Bruce Arians had a good 15 minutes to collect both himself and his thoughts before standing behind the lectern Monday morning.
It didn’t matter. The football lifer, a man whose tough-as-shoe-leather persona helped him ascend to being generally regarded as one of professional football’s most respected assistant coaches, couldn’t hold back his emotions.
Arians’ reddened eyes watered behind the wire-rim glasses he was wearing. Many of his thoughts were delivered in croaked tones. His close friend is ailing, which means Arians is hurting.
“This is not an easy day for all of us,” said Arians, the Colts’ interim head coach for the foreseeable future on the heels of Monday’s announcement that head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. “Chuck has laid a foundation here that is on rock-solid ground. The players know it. The coaches know it. We will continue his fight.”