Chuck Pagano was only able to coach four games in person for the Colts in 2012. The rest of the time, he was either in a hospital bed or at home while successfully fighting leukemia.
Pagano returned for the finale and the playoffs, and now his second off-season with the Colts is one month old.
He has seen staff changes, including the departures of two coordinators, and there have been the requisite additions.
Pagano is back in town after helping scout at the Senior Bowl, and he feels fit after getting back in the groove.
“I feel good,” said Pagano said to Colts TV this week. “Coming back from the Senior Bowl it was great. We had some long days down there. It was good moving around and getting around and things like that.
“Just being back, having that date targeted to get back for the Houston game, coming back to work on Christmas Eve, getting back in the swing of things, I feel really good. I feel very blessed, obviously, to be where I’m at and trying to get some normalcy back in my life.”
Normalcy for the NFL is abnormal to most work environments. Hours are long, irregular. Families have to be forgiving because the schedule is not.
Pagano has been married to his wife, Tina, for years. They met through football while he was at Boise State. Their marriage has included collegiate stops like Miami and North Carolina, while NFL locations prior to the Colts were in Cleveland, Oakland and Baltimore.
No season included a medical struggle like last season, and Pagano cited Tina’s strength.
“She’s a warrior. She was by my side every step of the way. I wonder how she got herself through. She’s just a very, very strong lady. I feel very fortunate to have her.”
They both have appreciated their time in Indianapolis, having found this a very receptive area because of the populace.
“It’s awesome. The way this city embraced (me) and my family, they didn’t know me. It just speaks to the kind of people who live in this city and live in this great state,” said Pagano.
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