INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano was one confident head coach on Friday.
Pagano's confidence began in his belief that Matt Hasselbeck (probable) will indeed be ready to go Sunday afternoon in Week 15.
Here are some sound bites from Pagano and Robert Mathis meeting the media on Friday:Chuck Pagano on Matt Hasselbeck's effort this week:
"Really good, really good. He had an excellent day (Thursday).
"Came in (Friday) and did a nice job. He's going to play really good."
Bowen's Analysis: Hasselbeck practiced for a second straight day on Friday and clearly has the backing of his head coach. All signs now point to Hasselbeck starting his seventh game of the season on Sunday, after the 40-year-old quarterback was a little reluctant on his status for Sunday when he met the media earlier this week.
On several occasions during his Friday press conference, Pagano spoke on how much belief he has in the offensive line and running game helping out Hasselbeck this weekend. It goes without saying that those two areas have to play at a high level to alleviate everything Hasselbeck will be dealing with come game time.Chuck Pagano on the return of Anthony Castonzo this week:
"It's good to have 74 back out there."
Bowen's Analysis:* *After missing the past three weeks with a sprained MCL, Anthony Castonzo returned to practice this week. He's listed as probable for a game the Colts definitely need their bookend left tackle.
Getting Castonzo back would allow for the Colts to put Joe Reitz back at his normal right tackle spot. With those two at their regular tackle positions, the Colts line was nearly flawless in their Week Five win over the Texans. Matt Hasselbeck wasn't sacked in 29 pass attempts and Frank Gore ran for a season-high 98 rushing yards.
Robert Mathis on Chuck Pagano's boxing theme this week:
"It was very intense. Pretty much the gist of it is if you get knocked down nine times, get up a 10th.
"Keep fighting. You are never out of it."
Bowen's Analysis: This week, Chuck Pagano showed his team clips of the "Round of the Century"---Round 9 of the 2002 boxing match between Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti. Here is a clip of the fight between two battered and bruised fighters refusing to stay on the canvas.
Players definitely enjoyed the "fighting" mindset that Pagano tried to instill this week. You don't need to remind those guys what is at stake on Sunday. A win, and the Colts will have a great shot at winning a third straight AFC South title. A loss, and the Colts will need a bunch of help to make the playoffs.
Here is Friday's injury report:
- OUT: S-Colt Anderson (ankle), QB-Andrew Luck (abdomen/kidney) CB-D'Joun Smith (knee)
-Luck had a rest day at Friday's practice, continuing to lift weights and do rehab work.
- QUESTIONABLE: WR-Donte Moncrief (toe), CB-Greg Toler (knee)
-Moncrief has never missed an NFL game. He did not practice this week and was seen jogging with trainers during Friday's practice.
- PROBABLE: OT-Anthony Castonzo (knee), CB-Vontae Davis (knee), TE-Jack Doyle (toe), ILB-Jerrell Freeman (hamstring/ribs), QB-Matt Hasselbeck (back/ribs), ILB-D'Qwell Jackson (quad), OG-Hugh Thornton (elbow), OLB-Erik Walden (foot)
-The Colts are going to get some important starters back this week in Castonzo, Davis and Freeman.