Pagano called the demotion a non-injury-related "coaching decision," but Davis -- still battling a groin injury -- argues he was "demoted because of my health instead of my ability," saying: "I take full responsibility. I'm not myself."
"I've been here six years," Davis said. "We've had similar situations where I played hurt. These things happen. And I never got confronted and [no one] said, 'Your play has slipped.' Nothing. I was playing at a level that was acceptable.
"But now, my play slips and this? They should have come to me way earlier and said, 'Vontae, you're not yourself. You're not playing well.' I told the trainers my groin was not responding."
Davis was also piqued to hear of his demotion from defensive coordinator Ted Monachino and defensive backs coach Greg Williams -- not Pagano, who Davis ultimately had a face-to-face meeting with late last week.
"It should be more about the respect. I'm a professional," said Davis, who remains limited in practice. "I've been in [the league] long enough. When I look at the situation, I feel like there was no respect. Knowing Chuck, I figured it would come from him. It really bothered me."
The Colts have plenty of issues right now on both sides of the ball. Davis has long been one of the few defensive players who fans could count on to deliver. After this season, though, that might not be the case.
Set to hit free agency, Davis sounds like a man with one foot out the door after this latest steback, saying: "Right now, change is good. That's how I'm gonna leave it."