Chuck Pagano ‘Excited’ About the 2015 Colts


The Indianapolis Colts are well into organized team activities and it is hard not to be as excited as coach Chuck Pagano is about this team. Every report out of practice is encouraging, whether it is about Andrew Luck‘s development as a leader or the blazing speed of Phillip Dorsett.

Just looking at the composition of the team it is clear that this is the best roster that the Colts have had in years. It’s not just the best of the Luck-era, but probably the best since at least 2009 (when the Colts last went to the Super Bowl), and even that is debateable.

Pagano spoke with ESPN’s Mike Wells this week about how far along the team is at this point in the offseason.

"“Excited about this football team,” Pagano said. “We’ve got great energy out there. Participation has been outstanding. We’re making great progress. We’re further ahead, I think, than we’ve ever been at this point in any offseason since we’ve been here. Love the young guys, love the additions, free agency, draftees, CFAs [college free agents]. We’ve got a bunch of smart guys, guys that are picking up. We’re throwing a lot at them in all three phases. Obviously the vets, we’re able to take them to a different level because they’re not having to relearn some things.”"

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This year has been a bit different for the team’s workouts. Everyone on the roster is in the building, even tight end

Dwayne Allen

, who was rehabbing in Arizona, heeded the call and came back to the team. The Colts appear to be more unified than ever before.

The stakes are higher for the Colts this season as they have basically gone all-in on a Super Bowl in 2015. Jim Irsay has insisted that it isn’t championship-or-bust, but the fact that Pagano is in a contract year and the cap space is about to shrink suggests otherwise.

Players like Frank Gore and Andre Johnson didn’t move to Indianapolis for the weather (who leaves the San Francisco or income tax-free Texas?). Those veterans are here to win and have already integrated themselves into the scheme like they’ve played in Indy for a decade.

There is a perception of pressure on the Colts and Luck has noticed the increased intensity.

"“I’d like to think we are getting a little better each day as well,”  Luck said. “The coaches are putting a little more pressure on us each day to learn, to improve, to understand our weaknesses, understand our strengths and be the best football team that we can be. I think every week guys have stepped up to the plate and gotten better.”"

Right now, the only thing the team can do is focus on itself and work to get better right now. A lot of analysts have them pegged as Super Bowl favorites in May, which doesn’t mean much.

"“We need to take care of us,” Pagano said. “The enemy is always in your own camp. If we do the right things right now, we take care of us and we do what we’re supposed to do. Once we break camp, there’s a big window from the middle of June until Aug. 1 when we reach training camp. We take care of us, then we’ll take it one game at a time and one day at a time. When it’s all said and done, we’ll see where we’re at.”"

Despite the cliches, Pagano does make a good point about not looking too far ahead. Probably the most important thing the team can do is stay healthy. The Colts have been derailed by injuries more often than not and merely making it to training camp in August would be a minor victory.

The Colts have just under two weeks until they are done with OTAs and minicamp before the summer break.