Taking a look at what Chuck Pagano said in his press conference today...
- Chuck Pagano gave an update on the players injured in yesterday's win over the Texans, and pretty much everybody is day-to-day. OL Joe Reitz has a concussion and will go through the concussion protocol. RB Donald Brown has a stinger. S/special teams guy Sergio Brown got an MRI and has a groin strain. LB/special teams guy Daniel Adongo has a hamstring injury. All of them are day to day. Pagano also mentioned later when asked about it that WR Griff Whalen has a strain behind his knee (a calf injury, Pagano said - he's not sure exactly where the strain is) and that he will be fine. MY TAKE: Pretty much everybody is day-to-day, and with the Colts that means pretty much nothing. It doesn't really give us any indication as to whether or not a guy will be active the following week. We really can't read anything into how serious any of these injuries are, other than the fact that there is a chance they will play Sunday. Other than that, we will need to wait and see more on Wednesday and later in the week. And it's good news about Whalen, who had a big game yesterday. Glad to see that he's ok.
- An update on the guys previously injured: CB Greg Toler will hopefully practice Wednesday and they're going to keep an eye on him but hopefully get him back on Sunday. Pagano is also hopeful that WR LaVon Brazill will practice Wednesday, and the same goes for FB Stanley Havili, who Pagano said that if he doesn't practice Wednesday then he should on Thursday. OL Samson Satele's elbow is doing better and he is day-to-day, as is OL Jeff Linkenbach with his quad injury. DL Ricky Jean Francois is trending in the right direction and Pagano said they will hopefully have him back by the game against the Jaguars, and maybe sooner. MY TAKE: Basically, as with the guys injured on Sunday, almost everybody is day-to-day, so we don't really know. Wednesday will be a day we find out more, and then Thursday and Friday as well.
- Pagano said that LB Pat Angerer was a healthy scratch and that special teams factored into the decision to have Angerer inactive and that since Kavell Conner plays special teams and is a good player they decided to deactivate Angerer for the game. He said that the roster situation is fluid, as always. MY TAKE: Conner played well yesterday. I want to see him get more time with the defense. If it were me, I would deactivate Kelvin Sheppard and still have Angerer healthy, but I really like the Colts getting Kavell Conner involved in the defense more.
- Pagano on what the Colts still need to work on: "It'll be good to get back to work. Got some things to clean up obviously and take advantage of. We had opportunities. We left some points out there last night. I think we had the ball three or four times inside the 30 and settled for field goals three times. Then we threw the interception on one of those. Moving forward, we certainly know that you've got to score touchdowns this time of year and into the playoffs. We'll go back to work and get ready for Kansas City." MY TAKE: Pagano talked about how the Colts did a lot of things well and how there were a lot of positives. He's right on this point, too - the Colts need to finish more drives - but they were getting field goals, at least, so it wasn't the worst thing. But it's absolutely something they should work on and is something that will be important later on, as Pagano mentioned.
- On Darius Butler, Pagano said that, "He's got great instincts, great ball skills, studies and prepares extremely well, knows the opponent inside and out come game day... Great instincts. Nose for the football. Johnny-on-the-spot type of guy. Great ball skills." MY TAKE: Butler played a great game yesterday and has been good this season. He has been used in a way that isn't ideal recently (as Pagano mentioned today, too - Butler has been having to be an outside corner covering the outside receivers when he is best suited for the slot) but he is a good player and showed that yesterday by picking off 2 passes and making some other plays on the ball, too.
- Asked about the fact that if the Colts and Ravens both win out, the Colts get a first-round playoff bye and if Pagano will be rooting for the Ravens and friend John Harbaugh, Pagano said: "I always root for those guys. So I guess we'll be rooting for them again. But again, our focus is on us and getting better this week and trying to go play as well as we can play and win a football game. It really won't matter if we don't take care of business. We'll focus on that and I guess we'll root for those guys too." MY TAKE: Perfect response. Perfect. We can talk all we want about cheering for the Ravens, but the Colts need to make sure they win their games, too, and first that means at Kansas City in a tough game against the Chiefs. This was the perfect response from Pagano.
- On Bjoern Werner, Pagano said: "He's playing fast, physical. He's gaining confidence. Last three weeks, you could see it. Each and every week, he's gotten better and had his most productive outing yesterday as a Colt." MY TAKE: I agree - it was his best game as a pro so far. Hopefully he can keep that up.
- On Robert Mathis: "Yeah, the guy's a great pro and been one for a long, long time. He's never changed. Two years I've been here and everybody that's been here longer than me, he's the same guy today that he was the first day that he walked through the doors of this building 11 years ago. Great worker. Great pro. Works at his craft constantly. Takes care of himself. You're not able to be as productive in your 11th year unless you approach your craft the way he does it. Again, he's leading the league in sacks and breaking the record and all those types of things. Again, we talked about conversations about Hall of Fame and certainly, Defensive Player of the Year, he should be in that conversation also." MY TAKE: Hall of Fame and Defensive Player of the Year - I agree with both of those. I even wrote today about how he should be the defensive player of the year.
- Talking about the Chiefs and Jamaal Charles (who scored five touchdowns yesterday), Pagano said: "We got to do a great job. It's 11 guys on defense doing their job, taking care of their responsibility. If you have one breakdown, all it takes is one breakdown, one wrong fit, guy that's responsible on a screen play to turn it back inside, contain it... certainly Jamaal is the guy you got to take care of first and foremost." MY TAKE: Charles had a phenomenal game yesterday and the Colts absolutely have to prepare to play him. He will provide a big challenge this weekend.