Colts Coach Chuck Pagano on Titans: "We've Got Our Hands Full"



(on the early part of the season for the Colts)

Obviously, it was great to get our first win. It took three weeks to get that done. Hopefully we can build on that. We played good football in all three games, but we didn't finish the first couple. I feel like we're heading in the right direction, and we've just got to keep trying to get better each and every week.

(on switching a team from a 4-3 to a 3-4)

Obviously, coming here in a situation where they've been in that, if you want to call it the Tampa two 4-3 scheme for so many years and played really good in that system and won, obviously, a boat load of football games. It takes time. You're switching gears, and you're trying to find bodies to fit those positions. Specifically, up front the rush guys, the edge guys, guys that are used to playing a three-point stance out on the edge in a wide-nine technique and getting after the quarterback for so many years, now all of a sudden having to transition into playing in a two-point, still rushing the passer some, but learning coverage aspects of the scheme as well as dropping into coverage and things like that. It's not an easy task and it takes some time. Again, it depends on draft and free agency and those types of things, acquiring guys through those two avenues can help speed the process a little bit. It's not easy.

(on what Colts ILB D'Qwell Jackson adds to the defense)

He's done a nice job. He had a big game for us last week, and he's been really solid in there. Really good leader, smart guy, tough guy, really passionate about football. He came from a similar scheme, obviously Ray Horton had coached him last year in Cleveland and did a great job with him, just like he's doing with that group now that he's coaching. I look at that defense, top five defense in the National Football League, but we're very fortunate to have D'Qwell (Jackson). **

(on being ranked 29thoverall in defense)

Certainly our goals are to be a top five defense. When we got here, that's what we wanted to do. We played very good offenses, and we gave up a lot of yards. We held an opponent last week to 50 yards at the half, and then they've given up over 300. In a game, that's something that we certainly don't want to do and try to play a lot of guys and get some extra guys some reps and young guys that need some work are going to eventually have to play. We don't make any excuses. We're not where we want to be, but we're going to keep working until we get there.

(on Colts WR Reggie Wayne)

Coming off of an ACL at 34, 35 years old and coming out and still being productive and running routes and catching balls and doing all those kind of things. That's a testament to Reggie (Wayne) and his work ethic and his passion and love for football. He's just one of those guys that if he could play forever, I'm sure he would.

(on what Reggie Wayne means to the Colts franchise)

He's a pillar guy. He's one of those guys that when he walks in the building every day, as a coach and as a teammate you're like, 'Thank God we got this guy on our sideline.' He's on our team, he's in our locker room. He brings so much stability to your team and to your locker room and to your offense. He's a great mentor. Not only a great player, but he's a great person, he's a great teammate and he's a great mentor to the young guys. **

(on improvement in the Colts running game)

It's getting better. We've put up some yards consistently the last couple of weeks on the ground, and it's just continuing to get better. Our line is doing a great job. Our tight ends and those types of things, wide outs, guys are doing a good job blocking and opening holes for those guys. I like the direction that it's going. Obviously, I think we had over 160 yards a couple of weeks ago and over 140 in the last week. The yards per carry are going up for not only Trent (Richardson) but for Ahmad (Bradshaw). I feel like we've got a really good 1-2 punch there in both the run game and the pass game, and they'll continue to just get better, hopefully.

(on why the Titans defense has allowed so many points)

Being a defensive coach my whole life, the bottom line comes down to keeping them out of the end zone. All I know when I look at the tape, I see a bunch of good football players that are well coached. They play extremely hard. They're sound. Ray (Horton) does an incredible job. The entire defensive staff does a great job with those guys. They've got playmakers at every level. They've got a front seven that can be dominant, and they rush the passes. They've got eight sacks. Jurrell Casey's a guy that's a game wrecker, he's a buzz saw, he's a guy that's almost impossible to block. Linebackers are playing well, and you've got two enforcers there at safety and a couple of cover guys that can blanket anybody and take guys away. We're planning on facing just exactly what we see on tape, a damn good defense. **

(on what he sees out of the Titans offense)

They can run the football, I know that. They've got a bunch of guys, Shonn Greene's running the ball extremely well, 4.8 per rush. Bishop (Sankey's) running well, 4.7 per rush. You bring in Dexter (McCluster), a change of pace. He's a game wrecker. Leon Washington, they've got a bunch of guys. The offensive line is as good a line as we've faced to date. They do a great job. Quarterback's got talent, he's athletic, he's got an arm. He can make all the throws, he can beat you with his feet, and they've got weapons on the outside. They've got Delanie (Walker), who's playing his tail off and leading them in receiving. Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter and (Nate) Washington, there's a ton of talent on that side. We've got our hands full. We're going to have to play lights out on defense to contain this group.

(on Colts WR T.Y. Hilton's injury status)

He's going to be fine.

(on how Colts P Matt McAfee and K Adam Vinatieri have contributed to special teams)

They're unbelievable. I feel like we got one of the best tandems in the National Football League. Pat (McAfee)'s kicking the heck out of the football. I think he's number one in the league in three different categories. He does a great job. He makes coverage a little bit easier, and we're going to need him, obviously, this week with the ability of (Dexter) McCluster and (Leon) Washington returning kicks for you guys. Adam (Vinatieri) is an ageless, ageless wonder. It never ceases to amaze you. He's just a machine. The ball's still jumping off his foot. I feel very blessed to have both of those guys on our side.

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