INDIANAPOLIS — Time to move on.
As much as fans and the media want to continue talking about last week’s impressive 27-7 road win over defending NFC champion San Francisco, the Indianapolis Colts — particularly head coach Chuck Pagano, quarterback Andrew Luck and several of the team’s veteran defensive players — know that they can’t dwell on that success.
Not with AFC South rival Jacksonville coming up Sunday at Everbank Stadium. Yes, the Jaguars have yet to win a game this season. But it’s a division game against a franchise that has given the Colts a fair share of difficulty over the years.
And as good as Indianapolis looked against the 49ers, the Jaguars will offer up their own special set of challenges.
“There’s always going to be things to clean up,” Pagano readily admits. “That’s the great thing about our guys. They’ll be the first ones [to admit their mistakes]. We had a long flight home [from San Francisco] and every one of those guys — coaches and players — they get that game pushed to the iPads. The first thing everybody’s doing is they want to go watch the game. And the players are the first ones to come up to you with their coaches and say, ‘I could have did this better. I should have made this block on this run.’
“[But] it’s never going to be perfect. We’re chasing perfection always. We’re trying to get better each week. We got better [against the 49ers] as a football team. We’ll point those things out when they come in [for practice this week]. Like I said, most of those guys have already pointed out a lot of the errors. There wasn’t many, but there’s always going to be something.”
The key this week is to keep their focus intact.
“We’re going to enjoy [the San Francisco win]. But we’re going to stick to the process. We’re not worried about our opponent. And that isn’t in a disrespectful manner. It’s not about them. It’s about us,” the Colts coach continued.
“It’s about how we prepare, it’s about how we handle our business. It’s how we practice on Wednesday, it’s how we practice on Thursday, it’s how we handle Friday. It’s how we handle success. But we all understand that it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. And it’s week [four]. We have an opponent coming up Sunday.”
The process continues each week. There’s no time to let up in preparation, Pagano stressed.
“Games are really hard to win at this level in the National Football League. You just look across the board and every week, every Sunday, you better prepare. You better go execute. You better go play your fanny off because every [game] is difficult,” he said.
“Every one of them is hard. And it’s hard to win on the road. We’re going to do the things that we have to do to get better week-in and week-out and then go play.”
Facing a Jacksonville team that would like nothing better than to secure it’s first win of the season against Indianapolis is the job at hand right now.
“It’s a big week, a huge week for us. Division game. We know what our ultimate goal is and the easiest way to get into the [playoffs] is to win the division. So our guys understand the importance of this game and this week,” the Colts coach said.
“We’ll go back to work. We’ve got to have a great week of preparation just like last week. If we do that, then we’ll give ourselves a chance to play well down in Jacksonville on Sunday.”
To emphasize his point, the Colts coaching staff had fake mouse traps with cheese placed in every player’s locker this week. The message? Don’t get caught in the trap of overlooking the Jaguars.
BROWN STILL IN THE MIX
Running back Donald Brown isn’t expected to get lost in the shuffle just because the Colts have a 1-2 punch in Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson.
“They all have a role,” the Indianapolis coach said. “[Brown] is still effective in his own right. He’s a home-run hitter. We know what Don can do.”
BRAZILL DUE BACK
Wide receiver LaVon Brazill is scheduled to re-join the Colts next Monday after serving a league-imposed four-game suspension for violations of the substance abuse program.
Brazill has not practiced with the team since the end of training camp and the pre-season.