Colts try to tamp down pressure for Chiefs game

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm •  Published: January 3, 2014
Advertisement
;

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts coach Chuck Pagano has kept it loose all week.

He's been cracking jokes, encouraging laughter and trying to put football in perspective. He does not want Saturday's playoff game to change the routine, so he is imploring the Colts to make this business as usual — even with the Chiefs coming to town for a wild-card game.

"It's no time to pressure up. It's no time to get outside of anything you've done at this point," Pagano said. "You come in, you meet, you have a walkthrough, you practice well and then you play well. Don't do anything different. Just understand what's at stake. It is one-and-done. That doesn't mean go play tight and those types of things and put any added pressure on yourself. You do that and you're not going to play well."

Pagano has seen what happens when teams play tight. So have Colts fans, more times than they care to count.

It's not easy making a playoff week seem normal.

There are all sorts of potential distractions — ticket requests, travel plans, holiday celebration, even unforeseen medical emergencies. Last year, just before their wild-card game at Baltimore, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was hospitalized. Indy managed only three field goals in a 24-9 loss as a bunch of Colts made their postseason debuts; Arians turned out to be OK and wound up getting hired by the Cardinals.

But the Colts' youngsters learned some key lessons that have helped this time around.

"There can be a little more focus during the week. There can be some more distractions. That's where you really need to sort of hunker down," quarterback Andrew Luck said. "As far as playing the game and practice, we've gotten to this point doing some things well. Let's keep doing those."

Now, it's the Chiefs' turn.

Coach Andy Reid and new general manager John Dorsey followed the same plan Pagano and Ryan Grigson used to rebuild the Colts — new coach, new GM, new quarterback, new roster. Kansas City, like the Colts, went from 2-14 to 11-5 and back to the playoffs with nearly two dozen first- or second-year guys.

A few of the playoff veterans now find themselves explaining to teammates what to expect Saturday.

"I know my first time, I acted like a rookie. I was excited and fumbled the ball twice," AFC rushing champ Jamaal Charles said. "Now I'm going in my second time and seeing other people, becoming a vet, 27 years old, I really want this, I really want to go far, and if I have to put the team on my back, I will."

| |

Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    'Time' unveils its 100 most influential people list
  2. 2
    Michael Phelps on comeback: 'I'm doing this for me'
  3. 3
    Did One Direction Plagiarise Their Latest Music Video?
  4. 4
    Here's How To Stop Videos From Automatically Playing On Your Facebook Feed
  5. 5
    Former Thunder forward Jeff Green 'eminently available'
+ show more