After Monday night’s home loss to the Jets, Colts coach Chuck Pagano seemed to criticize quarterback Andrew Luck and G.M. Ryan Grigson simultaneously. On Tuesday, Pagano backed off regarding the apparent criticism of the former.
“It’s really complementing our quarterback is what I was doing there,” Pagano said as to remarks widely interpreted as a slap at the team’s franchise quarterback. “You guys know how many different lineups we’ve had because of injuries and this, that and the other. That’s well-documented over the last three years. The way he’s been able to perform and lead this football team, 11 wins three straight years, playoff wins and all those things. That’s what that was, because we were talking about this, that and the other with the clock [in his head] and it was saying, ‘Hey guys, we got one hell of a quarterback. We’ve got a great player and a great leader there.’ If anybody handles that type of adversity any better then, and there are some great quarterbacks obviously around this league, but again it was more of, ‘Hey we’re lucky that we’ve got Andrew.’ He’s had to deal with that over the course of the first three years when we do have some issues and things break down. Again, people are going to put pressure on you, people are going to come after you in different ways and it’s not always going to be perfect. But that kid has found a way to extend plays and make plays right when everybody thought the down was over.”
Of course, that’s not what Pagano said last night. Last night, Pagano said of Luck, “He’s got to take care of the football. It’s not that hard. It’s not trigonometry.”
Pagano also said regarding Luck’s handling of erratic line play, “[That has] been the case for three years now, hasn’t it? He should be more than comfortable dealing with it.”
Today, the criticism was at a minimum.
“When you look at this thing, thank God we have the guy that we have,” Pagano said Tuesday. “Thank God we have the leaders in our locker room who’ve been able to go through some tough times and bounce back time and time again. You talk about when I got asked the question about the quarterback, the timing, this that and the other, all that stuff. He’s been doing phenomenal things for us over the last three years. He makes huge plays. We put a lot on his plate, and he handles it extremely well. He manages the game. He finds a way when we do have a breakdown here or there in a protection. He’s big and he’s strong and he’s athletic and he can escape and he can extend plays.”
Pagano didn’t offer similar praise of Grigson’s efforts and abilities. On one hand, Pagano wasn’t asked about Grigson. On the other hand, the Pagano-Grigson relationship continues to be the proverbial wildebeest in the bungalow.