INDIANAPOLIS-- Chuck Pagano is returning the favor to a man that did so much for him and his family.
As Jim Irsay is “undergoing the treatment and care necessary to help him meet his challenges head-on”, Pagano has the upmost support for the Colts Owner.
“First (thing) I told (Irsay) was, ‘You’re more than a boss to me. You’re my friend,’ Pagano said to NFL Network on Sunday.
“I’d take a bullet for the guy and I think everybody in our organization and I think anybody that knows the man that Jim Irsay is would do the same. Myself, the entire organization, my wife, my family, we would do anything for Jim and his family.”
During Pagano’s 2012 battle with leukemia, Irsay was there for the head coach and his family in every way imaginable.
At the NFL League Meetings in Orlando this week, Pagano spoke with NFL Network’s Steve Wyche.
When Wyche sat down with Pagano, the Colts head coach went back to his initial impression of Irsay.
“I knew when I took the job and first shook his hand and had my first interview, I knew what type of man he was and what type of person he was,” Pagano said of Irsay.
“When you go through something like I went through, a lot of things get revealed to you and what was revealed to me about Mr. Irsay when he talks about faith, family and football, it’s not just lip service. It’s not just talk. He lives that.”
Late last week, Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson shared his gratitude in working for Irsay the last two years.
With the hires of Grigson and Pagano, the Colts have re-established themselves near the top of the AFC.
Both men now stand by Irsay and have joined numerous Colts fans in their appreciation for the Colts owner.
“The guy has a heart of gold and he would do anything for anybody in our organization,” Pagano said of Irsay.
“What he’s done for that city and certainly what he did for myself and my family through my ordeal, I’ll never be able to repay him. We are just here to support him.”