Pagano: Andrew Luck 'got me more years' with Colts

Chuck Pagano offered a good reminder Monday morning how head coaches and their starting quarterbacks are forever linked through the good and bad.

Pagano, who the Indianapolis Colts fired after a 4-12 record in 2017, made an appearance on FS1's "First Things First" and offered high praise for quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed last season with a shoulder injury.

The former Colts head coach added that Luck's presence might have kept him around a little longer in Indy.

"I love Andrew Luck," Pagano told FS1. "He got me more years than I probably deserved. He's a phenom."

The relationship between Pagano and Luck translated to early success with three consecutive 11-5 seasons and postseason appearances from 2012 to 2015.

The wheels on the field, however, started to come off in 2015 and 2016, as Luck began battling injuries and the Colts would go 8-8 and miss the playoffs in both seasons leading to the disastrous 2017 campaign.

Nevertheless, Pagano believes Luck is primed for a comeback as the Colts transition to a new coaching staff under Frank Reich.

"He's in a great place mentally, he's in a great place physically," Pagano said of Luck. "I expect Andrew to be the old Andrew, and come back and play great football this season and beyond. Obviously he's got a lot of work to do. He's got to get back on the grass, he's got to start throwing the football. All those things, that's going to happen, but he's in a great place."

While Luck has yet to have a full-go during organized team activities, the Colts don't appear too concerned with the quarterback's rehabilitation process.

Reich recently said he is "completely comfortable" with Luck throwing when he's ready, while NFL Network's Charley Casserly reported May 11 that the Colts are "very confident" Luck will be ready when the Colts report for training camp in late July.