INDIANAPOLIS – Colts coach Chuck Pagano is already ditching his doctors advice.
Instead of scaling back his workload, he figures hell work overtime getting ready for Sundays playoff game.
One day after the cancer-beating coach found out he and his team were headed to Baltimore for the AFCs wild-card round, the former Ravens defensive coordinator acknowledged he would spend more time than usual meeting with Indianapolis offense and special teams to tell them everything he knows.
My doc said be prudent, if you remember, but I may not be prudent this week in spending a lot of time in a lot of different areas in trying to get as much information out as I possibly can and help where I can, Pagano said Monday. Again, these guys, theyve got the tape and they will be able to study it from a scheme standpoint what we need to do to go win a football game.
If they need any additional insight, Pagano can provide it.
He spent three seasons as Baltimores secondary coach and 2011 as the teams defensive signal-caller, giving him intricate knowledge about one of the leagues most feared defensive units.
Thats more information than the Ravens (10-6), or any team, would like an opponent to have.
Sure, some of the names and faces in Baltimore have changed since Pagano took the Indianapolis job last January, but hes been around long enough to know what hasnt.
If I tell you, I might as well call (Ravens coach) John (Harbaugh) and tell him exactly what Im telling our guys and then they may go and change everything, Pagano said with a sly smile after being asked what advice he would pass along.
I can sit down and watch some tape with anybody on the offensive side of the ball, with the coaches, and if theres some questions that need to be answered based on coverages, and fronts, and techniques, and personnel and things like that, than obviously having spent the last four years there, I would be crazy not to spend some time with them.
Indianapolis also can get intricate details from some ex-Ravens players. In an effort to speed up the defensive learning curve in Indianapolis, the Colts (11-5) brought in defensive tackle Brandon McKinney, starting defensive end Cory Redding and starting safety Tom Zbikowski. McKinney is on season-ending injured reserve.
All of that additional knowledge could help Andrew Luck and more than two dozen other Indianapolis players better prepare for their first playoff game.
Theyre a great team, Luck said. Obviously, Coach Pagano knows more about them than I do so lean on him if thats who it ends up being, but obviously a historic defense. I know the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis so itll be interesting. But Ive heard its a tough and hard place to play.
The mental chess match is only part of this weeks story line.
On Sunday, Pagano celebrated an emotional win after returning to the sideline for the first time since being diagnosed with leukemia in late September.
This week, hell relive the emotional part by returning to a city that befriend his family and facing a team that put him in position to become a head coach for the first time.
Pagano isnt the only one thinking about the significance of this weekends reunion.
Harbaugh is eager to see Pagano back at work and ready to go.
It will be great. Its something that, in this profession is a big deal, he said Monday. Relationships are important. But by the same token, its a game and theyre the opponent.