How do you not let your lingering lame-duck status impact you during a season where the expectations are to reach the Super Bowl?
Chuck Pagano: I don’t at all. Stick to the process. Take it one day at a time. One meeting at a time. One practice. One game. Nothing changes. Not at all. Like I talk to the players all the time about keeping your blinders on, I have a job. I have a contract and I have the best job in the entire world right now. My total focus is on preparing these guys to have the best season that we can have and then whatever happens at the end of the day happens.
You arrived in Indianapolis in 2012 with a defensive reputation. Your defense in Indy has failed to live up to expectations the past three seasons. What needs to change in 2015?
Pagano: I think just consistency. Guys doing their job down after down and playing consistent football. Obviously, I talked about since day one, we’ve got to stop the run on a consistent basis. We’ve got to keep people out of the end zone. We’ve got to play better in the red area. Those are areas of focus. We spent a lot of time in the offseason studying that stuff. We went to work on it during the OTAs and minicamp. It’s consistency, and it’s playing together and guys doing their job down after down after down.
What would you say is Andrew Luck's greatest strength, and do you have a story/anecdote that helps show that in action?
Pagano: Just his competitive nature. We all know his skill set. We all know how bright he is. But he’s a great, great competitor. He’ll never settle for anything but your best. He expects a lot out of himself, and he expects a lot from his teammates, which is the right way to go about business. Everybody sets the standards high for each other in that locker room, personally accountability. When it comes from player-to-player, it’s huge and when they hold each other to a higher standard and accountability, it’s big time. The Kansas City play, you just go back to that play and that says it all to me.