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Chuck Pagano Addresses Colts Before Team Cleans Out Lockers

Intro: On Monday, Colts players cleaned out their lockers at a date much earlier than what was expected heading into 2015. What did Chuck Pagano say to his team at the final meeting of the season?


INDIANAPOLIS – The trash bags waiting from the Colts equipment staff weren't supposed to come out of storage this early.

Twenty teams around the NFL were cleaning out their locker rooms on Monday.

Dating back to the offseason, it would have been nearly impossible to find someone thinking the Colts would be one of them.

Yet, here they were, on the first Monday in January, piling their belongings into black trash bags, sharing final handshakes with teammates and staff members before going their separate ways into the offseason.

"It's always disappointing to come in here after the season and clean out your locker room," Andrew Luck said just after lunchtime on Monday.

"There's only one team that's truly happy at the end of the year and that's our goal to be that team next year."

A candid look inside the Colts locker room during locker room clean out on Monday afternoon.

When Colts players were packing up on Monday, they had just left one last team meeting with Chuck Pagano.

Upon meeting with his team, Pagano had yet to sit down with Jim Irsay. The two met Monday afternoon and after some hours together, any possible decision carried into Tuesday.

So, with the head coach's 2016 fate up in the air on Monday, what was Pagano's message to his team at their final gathering as a 2015 team?

"He loves everyone of us and he wants to be here and coach here," Anthony Castonzo said of Pagano's theme.

That was the sentiment echoed throughout the Colts locker room on Monday.

A few lockers down from Castonzo, Luck shared his own thoughts on a very trying season.

Luck missed nine games in all, including the final seven contests to close out a year without any postseason berth.

Taking away lessons has been something Luck has focused on each offseason.

This year's is rather obvious.

"You have to be on the field to help your team. It's the simple truth," Luck said on Monday.

"Too much is invested in you as the quarterback to not be out there."

Irsay's previous hope of signing Luck to a long-term deal in the upcoming offseason is something that falls right in line with the quarterback's thinking, too.

The Colts offseason questions in 2016 will include an unrestricted free agent list with the names Adam Vinatieri and Matt Hasselbeck on it.

The 40-year-old free agents have mentioned in recent weeks that their 2015 performance has left them believing that they can still play at a high level in 2016.

Colts management will also have to weigh the pending free agents of Jerrell Freeman, Dwight Lowery, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, among others.

With an upcoming offseason potentially leading to changes, there was one definite given on Monday from their franchise quarterback.

The word "rebuild" wasn't used in 2012 and it's still not in the Colts dictionary some four years later.

"Mr. Irsay has done a great job of leading this franchise for a long, long time," Luck said on Monday.

"It's a winning franchise, Super Bowl winner, very, very successful. I know that he has a vision for this team and whatever it is we will be there to try and get it done."

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