Indianapolis, IN – The Indianapolis Colts introduced new head coach Chuck Pagano to the media on Thursday.
It has been a whirlwind week for the former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator who anticipated being in Indianapolis for another reason.
"I thought, for sure, that I was going to be coming to Indy to play for a world championship," admitted the 51-year-old Pagano. "That's what I thought I was coming here for, certainly not standing here as the next head football coach."
"Words can't describe the emotions that I'm going through right now and the feelings," Pagano said. "Coming off probably the most devastating loss that I've ever been a part of in the AFC championship game and to go in that locker room and see the faces and we all know how hard it is to get to that stage and to see the tears. It's an all-time low, and the last thing I ever expected came across my table and now here I [stand] at an all-time high."
Pagano was the Ravens' defensive coordinator in 2011, and the unit ranked third in total defense and allowed the third-fewest points in the NFL. He was Baltimore's secondary coach for three seasons prior to taking over the defense.
"I can't tell you how excited I am," the first-time head coach added. "It's the next chapter, another journey, and it's going to be a great journey."
Pagano takes over a 2-14 team that could be in a complete transition depending on the status of star quarterback Peyton Manning. The four-time MVP missed the entire 2011 season because of neck surgery, and with Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck available as the first pick in the NFL Draft, Manning's tenure with the Colts is clearly in doubt.
Regardless of the personnel at his disposal, Pagano said he "can't wait to go to work and start building and recreating the excitement and passion and energy that's been here for so long."