Colts coach Pagano diagnosed with leukemia
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, 12:22 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS — It took Chuck Pagano less than nine months to instill his fighter's mentality and hopeful spirit in the Indianapolis Colts.
He will need both to survive the biggest battle of his life — leukemia.
In a somber news conference Monday, the Colts announced that their new coach was hospitalized for cancer treatment and probably wouldn't return to full coaching duties this season. He will be replaced on an interim basis by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who worked for the Steelers from 2004-11.
“He will do fine,” Arians said, his voice cracking as he recalled his own fight with prostate cancer in 2007. “I know him. He's a fighter. He's survived tough times already in his life. As a cancer survivor myself, I know that these first few days are really hard on you, but as he and I talked yesterday, it's just a matter of time.”
Team owner Jim Irsay, who began his career as a Colts ball boy in the early 1970s, said the only comparison he could come up with was Vince Lombardi's cancer diagnosis during the summer of 1970.
It didn't take long for the Colts to figure out how to honor the first-time head coach who rekindled excitement in the locker room and around town after the Colts' awful 2-14 season a year ago.
“I asked Mr. Irsay if we would leave the light on in his office permanently till he comes back, and we are going to do that,” Arians said.
The news trickled out publicly just as players and assistant coaches were returning to the team complex after the Colts' bye week and one day before Pagano's 52nd birthday.
He was admitted to an Indianapolis hospital last Wednesday to begin treatments for acute promyelocytic leukemia, an illness in which the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells that interfere with healthy blood cells.
Pagano's physician, Dr. Larry Cripe, said the coach will be treated with chemotherapy and drugs — a process that usually requires patients to spend four to five weeks in the hospital. Irsay said he expected Pagano to stay a bit longer, six to eight weeks.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers lineman Adams gets 2nd chance to start
- Steelers rookie RB Bell gets respect from teammates, foes alike
- Steelers notebook: Woodley practices but unsure where he’ll play
- Ex-Steeler WR Wallace: It was a ‘challenge’ for Haley to use me
- Robinson: Cold, hard truth about Manning
- Steelers coach Tomlin fined $100K by NFL
- Steelers notebook: Cotchery says Tomlin turmoil not a distraction
- Offensive line injury bug continues to linger for Steelers
- Kovacevic: The Steelers’ longest half-yard
- Steelers’ Bell earns respect of his peers
- Video shows new angle of sideline play involving Steelers coach Tomlin