INDIANAPOLIS – D'Qwell Jackson is listening intently to Chuck Pagano.
That daily message the head coach is divulging continues to resonate with the new Colts inside linebacker.
When Jackson spurned a trio of other AFC teams to sign with the Colts this offseason, he knew the playoff makeup that Indianapolis had in place.
The nine-year veteran didn't realize he was walking into a building with aspirations that don't end in January.
"That dream of mine, the desire I have to get to the playoffs, that's a given here. We're going to get there. So I've got to wrap my brain around 'You know what? This is about Super Bowls here.' This is about winning the Super Bowl, playing in Arizona," Jackson, who has never experienced the playoffs in his NFL career, says after a month in the Colts offseason program.
"I understood that at first, but now, the more we talk about it, it's like 'You know what? I want to get to the big dance. I want to get to the big show.'"
Jackson's chances to taste postseason play are reaching the final few phases.
What he might lack in January experience, Jackson makes up for with 96 career regular season starts, triple that of any other Colts inside linebacker.
Rookie linebacker Henoc Muamba has already been a recipient of Jackson's vast NFL knowledge.
"A real pro. A real pro," Muamba says of Jackson. "Having him as a mentor, as someone who has done it before, it's great to be able to see something like that and be able to follow his lead.
"He's just been real open to helping the younger guys, including myself, with the whole transition. I see great leadership from him. He really takes his job seriously. He comes in early, takes great notes and most of all he doesn't just help himself, he helps everyone in the room."
After seeing a bit of a revolving door next to him the last two years, Jerrell Freeman has soaked up everything that Jackson has offered the budding star.
With OTAs kicking off this week, Freeman and Jackson are getting a chance to work together in offense vs. defense situations.
"He definitely brings that veteran presence and he knows all about the offenses, the tendencies, the o-coordinators. It's good to have a guy like that," Freeman says of Jackson.
"Something as simple as a motion, we have to be on the same page when plays come in and know where the coverage is going to with non-verbal communication."
The Colts lost a leader on their defense with free agent causality Antoine Bethea.
Jackson, the sixth most experienced player on the Colts roster, is a voice to help fill that void and he's hoping to do it on stages he's always dreamed to play in.
"It's amazing," Jackson says of his new home.
"You think you have it figured out for so many years and you get in the right place, right time and things start to take off for you."