Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano was in Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday when word came that Andrew Luck was retiring.
Pagano was the Colts’ head coach for the first six years of Luck’s career.
He released a statement Sunday:
“Andrew Luck is one of the best individuals, teammates and competitors I have ever been around in my lifetime, forget an outstanding football player and leader of men. He is selfless, brilliant and always prepared like no other for the team and carried the Colts organization on his back, including seven fourth quarter comebacks in his rookie season, two AFC South titles, three consecutive playoff berths to start his career and the 2014 AFC Championship Game. When he could not go in 2015 and again in 2017, it absolutely crushed him because he could not be there for his team and their passionate fans.
“It took great courage to make his decision to walk away from the game, but no matter how difficult, he did what his heart told him, and I am proud of him for being honest with himself and the team. With Andrew, it was always about more than football, and I will be forever grateful to him for his support during my personal battle with leukemia. Our friendship extends well beyond player-coach, and I wish him, his beautiful wife Nicole and their growing family nothing but the best. I will forever be a huge Andrew Luck fan.”