Gates. Pagano joked that the 11 year veteran, "must be visiting the fountain of youth."
The Colts are having great success in the 4th quarter, and that is in part because of the mindset the coach and his staff have pushed from day one, over and over, "Don't judge. It goes back to process. 60 minutes, don't judge, don't look at the score board. Go as hard as you can. Finish. And that is what these guys are doing."
Coach Pagano will be playing against his little brother Monday night in San Diego. John Pagano is the defensive coordinator for the Chargers. While the media will make a big deal about the sibling rivalry, he said playing against his brother was just a side note, "It's the Colts vs. the Chargers."
Andrew Luck has MNF memories too.
"It's Monday Night Football, it's a big deal." The game that stood out for him was one that starred another famous quarterback. "I think Brett Favre's father passed away and he threw 5 touchdowns. I remember that. I was incredibly impressed. I was a kid and you hear about that and watch it with the story behind it."
Andrew Luck remembers watching Brett Favre on MNF as a kid.
How is the team preparing for the prime time game? Luck said, "Preparation shouldn't change. Yes, it's a day later and flying to the west coast, I'm glad we got to do that with San Francisco beforehand to figure that out. You don't want to take away from the fact it's Monday night, but you prepare the same. We know it's a good San Diego team. We know it's a 60-minute football game and the ball will be snapped."
The Colts have solidified themselves as a well-rounded force in the league and will be tested every week as opponents bring their best to try to make a statement of their own.
The schedule doesn't get easier with Peyton Manning returning to Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football in week 7.
Today at the Colts Complex the coach and players answered questions about their approach to the upcoming game against the Rams - plus the plight of bullied Miami Dolphin Jonathan Martin, a teammate of Luck and Fleener at Stanford.