Chuck Pagano Talks Robert Mathis On PUP, Why He's Pulling For Vick Ballard

Intro: The Colts wrapped up their first walk-through of the 2015 Training Camp on Sunday morning and next up was media availability. What did Chuck Pagano have to say about Robert Mathis and Vick Ballard on Sunday?

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ANDERSON – As with most mornings at Training Camp, the highlights come from the media sessions with Colts coaches and selected players.

The on-the-field work will come this afternoon but around lunchtime each day, Colts.com will take a look at three interesting quotes from that morning's media sessions.

In today's media scrums (which included a dozen cameras for the first day of on-the-field work), Chuck Pagano talked about outside expectations in 2015, the progress of Robert Mathis and Vick Ballard being cleared for individual drills.

Chuck Pagano on the outside expectations in 2015:

"We are in a great spot and I wouldn't want to be in any other spot. The other end of the conversation, no thank you. This is where you want to be."

Bowen's Analysis:* *It's a question Chuck Pagano has received several times dating all the way back to the offseason program, and one he will continue to hear during Training Camp and the season. Pagano knows where everyone has this Colts team pegged in 2015---as one of the contenders to be playing in February.

Pagano didn't shy away from the question on Sunday and summed it up pretty well. Yes, the Colts love to be in the discussion. That isn't being ignored. However, he knows that there is a long way to go before that conversation becomes anything close to a reality. Pagano ended his answer to the question saying "blinders on and the earmuffs are on." As a staff, the Colts are hoping to build a "pressure proof" football team over the next month.

Chuck Pagano on Robert Mathis and when he might return:

"We've got to be very, very smart with Robert. He knows that. We are all on the same page. The lines of communication are open and we just have to stick to the process and be patient."

Bowen's Analysis: To really no surprise, both Robert Mathis and Donald Thomas were placed on the physically unable to perform list on Sunday morning. They can come off the list at any time, but Pagano listed both of them as "week-to-week" when the Colts head coach met with the media on Sunday.

With Mathis, Pagano made it a point in looking at the big picture with the 13-year veteran. This is a 34-year-old coming off a very serious injury. The Colts regular season opener is still six weeks away, so no need to rush Mathis' return. Unlike Vick Ballard and Nate Irving, it looks like it will be some time before we see Mathis or Thomas on the field. On another health/conditioning note, Pagano said that all Colts players who had to participate in Saturday morning's conditioning test passed.

Chuck Pagano on pulling for a guy like Vick Ballard, who has suffered back-to-back season-ending injuries:

"How could you not?"

"Love that kid. Think about what he did for this football team in 2012. He's a warrior. He's a great player. He's a great teammate. That's a foxhole buddy. You want to take him downtown with you because you know he's going to have your back."

Bowen's Analysis: No one should have a problem rooting for Vick Ballard in 2015. Pagano didn't hold back in his rooting interest for the fourth-year running back on Sunday. Pagano talked about the corkscrew diving touchdown Ballard had in Tennessee back in 2012 and how that effort is the epitome to being a Colt.

Ballard, himself, was very candid in his time with the media on Sunday, too. Individual period work will be Ballard's initial start to camp as he gets closer and closer to 100 percent. Ballard, who will wear No. 26 this season, talked on Sunday that during his nearly two full offseasons of rehab he has received plenty of wisdom from Robert Mathis and Reggie Wayne, and even a book suggestion from locker mate Andrew Luck. Colts.com will have more on Ballard's journey on Sunday night.

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