Chuck Pagano: "Our Backs Are Up Against The Wall And This Group Will Respond"

Intro: For the second straight season, the Colts are 0-2 to start the season. What did Chuck Pagano have to say on Tuesday as the keys going forward?

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INDIANAPOLIS – A short week is upon the Colts and that means little rest for the coaching staff.

Some coaches headed straight from Lucas Oil Stadium to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center immediately following the 20-7 loss on Monday night (early Tuesday morning).

On Tuesday afternoon, Chuck Pagano was on a conference call, answering questions about falling to 0-2 on the season.

While Pagano was pleased with the defensive performance, the Colts head coach spent the bulk of the conference call addressing what needs to change to earn victory No. 1 of 2015.

**Injury News

**

  • TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle): Day-to-day, things are looking better than they did last night for Allen's status.
  • CB-Vontae Davis (concussion): Under the concussion protocol. Pagano is hopeful to have Davis on the field later this week.
  • ILB-D'Qwell Jackson (stinger): Should be fine.
  • CB-Darius Butler (hip): Still day-to-day after missing Monday's game.
  • CB-Greg Toler (neck): Week-to-week. Looks like he will return to practice in a limited role this week.
  • OLB-Jonathan Newsome (hamstring): Missed Monday night's game, but should return this week.

Chuck Pagano on the play of the offensive line:

"We are going to obviously continue to look at it and we've got to get better and get it shored up."

Bowen's Analysis:* *No quarterback has been pressured more through two games this season than Andrew Luck. Playing the Bills and the Jets is a major reason why the pressure has been so immense, but the line hasn't been able to provide enough time for this offense to get in sync.

The penalties up front on Monday halted several early drives that had some momentum. With protection a focus going forward, Pagano did say on Tuesday that the Colts have to get the tight ends more involved (in the passing game). For the first time in their careers, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener were not targeted on Monday night.

Chuck Pagano on where Andrew Luck is after two games of the season:

"It's not all on our quarterback. Thank God we have the guy that we have."

"He's been doing phenomenal things for us the last three years."

Bowen's Analysis: Pagano wanted to clarify his postgame remarks from Monday night on people misinterpreting his comments. The offensive ineffectiveness after two games certainly doesn't fall completely on the shoulders of Andrew Luck, or any one player/unit.

The clarification comes in knowing how talented Luck and this offense can be. Pagano has seen the vast potential inside of his offensive unit so witnessing the early struggles is where the frustration lies. Pagano was clear that he fully expects that unit (and Luck) to reach those heights.Chuck Pagano on the play of Robert Mathis:

"He did well.

"Once he got rolling, he was the old Rob."

Bowen's Analysis: In his first football game in 618 days, Robert Mathis played 13 defensive snaps on Monday night. Mathis finished with one quarterback hurry and impressed his head coach.

Pagano said Mathis looked "fast, twitchy" on Monday night and the head coach liked that the pass rusher showed some "speed-to-power" moves. Mathis' reps will be increased continually as the season unfolds. His addition should aid a Colts pass rush that only has one sack after two games.

Roster Moves

On Tuesday, the Colts signed free agent cornerback Josh Thomas and waived cornerback Eric Patterson.

The team also signed tight end Sean McGrath to the practice squad, released cornerback Brandon Dixon from the practice squad and reached an injury settlement with running back Vick Ballard, who was waived by the team on September 15. After passing through waivers, Ballard was placed on Indianapolis' Injured Reserve list. The settlement with Ballard takes him off the Injured Reserve list.

Thomas has played in 43 career gams with four different teams. The new cornerback could very well come in and play early, considering the injuries currently at the cornerback position (see above). The only healthy corners on the 53-man roster are Thomas, Jalil Brown and Sheldon Price.

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