News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 14, 2013

Pagano expects Colts to bounce back with strong performance

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

ANDERSON — Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano didn’t need to read a tweet from team owner Jim Irsay to know that his team still has plenty of work to do before the 2013 regular season gets underway.

Irsay apologized to fans in a tweet Monday and talked about his disappointment in the Colts’ overall play during Sunday’s 44-20 preseason loss to Buffalo. His latest foray into social media remained a topic of conversation a day later.

Pagano, though, is very aware of what Indianapolis needs to do over the next couple of weeks. Indianapolis wraps up the Anderson University portion of training camp Friday morning.

“Top to bottom, we were all disappointed. We certainly didn’t expect to go out and play [the way the Colts did]. We expect to go out and perform. Individually, again, offense, defense, especially as a team and play well. We didn’t. Like I said, we are disappointed, but not discouraged. We know exactly where we’re at. We’re going to address the things that need to be addressed,” he said Tuesday.

“We’re back in camp mode. We’ll be in camp mode until Friday morning as [training camp] practice is over. It’s business as usual. We’ll stick to the process. There’s no need to panic. But certainly, everybody’s accountable and everybody understands what they have to do. We’ve got a great locker room. We’ve got great leadership. They understand that. The coaches understand that. We’ll go to work and get it fixed and we’ll play better.”

• Evaluating the game tape — The Colts coach says that the team’s issues are very fixable.

“Just like we said after the game, disappointed but not discouraged. We talked about how [the first preseason game] was going to be a great barometer for us. It was going to be a great barometer for the players individually, as units, offense, defense, special teams and as a team,” he said.

“So, we look at the good things. We want to come out and keep working on those and replicate those things and then find the flaws. Find where our weaknesses are and go to work specifically. I told the guys get with your position coach and let’s get a plan to get better at the things we need to get better on.”

 • Playing on national TV — Indianapolis will play its second preseason game Sunday night with a road trip to New York and a game with Eli Manning’s Giants. The contest will be broadcast on Fox Sports.

“Any time you get to play on national TV in New York City against the New York Football Giants, which is a great organization as we know and has got a great head football coach in Tom Coughlin. It’s a great opportunity for us,” Pagano said.

“No. 1, I fully expect this team to bounce back from Sunday’s performance. Again, there was a lot of good things there but it’s a great opportunity. Again, national television, under the lights, everybody’s watching. So, we all expect every man in that locker room, all the coaches, we expect to go play and play well.”

• Roster moves — Indianapolis waived-injured inside linebacker Justin Hickman (foot) and outside linebacker Quinton Spears (hamstring). The Colts added cornerback Johnny Adams and re-signed inside linebacker Monte Simmons.

Should Hickman and Spears clear waivers, both would revert to Indianapolis’ injured-reserve list.

• Fleener out with concussion — Second-year tight end Coby Fleener sat out Tuesday afternoon’s practice after suffering a concussion.

Fleener apparently was hurt during the first half of Sunday’s preseason loss to Buffalo.

No word on how long he will be sidelined. Team medical personnel are following NFL concussion protocols.

• Injury list — Cornerback Cassius Vaughn (wrist), rookie nose tackle Montori Hughes (stinger) and safety LaRon Landry (knee) are all listed as day-to-day.

Rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner (knee) returned for Tuesday afternoon’s practice. Second-year wide receiver Griff Whalen saw limited work due to a groin injury.

Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (shoulder), inside linebacker Mario Harvey (hamstring), tight end Dwayne Allen (foot), safety Joe Lefeged (calf), rookie offensive guard Hugh Thornton (ankle), rookie center Khaled Holmes (ankle), cornerback Teddy Williams (quad), rookie inside linebacker Josh McNary (hamstring) and rookie fullback Dan Moore (shoulder) remain sidelined.

Allen is wearing a walking boot on his right foot and has been using crutches. Lefeged is no longer wearing a walking boot. Thornton and Holmes are out of their walking boots and are wearing ankle braces.