Today at the NFL Scouting Combine, we finally heard from the Indianapolis Colts as the GM and coach spoke to the media. Chuck Pagano addressed a number of issues ranging from the offseason issues plaguing the team to the recovery of a few key players.
We heard from general manager Ryan Grigson earlier this afternoon.
He opened up discussing running back Vick Ballard‘s recovery.
“Vick’s doing well, going through rehab.” Pagano said. “Always refer to the docs on that but he’s working his tail off.”
He was asked about having a primary, workhorse style back and how the team is looking at the position.
“As far as a workhorse, you’d love to have the one guy but can do it by committee,” Pagano said. “Like any other position were going to take a hard look at it. The roster is very fluid and we’ll continue to evaluate.”
He offered up thoughts on the players who were recently cut, but didn’t offer an specifics while discussing who could replace those the team let go.
“Its hard with free agency and these rosters change every day,” Pagano said. “We wish them well (players cut). Like any other position we evaluate. There’s guys in free agency and there are ones here at the draft we’ll look at. There’s also capable guys on the roster too.”
Former CFL standouts and recent additions to the Colts Duron Carter and Ben Heenan were also topics of discussion.
“I know we got two good players coming in here, but they have not done one thing for the Colts yet,” Pagano said. “They are being given an opportunity but like everyone else they’ll have to earn their spot. We’re excited to have them here.”
There was a them between Grigson and Pagano’s pressers regarding pass rush. Both singled out the position and talked about never having enough players at the position.
“You can never have enough pass rushers,” Pagano said. “Or enough corners. Big long guys who can get to the passer. I though Manusky and the entire staff did a great job generating (a pass rush) and we found a way to get to the quarterback. We’ve got some guys who can get there, but you can never do enough to get better.”
That gave way to a the topic of Robert Mathis‘ recovery.
“We all know how Robert is wired,” Pagano said. “We know what’s in his DNA. If anyone can come back and be productive, its him. I have faith that he can do what he needs to get back on the field and be productive. If anybody can come back, its him.”
When asked about safety Mike Adams, Pagano couldn’t say enough good things about him.
“Mike played really good football for us,” Pagano said. “He was a calming influence in the secondary. The quarterback of our secondary. There’s a lot of football left in him. If you tell him there isnt, you’ll have a fist fight on your hands. He’s played with chip on his shoulder his whole career and I expect him to play well again next year.”
Of course, not Colts (or Patriots) press conference could be complete without a mention of Deflate Gate. Pagano didn’t exactly give the media anything new to work with.
“We all know that there is an investigation ongoing right now, so I’m not really going to comment on it,” Pagano said. “We all saw the game and I’m not going to comment.”
We did learn earlier from Grigson that the Colts had contacted the NFL offices concerning the issue prior to the AFC Championship game. Pagano apparently wasn’t aware during the game.
“I had know idea about it until a day later,” Pagano said. “I was just trying to be a coach and get a first down.”
When asked about the recent allegations that the Colts deflated the ball on their sideline, Pagano replied with a simple: “That’s ludicrous”
Pagano spent the later part of the press conference covering the recent rash of off field incidents by players on the Colts roster.
“We’ve had some issues,” Pagano said, stating the obvious. “I’m disappointed with those issues. We’ve got to do better, I’ve got to do better as well.
“We’re trying to win on and off the field. Your trying to make good choices and when you dont there’s consequences. Can’t be with them 24/7 and were going to deal with it.”
Pagano mentioned that the the “skys the limit” for Donte Moncrief. He was impressed with the way he came on as the season progressed and praised his work ethic and love for the game.
Pagano briefly talked about the talented tight end duo of Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. He wants them both on the field more (i.e. healthy) and for them to get more passes since they “create matchup nightmares.”
When discussing offseason prep work, Pagano dropped a “man sharpens man like iron sharpens iron” reference. It wouldn’t have been a proper press conference without a Pagano-ism.