INDIANAPOLIS -- My interaction with Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano only goes back to early August. He's usually pretty loose when he meets with the media throughout the week at the facility. There’s only been a handful of times when that wasn't the case.
One of those times was this week when the topic often shifted to talking about facing Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who was his offensive coordinator and led the Colts to a 9-3 record during Pagano’s absence last season.
Pagano doesn’t want the focus to of the game to be on him and Arians. It's the Colts against the Cardinals.
Pagano doesn't have any animosity toward Arians. It’s actually the opposite.
The respect is mutual between the two.
"Really, it’s there, the relationship’s there, we all know what happened and what transpired and all that stuff," Pagano said. "But it’s about our players. It’s about the Colts playing the Cards. It’s about two teams trying to get another win. It’s playoff football, that’s the mindset. Like we said, we'll shake some hands before the game. But then it’s about our players. It’s about their players. It's about the game. It's about trying to win a football game."
Pagano was the same way earlier this season when they played the San Diego Chargers. Pagano’s brother, John, is San Diego’s defensive coordinator. Chuck Pagano said the only time he thinks about the connection is when asked by the media. He may think about it a little bit more with Arians because he knows the Colts well because he was on the staff at this time last year.
I’m not surprised Pagano doesn't want to be the center of attention. His players are the same way. The Colts don't operate that way.
“You really don’t have time,” Pagano said. “You’re spending our time just like they’re spending their time, and that’s game planning and preparing and practicing and meeting and doing the things that you have to do to give yourself a chance to win.”