“We all go into preseason and guys get a certain amount of reps. We know which guys get more and which guys get less. So now it’s like, OK, your first offense, your first defense, the guys on special teams, your core players on teams, they’re all playing together for the first time a significant amount of reps. So I think it’s more just time and getting everybody on the same page. And we’ll get better with each and every week.”
Protecting the football is another issue. The Colts have cut down on fumbles and giving up the ball on interceptions.
“Every week we go in on Wednesday morning when they come back in. We start with a special teams meeting, then we have a team meeting. We go through the keys to victory and that’s first and foremost every time,” Pagano said.
“They get tired of hearing it, but if you protect the football and you take it away. Again, we saw last week, tight ball games it doesn’t matter. It’s the number one indicator, other than score, for wins and losses in the National Football League. So we’re going to emphasize it daily.”
With the Dolphins game coming up, Pagano knows that Indianapolis will be tested on both sides of the ball. The two teams butted heads for four quarters last season at Lucas Oil Stadium, with the Colts pulling out a 23-20 victory.
“(They haven’t changed) that much. Just missing (running back) Reggie Bush. I think anybody would love to have Reggie Bush in their backfield. First and second down run game. I mean he rushed for almost 1,000 yards last year for them. They got more than capable backs back there in (Lamar) Miller and the other guys. I think the tight end, losing (Dustin) Keller, hurt a little bit. They’ve got guys that are capable,” Pagano said.