INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano has covered a lot of ground in his first nine days on the job in Indianapolis.
He and General Manager Ryan Grigson, who joined the Colts on January 11, have been busy with the task of building a coaching staff, among many other projects.
There are many jobs for the pair to attack, but building the staff is a chief priority. On Thursday, Indianapolis announced Greg Manusky as its new defensive coordinator. Manusky joins the club after 11 previous seasons in the league, most recently with San Diego.
Manusky joins Bruce Arians, who returned to the club as offensive coordinator earlier in the week. Arians was the team's quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000, and he spent time with Pagano in Cleveland.
Pagano is pleased to have the two components in place.
"It's great to have Greg Manusky aboard," said Pagano. "Greg's been a player and a coach in this league for a long time. I think his resume speaks for itself. He will bring great leadership and passion and energy to our organization and the defensive side of the ball. It's great to have Greg aboard.
"Bruce has called plays at the highest level. He's won a Super Bowl. He understands how to develop quarterbacks, especially young quarterbacks. Bruce and I go back a long time. His philosophy matches our philosophy. The pieces we're going to put around him and his passion and energy…he's a brilliant guy. He thinks outside the box. I feel really fortunate that Bruce is with us."
Indianapolis also announced Marwan Maalouf has joined the team as special teams coach, along with Roy Anderson, who will work with the safeties. Additionally, Clyde Christensen will remain with the Colts, tentatively as quarterbacks coach.
While the staff still is being assembled, it is not a process that will be rushed.
"I think it was important to get the coordinators settled. We got two great ones, and a special teams coach in Marwan Maalouf," said Pagano. "Roy Anderson on defense came with me from Baltimore and should be a secondary position.
"It's all coming together between Ryan (Grigson) and myself and Mr. (Jim) Irsay. We're going to take our time. It's not something you want to rush into. It's not like you have to put together a staff and send them out recruiting, so to speak in college terms. There are some great, great coaches out there who want to come to Indy and want to be a part of this organization."
Every NFL head coach has a full dance card as far as things with which to stay busy. Pagano is a 28-year coaching veteran, and he has spent nine days in his first head coaching role. He was asked Thursday if his first nine days have been everything he expected.
"And more (laughs)," said Pagano. "Obviously, it's very exciting. There's a ton of work to do. I've got tremendous support, starting with Mr. Irsay and Ryan Grigson. Everybody in the building and the organization has just been phenomenal. It's a team effort. We're all in this together. Everybody has got everybody's back. You take it one day at a time.
"It's kind of like we tell the team and defenses I've been a part of, 'One play at a time, 60 minutes, all you got.' That's how we're approaching this thing."