Taking a look at what Chuck Pagano said in his press conference today...
- The only real injury to report today for Pagano was that running back and return man Chris Rainey suffered a fractured tibia in the game yesterday and was placed on injured reserve. The team signed veteran running back Tashard Choice to replace him. MY TAKE: Rainey is the fourth Colts running back to end up on injured reserve this year, joining Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Daniel "Boom" Herron. Rainey was the kick and punt returner for the Colts and while he struggled at punt returner some (muffing two punts in two games) he showed some promise at kick returner. Cassius Vaughn should assume those duties, but it remains to be seen who fills the punt returner spot - it could go back to T.Y. Hilton. Of course, this is all speculation, but the real news is that Chris Rainey is out for the season and Tashard Choice replaces him.
- Pagano talked about how their first goal this year was to win the AFC South, and now they have done that: "We've accomplished that goal. We have that one in the bank and now we certainly have plenty of things to work on moving forward in preparing for the next game, which is the Texans. So that's what we're going to do." He later added that, "we wanted to go down there and play well and win a football game and get in because we won the football game." MY TAKE: Congrats to the Colts for winning the AFC South. Some people have tried to take things away from them because they "backed in," but I agree with Antoine Bethea when he said that, "we put the work in, we got the wins and we're AFC South champs. I don't think it's the back door." The very fact that some Colts fans are talking about how the Colts really didn't win this division but that it was handed to them shows how utterly spoiled Colts fans are and how so many act totally spoiled, and yet many don't realize it. Teams don't just automatically win the division and make the playoffs like the Colts did under Peyton Manning - for most of the rest of the league, it's a battle each and every year to get in the playoffs and win the division. And guess what? There have been plenty of eight win teams to have made the playoffs, and even a seven win team. The Colts finish the season out with three winnable games and two that they should definitely be favored in - they likely will get to at least 10 wins with a chance at 11 and they have a real shot to go 6-0 in the division. I'm sorry if you're too spoiled to even credit the Colts for winning games this year. One day in the future, when there's no Andrew Luck under center, we'll all take a step back and be very appreciative of this division title. Let's not take anything away from this division title - yeah, the AFC South is terrible this year, and yeah, that helped the Colts win it. But the Colts still won games and deserve to be division champions. Ok, my little rant is over. Bottom line: congrats to the Colts players and coaches on their first AFC South title of the Andrew Luck era.
- Chuck Pagano said that safety Sergio Brown is playing at a Pro Bowl level and that he is playing at a very high level. He talked about how, with the surgery that Brown recently had on his hand (they put a plate in it and four screws), Pagano and the rest of us would be out four to five weeks but that Brown hasn't missed a game. MY TAKE: If Sergio Brown doesn't make the Pro Bowl, there's something really wrong. He absolutely deserves to be in and has been tremendous this year - and the fact that he's dealing with the injury makes it even more incredible.
- Pagano was asked the question of whether he'd consider resting some guys because the Colts have now clinched the division and he answered that they are going to "play it out." When asked why, he responded that, "they give you a 16-game schedule and we're going to play it." MY TAKE: That's the right decision and a great response. The Colts have way too many issues right now to even consider resting guys, and even Pagano said earlier in the press conference that, "we've got to get better."
- The first four questions for Pagano, and eight total questions, were about Jeff Triplette's blown call on the replay. Here's what Pagano had to say. It's pretty easy to see what his thoughts were on the play (MY TAKE: Yeah, it was a terrible call. Absolutely terrible and inexcusable.)
Have you heard anything yet from the league or when do you expect to hear from them regarding the play that was reversed?"I have not to this point, so just waiting to see."As you watched the tape again, do you have any further thoughts as to what happened on that play?"I just look at talking to our guy afterwards, Chappy (Josh Chapman) and those type of things, just felt like he made a great play."Does it do anything if the league calls you and says they're sorry?"Still 14-0 at half, right? So, no."Do you say anything or what?"It's hard to win. We know that. You got to overcome injuries, foolish penalties, all sorts of stuff. It's just part of the game."On the play at the goal line, do you know in your heart, did Josh Chapman make that play?"Again, I just trust our guys and his reaction to the play once the runner fell down and we saw the video and saw the jumbotron just like everybody else and his reaction. And during the time, him saying that, ‘I made the play. I made the play,' whatever. So I trust our guys. It is what it is."Did you have any conversation with Jeff Triplette?"Did I? Mmhmm."How'd that go?"You always ask ‘What'd you see?' So we had a conversation."He didn't clarify anything for you?"No, he clarified things."