As sports fans around central Indiana tuned into 1070 The Fan late Saturday night, the dial was turned up a few notches when one of the newest Pacers fans hit the airwaves.
Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano called into Pacers Overtime hosted by Eddie White to share his thoughts on what he just witnessed inside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“There’s absolutely no quit in them and they fight their tails off,” Pagano said of the Pacers Game Six victory to even the Eastern Conference Finals at 3-3.
“They answer the bell every time Miami shows up and starts to make a run. They play great defense and that’s a credit to Frank (Vogel) and those players and what they stand for.”
Pagano was one of numerous Colts coaches and players that took in the Pacers 91-77 victory to force a winner-take-all Game Seven tonight to decide the Eastern Conference.
After a season in which the Colts silenced critics with an 11-win campaign and a berth into the playoffs, the Pacers are following suit.
NBA analysts around the league made the Miami Heat the popular pick in five or six games this series but now it’s the Pacers who are 48 minutes away from advancing to the NBA Finals.
“I think it speaks volumes about this state, this city, these fans, the men and women—it’s blue collar all the way,” Pagano said of the Pacers’ style of play.
“It’s go out, put a hard days work in, play together as a team, fight your tails off and don’t let the pundits seal your fate.”
With All-Star forward Danny Granger playing just five games this season, the Pacers have relied on others to emerge and now they have a chance to dethrone the defending NBA Champions.
“I think that’s the same thing Frank has instilled in his team and those players, they play together,” Pagano said. “They play together as a team and I have a feeling they are going to go down there and get this thing done (tonight).”
Tags: chuck pagano
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Excuse Chandler Harnish and Andrew Luck for staring.
This offseason the two Colts quarterbacks have been introduced to a third member in their quarterback room and he isn’t your typical backup.
Matt Hasselbeck’s resume is littered with Pro Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl berth and 15 years of NFL experience.
“You can see Chandler (Harnish) and Andrew (Luck) look at him and go ‘Whoa, this guy comes out slinging it’ and just has run the concept so many times the ball comes out quick,” Colts quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen said. “He knows what’s going on, the way he studies and then just has a professional air about him that’s different from your average football player.”
“There’s a guy that after that many years, you’d dread these (OTA) practices. He might be the most excited, comes in excited every day and has some fun and keeps the place loose. He’s been terrific.”
Hasselbeck is still in the early stages of his time with the Colts but the impact he has had with a pair of second-year quarterbacks is evident.
“He’s first class all the way,” Harnish said of Hasselbeck. “He’s fun, he’s down to earth, he’s energetic.”
“I was telling (Christensen), for a 37-year old, (Hasselbeck) throws the ball extremely well, he’s good in conditioning. I’m hoping that I’m half as good as he is at that age. It’s easy to respect a guy like that and follow him because he’s a Super Bowl quarterback, Pro Bowler, been around for a long time and played with some of the greats.”
On the brink of 200 games played in the NFL, Hasselbeck had a decision to make this offseason.
He could close the book on a career that many quarterbacks dream of, instead, Hasselbeck has decided to take one more challenge, one that doesn’t include a starting script, but the need to mentor a youthful quarterback room in trying to add a Super Bowl ring to an already lengthy resume.
“I think it just speaks to his character of the type of guy he is,” Harnish said of Hasselbeck joining the Colts.
“He’s about making this world a better place and using this platform to affect those guys younger than him, whether it’s a teammate or someone just out in the community.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish, Clyde Christensen, matt hasselbeck
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