“I think everybody, if you read the papers, everybody’s still saying the Colts are fool’s gold,” Pagano said. “I think I read that one. I shouldn’t read that stuff, but in this league what we did last year was last year. This is, ‘what have you done for me lately?’ In the National Football League, we’re all judged by wins and losses, and so that was last year.
“We can sit there and read press clippings and pat ourselves on the back and certainly get complacent. We’re not going to get complacent. You get complacent in this league, you go right back to where you were. It’s kind of unfinished business for us.”
There’s that phrase again.
It permeated nearly every aspect of Sunday’s first day of on-field work at AU.
When the Colts lined up for that playoff game in Baltimore, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was in the hospital with a surprise ear infection he’d discovered that morning. Some players the team was counting on were injured, and a crowd that’s always hostile toward Indianapolis was further stoked by the pending retirement of legendary Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
But the Colts’ goal remained the same. And it’s a goal that will never change.
“When we were in that stadium in Baltimore, no matter what, no matter who was in the hospital, who wasn’t playing, who was playing, that team believed that we were going to keep winning, all of us did,” Grigson said. “It was a big pit in all of our stomachs from then, and we want to obviously build off that because we owe that to our fans.
“We owe that to ourselves. And for all the hard work we do, all the sacrifices we make, all the time we spend away from our families, why not have the expectation to win it all? I don’t see why you get up in the morning and do this if you don’t have that expectation.”