The Washington Times-Herald

Indianapolis Colts

December 26, 2012

Chuck's back



"The happiest day of my life was July 1, 1989 when I married my wife Tina. I want to thank you [for her support while he was in the hospital]," he said, looking over at his family. "She slept on a cot next to my hospital bed every day that I was there. She's a warrior. She never left my side. You got me through [the bad days]."

He also thanked Colts front office and support personnel as well as his doctor, hospital employees for their help and support. Pagano also offered thanks to the media for respecting his family's privacy during his time away from the team and to fans, especially those in Indianapolis.

"I can't imagine a community embracing someone they hardly know," he said. "I knew the day that Mr. Irsay offered me this job. I knew that it was a great place and a great organization."

Hard act to follow -- Pagano joked that following in Arians' footsteps wouldn't be an easy task.

"Damn Bruce, you had to win nine games?," he smiled. "He's a tough act to follow. Best [interim coaching job performance] in NFL [history]. But I've got my hands full. I'll try not to get in the way. I'm like a kid in the candy store."

Pagano added that he was just glad that his keys to the Colts' coaching staff parking lot worked after being away for so long.

"I pulled up, drove in and the key fob still worked," he said.

Office light off -- When Pagano first entered the hospital to begin the first of three rounds of chemotherapy treatments, Arians said that he was going to turn the light on in the head coach's office and leave it now while he was away.

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