The hope and optimism that encircled the Indianapolis Colts in July and August, gaining steam as Andrew Luck returned from injury, died on a sun-sprinkled Christmas Eve in Oakland.
Chuck Pagano’s Colts were bounced from the playoffs with a week to play.
Pagano was Pagano on Monday, professing to hear nothing of the simmering firestorm that surrounds his job status, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star reports.
He smiled. He joked. “Sun came up, key fob worked, door opened, got another day,” he quipped. He was serious, though, when he needed to be serious, unhesitantly hurling the blame on his shoulders for his underachieving football team.
“I take full responsibility for everything,” he declared. “That’s what comes with this job.”
As the minutes passed, though, Pagano did allow a bit of frustration to creep through.
“I don’t hear it, I don’t listen to it, I don’t pay attention to it,” he said of the criticism before acknowledging his family can’t say the same.
“I hate it for them. I can deal with it. I hate it for my wife and kids who have to read it, watch it, whatever. Have to calm them down, tell them to keep their blinders and earmuffs on … they’re passionate, passionate, passionate about this football team, and they’re pissed. Not about that stuff. Because we’re not winning. That’s what they’re pissed at me about. They still love me, but they’re pissed.”