Pagano to Colts: Focus on getting to .500, not me
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Colts coach Chuck Pagano told his team before Sunday's game that it needed to focus on getting to .500 rather than winning the game for him.
In an email sent to players earlier this week and released by the Colts during the game against Green Bay, Pagano wrote to players, thanking them for their love and support and insisting he would win his battle with leukemia.
Pagano has been hospitalized since Sept. 26 and missed the game as he continued to undergo treatment.
While team owner Jim Irsay said Monday that he wanted the team to win so it could deliver a game ball to Pagano, the ailing coach told players to focus on being .500 - nothing else - and to have a laser sharp focus against the Packers.
Below is the text of Pagano's letter, provided by the AP:
Dear Colts Family,
On behalf of the Pagano Family, we want to say thank you for all the love and support that you have shown. We can never repay you, but just know that we Love you all and we will always have your backs. We could not get through this without all of you!
All the cards, notes, texts, emails have all been read and digested. It's overwhelming. But right on time.
We will all be better in the long run. Thanks to all the survivors and your personal stories. They are truly inspiring. I know I will beat this, and hearing all the special success stories make the days much better!
You know I am going crazy in here, but nobody understands process better than all of us Colts.
My condition will not determine my position. I understand the condition but choose to focus on my position. That is to stay positive and SERVE.
WE WILL, WE CAN, WE MUST. WE HAVE NO CHOICE. BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. WE WILL OVERCOME.
IT'S ALL IN THE PROPER STATE OF MIND.
There is no better owner in the NFL, period! He has built an organization based on Faith, Family and Football. Don't ever mistake the ORDER.
We all have a job to do. We know and understand that. That's why we signed up for it. We knew there were going to be tough times. This is not for everybody, but I know deep in my heart we are all here because we're supposed to be.
Focus on being 500 by 4:30pm on Sunday. Nothing else. LASER SHARPE FOCUS. That has to be our mind set.
60 minutes, all you got, one play at a time!
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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