A few days ago, Jets head coach Rex Ryan joined the media and sent a reporter to the podium to field questions. With all due respect to Ryan, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano one-upped him on Tuesday. Instead of sending a reporter to the podium, Pagano joined the media and began asking questions of one of his star players, wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
"Have you forgotten how to play the game, Reggie?" Pagano asked while standing in the midst of the media. Reggie looked at his coach and replied, "I have not forgotten how to play. It's been some months, been since October. I'm excited about this opportunity to be back out here with my teammates. After you have been playing since you were seven years old, I don't think you can forget."
"Is it like riding a bike?" Pagano asked as a follow-up. "I think it's even easier than riding a bike," Reggie answered. "I have probably played football more than I have ridden a bike the last nine years of my life. It's easier, it's like waking up and brushing your teeth."
"When it is taken away from you," Pagano asked, "how much do you miss it?" Reggie answered that, "It puts everything into perspective, it really makes you think about going out there and treating it like it could be your last one."
"One thing it did, it made me understand and respect it even more," the star receiver continued. "When you're out there on a daily basis, you always think I am going to be alright, I am going to be here "X" amount of time. But then when it's pulled from right under your feet, it's humbling. Last year was rough for me, it really was. I took that time to get back right and at the same time it made me respect it, it made me understand it, it made me even hungrier to take each day that I'm out here practicing with my teammates. It made me want to be out there even more because you never know, so you have to treat it as such."
It was a very funny exchange between head coach and player, and Pagano and Reggie know each other very well, going back to their days at the University of Miami. The close friends are also two leaders of the Colts team, and they know how to have fun. It's easy for training camp to become boring, long, and too serious, and while it probably was still boring and long to many, the Colts have fun. The exchange between coach-turned-reporter and star receiver on Tuesday in the media tent is just another example of how Pagano knows how to have fun.
Also regarding to the relationship between Reggie Wayne and Chuck Pagano, we all remember that he said in the offseason that he would bring his boxing gloves to camp in case Pagano didn't let him practice, but he didn't need to since he was cleared right out of the gate. But Reggie was still held out of the first preseason game, and he said that if the two did get into the boxing ring, he would make his coach tap out. But Pagano isn't buying that.
"Make me tap out? Good luck. Good luck," Pagano said. "He's a football player. He isn't a WWE wrestler. He's watching too much TV." Someone then asked him to clarify that he would hold his own against Reggie (no, it wasn't Reggie that asked it), and Pagano answered, "anybody here." Was that a challenge from the coach? "No, I'm just saying it like it is. I may not win it but we're going down swinging."
"Dad always said growing up if you're getting picked on by bullies, who do you go after? You go after the biggest, baddest one and you hit him right here on the button," Pagano continued. "You smash that nose and you get that nose bleeding and those eyes watering and he goes down, guess what happens to the rest of the gang? They're gone, I got myself out of that pickle. Sometimes that may work, sometimes it may not, but that's how you've got to start. Boy, we've gotten so far away from what we were talking about (laughs)."
UFC even got in on the fun on twitter:
What's the moral of this story? That Pagano would win a fight? I don't think so - instead, I think it just goes to show us how Colts head coach Chuck Pagano loves to have fun, and that attitude is contagious and should only help the team grow closer and play more like a team.