Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
How is Andrew Luck health-wise?
"There were not setbacks from the game. We felt like coming back after a couple weeks off, that he played really good football and made really good decisions. Again, he's in good shape. There were no setbacks and he's doing well."
What goes into the mindset about just focusing on the next game and not worrying about the chatter?
"Well, you have to. It's a long season and we take it one game at a time and one week at a time. You have to be able to overcome obstacles, adversity (and) circumstances. You have to be able to win and handle success. The 24 hour rule win, lose, or draw it doesn't matter what happens in that game. You watch the tape, make the corrections and move on."
What stands out to you on offense and defense for the Saints?
"I mean you just go back and watch their whole body of work. They have won two out of the last three ballgames and looked really good. The last one in particular. They looked really good against the Falcons. Offensively, (they are) very explosive. Drew (Brees) is playing at a high level and getting the ball out. He's spreading it around. We're not fooled at all with the rushing numbers. They have three backs that can tote the rock. They all have different skillsets and use them in a bunch of different ways. They do a great job with personnel, utilizing it and moving guys around. The motions, shifts, tempos and efficiency is spot on. They do a great job defensively. Again I go back to the last game and they were very opportunistic. I worked with Rob (Ryan) in Oakland and I have nothing but great respect and love and admiration for Rob Ryan. My two years in Oakland were phenomenal and I learned a tremendous amount of football from him. (He is a) great coach and I know those guys play extremely hard for him and he creates problems for you. They are multiple and 94 (Cameron Jordan) is unblockable and as good as they get with four sacks. The rookie 44 (Hau'oli Kikaha) off the edge is dominating and those guys are aggressive and play with high motors. They got five sacks against Atlanta and the turnovers they forced (were crucial). They have a returner in (Marcus) Murphy who is tearing it up. He can beat you in the special teams. Coach (Greg) McMahon does a great job with the special teams and they're a good football team and they are trending in the right direction right now. They are playing hot and well. They're well-coached and I have great respect for Coach (Sean) Payton and he has done a great job for a long time there. We have our handful with this football team."
What have you seen from these young players, such as Willie Snead and Delvin Breaux?
"They're good players. (Willie Snead) is a good player. He's got good chemistry going on right now with the quarterback. He's a dynamic guy. He is tough, runs really good routes, gets in and out of his break, gets separation and catches the ball well. (He does) all of those things. He is very productive. (Delvin Breaux) has got swagger. He plays with an attitude. He is long (and) he is physical. He gets his hands on you and gets up in your face. He plays press-man coverage and shadows receivers. There is no backing down from that guy. He is a really good football player. He's going to pose a huge challenge to our wide receiver corps, however they decide to play him. It looks like they have matched him up at times and things like that. He might shadow a guy. Again, he is a long corner and has speed. Most of all, he plays with great confidence and the swagger that you are looking for at that position."
You mentioned your time with Rob in Oakland; why do you think players play so hard for him or have such loyalty for him? We've kind of seen that here in that even when things are not going well statistically, the players still have a great deal of loyalty for him.
"He loves those guys. He's got their back all of the time. He's a great teacher, he's a great mentor and he's a great coach. He builds relationships with those guys. He truly cares about those players. He loves those players and will do anything for those players. There is going to be good stuff going and there is going to be bad stuff going, and he's a guy that always stays steady and is building guys up and staying positive. He's a phenomenal football coach and a great man."
Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
One game back (from the shoulder injury), how do you feel physically?
"I think during the season there is always a sense of maintenance, and with your whole body. It is a physical game. I felt no restrictions from the Patriots game and there definitely weren't any setbacks. It is now in a good rhythm and I am getting ready to go."
After an emotional game, how do you guys bounce back and put it behind you? You're going up against a team with a similar record and both teams are going to be pretty feisty for a win on Sunday.
"Absolutely. There will be no problem with us moving on and getting ready for the Saints. It is the nature of football. Win or lose on a Sunday or Monday, your turnaround is pretty quick, and that is why Coach (Chuck) Pagano talked a lot about not riding the emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. (We've) just got to come back and get ready to work. We know it is a tough Saints team coming to town and we're having good preparation."
Would you say that sometimes, if you have a really good game, it'll maybe mask the problems that a team has? Do you think that sometimes a win can kind of shield the issues that you have to deal with?
"Winning is really all that matters at the end of the day in the NFL. I have thought sometimes that handling losing can be easier than handling winning. I know coaches talk about that as well but I think every case is so unique."
As far as going up against the Saints defensively, it is a young group of players. What have you seen and have you seen them grow over the couple of weeks of tape that you've seen?
"They are obviously led by Cameron Jordan, who is a premier pass rusher and a game-wrecker in a sense. (They have) two really solid safeties in (Jairus) Byrd and (Kenny) Vaccaro, and then (Dannell) Ellerbe who has played some really good football. They have some solid vets there like (Brandon) Browner. They have some young guys out there that are some really good football players. There's (Delvin) Breaux on the edge and you can see him playing better and better. (He is) a tough, good football player (and) a good cover corner. We know that it is an athletic and a physical group. We know that it'll be a challenge."
What is the challenge of being the franchise quarterback? What is the challenge of being that guy, being the face of the franchise and being somebody that the team is going to rely on for several years?
"I think every position in football presents its own unique challenges, whether you are the face of the franchise or a guy who is backing someone up. They all present their own unique challenges. I think part of the 21st century NFL team is that the quarterback, by and large, is the face of the team, for better or worse. It seems to be a position that gets attention, whether it is in the media or the community, for better or worse. Again, it is not necessarily a bad or a good thing but it just is. It is sort of the job description and I think that you just realize that you have to focus on football. At the end of the day, that's what's important and that is what you got you there."
What have you noticed from afar about Drew Brees as a player? What do you feel are his best attributes?
"I have a lot of admiration for Drew. It has been fun to get to know him over the past couple of years through various events. What a stand-up, quality guy he is, and then obviously a great football player to boot. He has great feet in the pocket and I have always admired that about him. He seems to go through progressions better than anybody else. He is a very cerebral guy. He is fun to watch but hopefully not fun to watch on Sunday though."
You mentioned Breaux earlier; what have you seen from him that has made him troublesome to throw at, even though you guys have a bunch of weapons? He is probably someone that you'll be keeping an eye on this Sunday, I assume.
"I think he is physical. He uses his hands well. He is obviously a tough guy (and) a fighter. I say that with a good connotation. He's going to fight every play and he is going to work. He has made a bunch of plays so he is someone that you are definitely aware of."
What about the psyche of your team at 3-3? I know there has been some chatter about your head coach and the GM. What is the psyche inside the locker room?
"It is pretty simple (and that is) to find a way to get win number four. Coach Pagano laid it out pretty clear for us. (With regards to) the chatter around outside of the building, I don't think guys really pay attention or listen to it. It is just all about getting win number four."