Pagano: 'I Will Forever Be A Huge Luck Fan'

Andrew Luck announced his retirement Saturday night.

Chris Emma
August 25, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Chuck Pagano, left, and Andrew Luck in 2015

Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) During his sudden retirement speech Saturday night, quarterback Andrew Luck pointed out how it was only fitting that former Colts coach Chuck Pagano was on the sidelines as the Bears' defensive coordinator.

Luck and Pagano shared a close relationship during their six seasons together from 2012-'17, and that was something Luck praised during his remarks after surprisingly announcing his decision to retire at  29.

A day later, the Bears on Sunday released a statement on behalf of Pagano.

"Andrew Luck is one of the best individuals, teammates and competitors I have ever been around in my lifetime, forget an outstanding football player and leader of men," Pagano said in the statement. "He is selfless, brilliant and always prepared like no other for the team and carried the Colts organization on his back, including seven fourth-quarter comebacks in his rookie season, two AFC South division titles, three consecutive playoff berths to start his career and the 2014 AFC Championship game. When he could not go in 2015 and again in 2017, it absolutely crushed him because he could not be there for his team and their passionate fans. It took great courage to make his decision to walk away from the game, but no matter how difficult he did what his heart told him and I am proud of him for being honest with himself and the team. With Andrew, it was always about more than football, and I will be forever grateful to him for his support during my personal battle with leukemia. Our friendship extends well beyond player-coach and I wish him, his beautiful wife, Nicole, and their growing family nothing but the best. I will forever be a huge Andrew Luck fan."

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Pagano was 53-43 as head coach of the Colts before his dismissal at the end of the 2017 season. He arrived with the team in 2012 as it prepared to make Luck the top overall pick in the draft.

Luck's decision to retire came in surprising fashion, with the seven-year NFL veteran admitting he had been worn down from dealing with injuries, most recently a calf/ankle ailment that had jeopardized his status for the 2019 season.

The Bears earned a 27-17 win over the Colts on Saturday in thier third preseason game.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.