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Pagano: "One Mindset, beating Jacksonville"

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Indianapolis may have its playoff berth clinched, but Chuck Pagano says the mindset is the same as it is every other week. If players are healthy, they will play and with 60 minutes left in the regular season there is one goal, “getting (win) number 11.”



INDIANAPOLIS – Last week when Chuck Pagano made final remarks regarding a tattered offensive line heading into the Kansas City game, gallows humor and biting sarcasm ruled the moment.

 

Now with the possibility of an eighth new starting line this season and the certainty of having one for the sixth week in a row, Pagano was a little more light-hearted.

 

“We could go with (Jeff) Linkenbach, you could go with (Joe) Reitz, you could go with Xavier Nixon.  We have a lot of options,” said Pagano when he announced usual starting right guard Mike McGlynn is doubtful to face Jacksonville Sunday.

 

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A week ago, Indianapolis had to move Thomas Austin off the practice squad when Hugh Thornton, Linkenbach and Reitz were inactive.

 

The Colts started a fifth new lineup in five games, with Nixon, a natural tackle, starting at left guard for the first time and in a second-ever career game with Indianapolis.

 

At least this week Thornton is likely to return on the left side, and whoever starts at the opposite spot will be hashed out later.

 

“(In the) National Football League, nothing surprises you.  Every day you show up is an adventure sometimes,” said Pagano when asked if he were surprised by another new rotation.  “At least we have another day.”

 

Indianapolis hosts a Jacksonville team that is seeking a third straight road win.  If the Colts are to improve on their fourth seed, it only can be done by besting the Jaguars.

 

With Cincinnati playing at the same time and with the chance Indianapolis could move to the third seed the Bengals could cede with a loss, Pagano will not scoreboard-watch.

 

“No, not at all,” said Pagano.  “We have (a) single focus, that’s on Jacksonville.  We have a team coming in here that has won of four of their last seven games.  Coach Bradley has done a great job with those guys. 

 

“Since the bye week, they’ve gotten better and better.  They’re coming here to win a football game.  We’d better be prepared for that.  You turn the tape on, and the tape speaks for itself.”

 

Jacksonville has swept Houston and beaten Tennessee.  In year one of a new regime, the only team that never has captured the AFC South crown would love to put a dent in the one worn by the 2013 division champ.

 

“(We have) one mindset and that’s getting number 11 and beating Jacksonville,” reiterated Pagano.

 

With a number of players nursing injuries, Pagano will not rest anyone because a playoff berth is guaranteed.

 

“It would be like if it’s week eight or week nine, if they’re healthy and they can go, they’ll play,” said Pagano.

 

One such player is Greg Toler, who missed seven straight outings with a groin injury before playing in certain situations last week against the Chiefs.

 

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“I finally got to be at practice,” said Toler about this being a good week.  “The doctors and coaches say I’m getting back to form.  I’m just taking it one play at a time.  Last week I got a few reps, only 15, but did pretty good.  This week I made it through a full practice, and that’s good for my confidence. 

 

“It’s good to know I get out there and run with the guys.  It was good for me emotionally.  I think (I) can get it done this week.  The secondary is playing good.  Wherever I can help the guys, I’m willing to do my part.”

 

JOB ONE – Indianapolis can move from the fourth to the two seed in the AFC with a win and losses by Cincinnati and New England.  The Colts can jump from four to three with a win and a loss by either the Bengals or Patriots.  

 

Those teams respectively are hosting Baltimore and Buffalo, but Andrew Luck guarantees players, like their head coach, will have rapt attention on Jacksonville.

 

“I don’t think we’re caught up in anything but the Jacksonville Jaguars.  That’s our focus this week,” said Luck.  “I know I can speak for every player, that’s what it is.”

 

PRACTICE REPORT – Did not participate:  DT-Ricky Jean Francois (foot), OG-Mike McGlynn (elbow), S-Sergio Brown (groin), DE-Cory Redding (shoulder); Limited Participation:  CB-Greg Toler (groin); Full Participation:  S-Antoine Bethea (ankle), DE-Robert Mathis (rest), S-LaRon Landry (rest), CB-Darius Butler (quad), OG-Hugh Thornton (neck), OT-Jeff Linkenbach (quad); OG-Joe Reitz (concussion), CB-Vontae Davis (groin).

 

INJURY REPORT – Out:  Jean Francois; Doubtful:  McGlynn, Brown, Redding; Questionable:  Bethea; Probable:  Toler, Mathis, Thornton, Landry, Butler, Reitz, Linkenbach, Davis.

 

Reitz has cleared all concussion protocol after missing most of the last two games.  Redding was hurt at Kansas City and did not practice this week.  Ricardo Mathews, who had a half-sack last week, could see stepped up playing time.  Jeris Pendleton, a 2012 Jacksonville draft pick and a 30-year old second-year player, could see some time.  Fili Moala, who shared the sack with Mathews, can fill in at multiple positions.


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