INDIANAPOLIS – As Wednesday was about to dawn, Chuck Pagano's alarm clock sounded.
The early-morning wake-up call started Pagano's eighth day as head coach of the Colts. A 28-year coaching veteran with 10 seasons in the NFL, this is his first role as head coach.
Pagano is entrenched in the club's culture, and he is enjoying his work with a new team
"It's like Groundhog Day for me. The clock goes off at 5:00 a.m. It's been a whirlwind," said Pagano. "It's very exciting, a great opportunity. I'm trying to keep a lot of balls in the air at once without letting any of them hit the floor. It's exciting to meet everyone in the organization. I'm reaching out to the players. I've been very busy along with (General Manager) Ryan (Grigson) trying to put a staff together."
A head coaching position is one of relationships and details. Pagano is working his days the way he instructs players to take care of their business.
"I'm just trying to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time," said Pagano. "Just kind of like the players playing a game, we say, 'One play at a time, 60 minutes (with all you've got.' That's really how I'm attacking this thing. I have great support and great help with everyone around here. They're making it as easy a transition as possible."
One of Pagano's early stated priorities was to reach out to players to establish relationships. It has been smooth work for him so far.
"Change, it's been great," said Pagano. "The guys I've had an opportunity to talk to have been outstanding. Gary Brackett came in an introduced himself. We had a great visit. He's just an outstanding young man. I've talked to Reggie (Wayne). Reggie and I go back to our days at the U (University of Miami). I had a great conversation with him, among other guys. They're excited.
"They've won a lot of games here. They have a Super Bowl under their belt. They understand what it takes to win. Every guy I've talked to, that's all they want to do. That's our goal – to win. That part of it has been outstanding."