INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano has said on several occasions that there is not a locker room in the NFL that deals with adversity better than the Indianapolis Colts.
That resiliency might seem like "coach speak" to some onlookers but Pagano's Colts back up that statement with results.
Over the past two years the Colts have followed up a loss with a win in all six chances, a stat that is a recipe for sustained success.
Pagano points to character and veteran leadership as two key qualities in his team always bouncing back.
"They just don't fluctuate," Pagano said of his team. "I keep going back to it, sticking to the process. They've bought into that since day one."
Bounce Back No. 1
at Chicago Bears
Bounce Back No. 2
Green Bay Packers
Bounce Back No. 3
at New York Jets
Bounce Back No. 4
at New England Patriots
Bounce Back No. 5
at Houston Texans
at Kansas City Chiefs
Bounce Back No. 6
at San Francisco 49ers
Bounce back No. 6 came on Sunday as the Colts hit the road and knocked off the defending NFC Champions.
"We wanted to come out of this game and kind of see, 'Okay who are we? Let's find out exactly who we are.' We kind of know what we are. But we found out who we are and what we're about and the identity," Pagano said earlier this week.
"The veteran leadership, the way that these guys prepare, the time that they put in, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, that gives you an opportunity to go do what we did and have these bounce-back games."
Anthony Castonzo has started at left tackle in all six of those contests and he played a key role in win No. 6 on Sunday.
The ability to bounce back is an indication of what the Colts are made of according to Castonzo.
"It shows that we're able to refocus. We don't harp on losses and we're able to focus on the things that we need to fix," Castonzo says. "We practice with a purpose I think is kind of what it shows, that when we go out there practicing after a loss, we're going to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Sunday's win over San Francisco was by far the most convincing of the Colts previous bounce back wins.
The fact that it came against one of the NFL's best teams and a place where visiting teams have not had much success lately only added to the jubilation.
"To see a locker room like that and a plane full of smiling faces and to be able to go do something that nobody thought we could go do, pretty gratifying," Pagano said on Monday.
"Really happy for all those guys, but again, we got to put that one behind us. Twenty-four-hour rule is in effect. This one is over and we already started our preparation on Jacksonville."