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Pagano lets Colts know how he feels about 0-2

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The Sports Xchange

INDIANAPOLIS — Head coach Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts usually doesn’t show his true feelings after a loss.

Most of the time, Pagano does a pretty good job of keeping his emotions in check. But that wasn’t the case after last Monday night’s 20-7 home-field loss to the New York Jets.

During the post-game press conference, media and fans saw Chuck Pagano Unplugged.

He was upset at the way his team lost to the Jets. He was upset with the turnovers and mistakes that have dogged the Colts through the first two weeks of the regular season in losses to Buffalo and the Jets.

And, yes, he was (and still is) very much frustrated.

“Well, we’ve got a really good football team,” Pagano said on Tuesday. “It gets frustrating when you just shoot yourself in the foot, so to speak. I know we’re better than we played. And we’ve seen glimpses of that. It’s just you’ve got to do it on a consistent basis. You’re disappointed, no discouraged.

“This is not unfamiliar territory for us. Do we want to be in this situation? No. Do we want to be 0-2? No. Do we want to have the turnovers and the penalties and the self-inflicted negatives that are going on? No. That’s why we’ll get back to work (on Wednesday).”

Indianapolis doesn’t have a lot of time to dwell on the loss to New York or its 0-2 start.

The Colts begin AFC South play on Sunday on the road against an improved Tennessee Titans squad and its rookie quarterback, Marcus Mariota.

“We’ll continue to work,” Pagano said. “We’ll continue to iron out the kinks and get better. We have no other choice, obviously. We have a huge challenge coming up (against Tennessee).

“Division game on the road. Hostile environment. All that stuff. There’s no time for a hangover.”

The Colts head coach is counting on the mental make-up of his team to get past all the issues that have hounded them thus far.

“It’s our culture,” Pagano said. “It’s our environment. It’s our leadership in that locker room. And we don’t (get down). We stay consistent. Again, are guys disappointed? Absolutely. Was I disappointed? Absolutely. There’s not a man in this building that’s not disappointed in the outcome (Monday night).

“You want to play good, you want to have success and you want to win football games. That’s why we sacrifice and that’s why these players sacrifice all that they sacrifice. There’s going to be disappointment but you’ve got to move on.”

So it’s on to Tennessee.

“The sun is going to come up and you’re going to have another opportunity and thank god we have another opportunity,” Pagano said. “Now we just have to go back to work and we have to keep grinding and we have to keep working to get better.

“It’s a great opportunity. This group of players that we have and the coaches in this building, nobody is better when their backs are against the wall. This group will rise up and meet the challenge.”

–Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was asked Tuesday is he wanted to clarify his post-Jets game comments in which he appeared to be angry with QB Andrew Luck.

“It’s really complimenting our quarterback, is what I was doing there,” Pagano said. “You guys know how many different (offensive line) lineups we’ve had because of injuries and this, that and the other. That’s well documented over the last three years. The way he’s been able to perform and lead this football team.

“Again, people are going to put pressure on you. People are going to come after you in different ways and it’s not always going to be perfect. But that kid has found a way to extend plays and make plays right when everybody thought the down was over.”

–CB Vontae Davis (concussion) had a red no-contact jersey on during Wednesday’s practice. He is listed as day-to-day. Davis is undergoing the league’s concussion protocols. He suffered a concussion against Washington last season and wound up missing the next game. Davis’ status for the Titans will be decided after Friday’s practice.

–TE Dwayne Allen (ankle), CB Darius Butler (hip), G Lance Louis (shoulder) and ILB D’Qwell Jackson (stinger) did not take part in Wednesday’s practice.

–OLB Jonathan Newsome (hamstring) fully practiced on Wednesday. Newsome did not play against the Jets on Monday night after he was injured in practice late last week. He is expected to be cleared to play against the Titans on Sunday.

–CB Greg Toler (sprained neck) has seen his workload in practice ramp up in recent weeks. While Toler is closer to returning to practice full time and getting back into the Colts’ starting defensive lineup, he remains listed as week-to-week. Toler said Wednesday that he is just waiting on his doctors and the team’ trainers to give him the green light to return on a regular basis.

–OLB Robert Mathis (Achilles) played in his first game since the end of the 2013 season when he was active for last Monday night’s game with the Jets. While Mathis saw limited snaps in the New York game, he is expected to see more work against the Titans on Sunday. He came through the Jets game in good shape physically.

–WR T.Y. Hilton (bruised knee) fully practiced Wednesday. He should be good to go against Tennessee on Sunday. Hilton was hurt in the season opening loss at Buffalo but was able to start against the New York Jets Monday night.


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