Bears’ Chuck Pagano remembers time with Indianapolis fondly
Chuck Pagano doesn’t work for the Indianapolis Colts anymore, but he still has very fond memories of his time with the team and its city. Pagano was Indianapolis’ head coach for a handful of years, and he formed a deep bond with the community after he was diagnosed with cancer and battled his way back.
Pagano is now the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, and he’ll be making his return to Indy this weekend for a preseason game against the Colts. Pagano made it clear that he’s looking forward to being back, per Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.
“I was only there a short time before I was diagnosed,” Pagano said. “For that city and that community, the organization, to embrace me and support me and my whole family through that journey, it just speaks to that Hoosier hospitality. Living it like we lived it was truly amazing. Because they didn’t have to do that. But it just speaks to (that) there’s a lot more good in this world than bad. Really, really good people, and I was fortunate to be where I was at the time.”
Pagano is taking over one of the league’s best defenses, so he’ll have big shoes to fill in Chicago. Vic Fangio, the Bears’ defensive coordinator last year, left to take a head coaching job in Denver.
Bears coach Matt Nagy is aware of the importance of this weekend for his top deputy.
“I know how important the city of Indianapolis is to him,” Nagy said.
“You go through what he went through those five or six years there, not just on the football field, but obviously with his research that he’s done there and so many positive relationships — to this day, the friendships that he’s had with so many people in that city. It’s a feel-good story that more people need to know about.”
The Bears and Colts kickoff at 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.