The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

December 23, 2013

George Bremer: Pagano proving he's the real deal

Last year, there was energy coursing throughout the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Christmas Eve.

Chuck Pagano was coming back to coach the final regular-season game against the Houston Texans, and the team made it official with a well-attended news conference.

But there was one lingering question: How would the team respond?

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians won nine of 12 games in Pagano's absence, and the Colts were just 1-2 when leukemia forced the first-year head coach from the sideline.

Indianapolis answered the skeptics with a thunderous 28-16 victory that cost Houston a first-round bye in the postseason. But when the team fell 24-9 at Baltimore in the wild-card round a week later — with Arians confined to a hospital because of an ear infection — the doubts carried over into the offseason.

The questions should be quelled now.

Arians has proven he's an excellent head coach and has placed his name squarely in the coach of the year debate for the second straight season.

But, make no mistake, Pagano deserves to be in the conversation as well.

Indianapolis lost starting tight end Dwyane Allen after the season opener, and left guard Donald Thomas went down in Week 2. There's been seven different starting combinations on the offensive line, and the offensive and defensive backfields have seen a rotating cast of faces.

By the time veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne was lost for the season in late October, the roster had become a full-blown M*A*S*H unit. No team has more players on season-ending injured reserve (14) than Indianapolis.

And, yet, the 10-5 Colts were the first team to clinch a division championship and own the four most impressive victories by any team — beating San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Kansas City — after throttling the Chiefs on Sunday.

Text Only
Pro Sports
  • PACERS LEGEND 1.jpg Leonard still believes in the Pacers

    For the past 36 hours, the NBA universe has been buzzing about the decision made by Indiana Pacers' coach Frank Vogel to rest all of his starting five Wednesday in Milwaukee.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tiger Woods has back surgery, will miss the Masters

    Tiger Woods chose surgery to heal his ailing back over a quest for another green jacket, announcing Tuesday that he will miss the Masters for the first time in his career.

    April 1, 2014

  • SPT - HB0325 - Adam Lind swing Momentum swinging in Lind's favor Adam Lind is hitting .386 with one home run and seven RBIs through 15 Grapefruit League games this spring.

    March 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0322 - Grigson art Grigson happy with offseason additions Though he stopped just short of declaring his shopping spree over, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made it clear Friday he's happy with the team's offseason haul.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0318 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • George Bremer-2.JPG George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football

    Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_irsaymugshot.jpg Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday night in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Carmel on preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department Deputy Bryant Orem said.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0316 - Nicks photo Nicks betting deal with Colts will pay off Hakeem Nicks is betting on himself. The 25-year-old wide receiver with a Super Bowl ring and a long injury history from five years with the New York Giants chose a fresh start in Indianapolis because he believes the pieces are in place for the franchise to make a long postseason run.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0315 - Nicks art Colts add WR Nicks on one-year deal The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver corps was severely depleted in the second half of the 2013 season. On Friday, the franchise bought an insurance policy for this fall.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0314 - Jones art Colts DL Jones comes from fighting family If nothing else, Arthur Jones is up for a fight. Most older brothers are confident they can best their younger siblings. But it jumps to another level when the younger brother is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

Photographer’s pick
AP Video
Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement Raw: UConn Celebrates for Second Straight Night UConn Women Win NCAA Basketball Championship Raw: Workers at Brazil Olympic Park on Strike Some Arrests As Fans Celebrate UConn Win UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Champsionship Connecticut, Kentucky Fans React to NCAA Win Connecticut, Kentucky Meet for the Title AP Player of Year: Creighton's Doug McDermott Fearsome Final Foursome Head to North Texas College Athletes Take Labor Cause to Washington Northwestern Practices After Union Ruling Woods Has Back Surgery, Will Miss the Masters Raw: Obama, 'Big Papi' of Red Sox Take Selfie Raw: LA Angels Don Baylor Suffers Leg Injury Seahawks, Sounders Visit Town Near Mudslide Milwaukee Brewers' Adopted Mascot Is Big Hit Tigers' Cabrera Gets Record $292M, 10-year Deal Dayton, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin in Elite 8
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin