Colts Notebook: Chuck Pagano Update and Fleener’s Jackhammer

Today's Colts Notebook features quotes and information courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts Public Relations Department. 

Coby “The Jackhammer” Fleener

Yes, the Jackhammer.  Coby Fleener, the well-educated 6 foot 6 inch rookie tight end out of Stanford, self-proclaimed president of the Andrew Luck Fan Club, and proprietor of a rather interesting blog, caught his first career touchdown last week against the Lions (hopefully the first of many), helping to set up what would be a furious fourth quarter comeback victory. 

After the touchdown, Fleener busted out one heck of a unique celebration.  “I call it the ‘jackhammer.’” he said.  “It was actually sent to me via Twitter. I asked some of the fans what should I do in the end zone. Some guys sent in a video and it included the jackhammer. I’ll be sending him the gloves that I caught the touchdown with.” 

Many were curious if we might see more of the jackhammer.  “I think it’ll be a one-time thing,” Fleener said on Wednesday. “Hopefully we can get a little creative with it. You have to get into the end zone before anything like that happens.” 

Apparently, it wasn’t universally loved.  “Mixed,” Fleener said of the jackhammer’s reception. “Some people loved it. Some people hated it and I think that’s what I kind of expected.”  Here’s hoping we get to see a great many more touchdowns and subsequent creative celebrations from the promising rookie. 

 

Pagano Update

As most fans are aware now, Chuck Pagano finished his chemotherapy on Tuesday.  His goal all along, as Interim Coach Bruce Arians likes to remind people, has been to return to the sideline to coach the Colts’ final game of the season, December 30th at home against the Houston Texans. 

Arians is not doubt in an unusual position.  He is filling in for a close friend, who will be taking over for him at some point.  He has had to maintain control while remembering it is someone else’s team.  It probably helps that they are close, and that Pagano is so highly respected by the team and staff. 

Arians talked with the media about the impending, much-anticipated transition, and about whether or not it will be difficult to step down and return to his regular position.  “No, I look forward to Chuck’s return,” he answered, “I really do. It has been an honor to be able to take over and it’s been fun to have the chance to sit in that chair. But I can’t wait for the day that he comes back.” 

Yesterday, Arians was asked if they’ve had to change any light bulbs in his boss’s office.  “I don’t think so,” he said. “I think we’ve got some good ones because they haven’t been off, I promise you that.”  Most fans likely recall Arians’ first order of business as the interim coach was that light in Pagano’s office be left on until his return, a very classy and symbolic gesture. 

Arians also said of Pagano, “I talked to him this morning and he sounded a little weaker. His count is going down, it’s got to go down before it comes back up and he knows it. But his spirits are great and he can’t wait. He knows there’s no more poison going into his body. The chemo is over, now it’s just a matter of getting healthy and strong and strong enough to be able to maintain the grind as a coach.” 

He also addressed the issue of whether or not Pagano would coach in full capacity when he returns.  Some have speculated he might just join the team on the sideline.  But, according to Arians, there will be no partial coaching capacity.  “No, when he is back, he will be the head coach. That will be the doctor’s decision, Mr. Irsay’s decision, and Chuck’s. I welcome the day that he comes back.” 

 

Injury Updates from B.A.

Arians also addressed injuries. “The only two guys that will be out of practice today for sure is Tom Zbikowski and Donald Brown,” he said. “Both will be out for the game. Everyone else we’re still doing impact tests on Joe (Reitz) and Winston (Justice). If they pass their tests, when they pass the test, they’ll be back out. Everyone else will practice and we’ll move on.” 

 

A Few Good Quotes

Wide Receiver Donnie Avery, on appearing to be exhausted after the wild come-from-behind win in Detroit: “I was. I was exhausted after the game. I had to get an IV after the game, first time I’ve ever had to get an IV after a game. I guess just adrenaline and laying everything out on the line.” 

Avery again, talking about playing against a former team in the Titans: “Yeah, it’s always good to see the guys that you worked hard with on the field and then playing against them. We are just trying to do everything possible to capitalize and get a win this week also.”

Vick Ballard on what they can take away from the last meeting and apply to this one: “We ran the ball pretty well. Some of our base run plays we were very effective with them. I think we are going to try and stick with that game plan and hopefully we can have the same result.” 

Bruce Arians on Tom Moore, respected, long-time offensive coordinator for the Colts (from 1998-2010), who is now serving as a consultant with the Titans: “Tom is a lifer. I love him. When I saw him in Jacksonville, he was champing at the bit to coach again. He said I’m going to get back out there and I didn’t know it would be that soon. I’m really happy for him because I know that’s what he wants to do.” 

Arians again, on the Colts’ negative point and turnover differential, which doesn’t exactly match up with an 8-4 record: “That’s probably the, we’re probably just ruining a lot of head coaches speeches. That’s the first thing you always talk about. I always go back to Tom (Moore) because when he was in Pittsburgh, he said, “I think we were minus-25 and won the Super Bowl because every time (Terry) Bradshaw threw an interception, Joe greeted him with a three-and-out.” So it’s still team football. You know, hopefully we’ll start to create some more, we’re starting to get them. Hopefully we’ll protect the ball a little better, keeping the game close and then winning at the end kind of is our style.” 

Vick Ballard on the team’s never-give-up attitude: “B.A. (Bruce Arians) said last week that once you get to the pro level, you are not expected to quit and I guess we just take that to a whole other level. That’s part of our job. We take it with pride. We want to win games too. All that into one just gives us that extra boost in the end.”

 

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Marcus Dugan

About Marcus Dugan

Marcus is a husband, dad, twitter aficionado, and life-long Hoosier who became a casual Colts fan in the early 90s before going all-in during the 8-8 '94 season. He covers news, game recaps, and additional offseason material for The Colts Authority and works as a real estate broker west of Indianapolis.

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