When it was announced on Monday that Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians would assume the role of interim head coach during Chuck Pagano's leukemia treatment, the question on many minds (other than the well-being of Pagano) was, Will the coaching staff change under Arians' direction?
More specifically, will Arians cede the playcalling duties to someone like quarterbacks coach (and one-time offensive coordinator for the Colts) Clyde Christensen?
Per Arians, who answered questions from the media following Monday's practice, the answer is no. No assistants will shift or assume more responsibility while Arians acts as head coach.
"I'm not going to ask anyone on the staff to do anything different than what they'd already been doing."
This suggests that Arians will still create and install the offensive gameplan in addition to his newly expanded head coaching duties. In fact, when discussing how the expanded role will work in regards to challenge flags, Arians joked:
"Instead of trying to talk Chuck into throwing that dang flag out there, I get to throw it.
He then followed up with this rather hilarious slip of the tongue:
Let's see if I got the BALLS to throw it out there! Or the fortitude! Or the testitude.
I'm assuming testitude is a combination of testicles and fortitude. If so, a creative knack for word combinations is one of many reasons to like Arians. That, and the fact that he said "BALLS" during a weekly press conference. That's kind of awesome. Imagine Jim Caldwell doing that.
Actually, never mind. Don't.
Arians also said Monday's practice was spirited, crediting the players for their hard work. He was especially complimentary of the defense. The interim head coach also had a very touching, effective message for his team as they get ready to move on from Pagano's illness and face the Packers:
"If Chuck can't make it back for the regular season, why don't we extend the season? Play a few more games until he gets back."
"Let's extend the season for him so he can come back."
For those of you who don't get Arians message, he's saying he expects the team to contend for the playoffs. He's using Pagano's illness, and his potential time of return, to motivate the team.
Nicely done there, Coach Arians. Nicely done, indeed.