NFL Wire News

Colts want off the roller coaster


The Sports Xchange

ANDERSON, Ind. — Consistency. That is what Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is looking for as his team heads into the second week of training camp at Anderson University.

Even though the Colts have posted three consecutive 11-5 records, made back-to-back trips to the AFC playoffs and have captured the AFC South title the last two seasons, consistency remains a major issue for Pagano’s team.

Sometimes Indianapolis fell into the trap of playing down to the level of a lesser opponent. And there have been times — such as one-sided losses to Pittsburgh and New England last season — when the Colts have failed to answer the bell when facing one of the league’s elite teams.

Heading into the 2015 season, Indianapolis is once again considered to be one of the favorites to be one of the AFC’s elite teams. But until the Colts find a way to secure wins against teams like the Steelers and Patriots, the lack of consistency will remain a major question.

Pagano referenced the team’s consistency issues during a post-practice chat with the media Saturday morning.

The Colts coach was asked about the play of the team’s defense dominating the offense during Wednesday night’s practice and then being torched for touchdowns by quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck on Friday.

“It’s about consistency. You guys wrote all that stuff, they had a day off, they had a day to read their clippings, listened to the radio and ‘Oh man, we’re pretty damned good.’ Well, if you don’t show up and you’re not consistent, that’s what happens,” Pagano stressed.

“On the flip side of it, when you have a bad day we’ve got great competitors. And it all starts with our quarterback. There’s no fiercer competitor than Andrew Luck. Coming on the heels of Wednesday night to the next day, you know they’re going to show up. The defense understands that.”

He’s using what happened in both practice sessions as a teachable moment for his team.

“I just told the guys that we’re talking about self-mastery here. There are really three things when you’re talking about self and self-leadership. The first one is intentionality. The second one is discipline. And the last one is consistency. That’s what we talked about,” Pagano voiced.

“It’s a marathon. How do you get through the long grind of a training camp? How do you get through the long grind of a season? One day at a time. You can’t look ahead and say, ‘How am I going to get there?’ Don’t worry about that. It’s a process. It’s about consistency. You don’t show up and play well in any particular area — offense, defense, special teams — that’s what happens.”

–Players are getting testy during camp practices.

On Saturday, defensive tackle Arthur Jones and offensive guard Lance Louis got tangled up during pass-rush drills. But that one was mild when compared to the tussle that occurred on Sunday.

Center Jonotthan Harrison and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles got into a shoving match at the conclusion of a play, with Harrison tossing Quarles to the turf.

Pagano had seen enough and tossed both players from practice.

The Colts head coach wasn’t happy with the on-field disruptions and let the team know about it.

“If that happens in a game, they’re kicked out and can’t play anymore. So that’s what we did,” Pagano said. “We can’t have that. We can’t have that in practice and we can’t have that in a game.”

NOTES: The Colts have 12 players in training camp who are 30 or older, including 42-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri, 39-year-old backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and 34-year-old safety Mike Adams. Offseason roster additions Andre Johnson (34), Frank Gore (32), and Trent Cole (32) are also on the list.

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