The Washington Times-Herald

Indianapolis Colts

January 8, 2013

With 2012 over, Colts move forward


INDIANAPOLIS — "Every test that they ran on Bruce, and obviously they put him through a battery of tests A to Z as they would do to any of us, all have been negative. He is doing well. Whatever he is dealing with, they would have let him come home early [Monday] morning but whatever he is dealing with has affected his blood pressure. And they [weren't] going to release him until they kind of get the blood pressure under control," Pagano said.

As for the chances of losing Arians to another National Football League team as a head coaching candidate, Indianapolis officials are going to try and keep him on the coaching staff. However, they know that it won't be easy.

"We do not want to lose Bruce Arians. We do not want to lose Bruce. He is so valuable to this organization and what he means to this organization and what he’s done. You want the best for Bruce. I want the best for Bruce," the Colts coach said.

"I want the best for his family. I want him to achieve and reach any goals that he has for himself throughout his coaching years, things like that. It’s a hard spot but again we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Again, people are going to go after good people and this is just a byproduct of the success that we’ve had here.”

Pagano was asked about rookie quarterback Andrew Luck's comments, said jokingly, that if another team contacted him for a recommendation on Arians, he would say terrible things.

“We talked about that, last time putting the [halt] on him, put the kibosh on him. We won’t get into those right now. We will just use social media. We will get on the Internet. Just like they do around draft time with all the players, all the baggage starts to come out. We won’t do it here. We will just wait until later this evening, the next couple of weeks and start putting all that stuff out if it get serious," the coach laughed.

Season review -- The Indianapolis Colts surprised everyone, including themselves if truth be told, by posting an 11-5 regular-season record and earning the fifth-seed in the AFC playoffs.

Yes, Indianapolis ended the year on a down note, but the immediate future looks exceedingly bright for the franchise.

Coming off a dismal 2-14 season a year ago and with last season's massive roster moves (there were 36 new players when the 2012 season began) along with a new head coach (Pagano), pretty much a new coaching staff (there was only one holdover from the previous year), and a new general manager (Ryan Grigson), most observers had figured on a five or six-win season for the Colts.

The 2012 rookie class --led by Luck, running back Vick Ballard, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener -- quickly bought in to what Grigson and Pagano were trying to accomplish. And they produced big numbers.

It all started with Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, who shattered the NFL's single-season rookie passing mark. He threw for 4,374 yards along with 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Indianapolis did not lose consecutive games all season and had winning streaks of four and three games.

The Colts were 9-1 in one-possession games. And when it counted the most, at the end of the regular-season, Indy won five of its last six games heading into the playoffs.

Looking ahead to the 2013 season, Grigson and Pagano have an outstanding rookie class which has a chance to improve with more game experience. Also, veteran leadership from players such as wide receiver Reggie Wayne, outside linebacker Robert Mathis, free safety Antoine Bethea, place kicker Adam Vinatieri and defensive end Cory Redding.

There are also questions. Will outside linebacker Dwight Freeney, cornerback Jerraud Powers, punter/kickoff specialist Pat McAfee and wide receiver Austin Collie, among others, be back? Powers and Collie both ended the 2012 season on Indianapolis' injured reserve list.

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Indianapolis Colts
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