Colts safety Tom Zbikowski spotted the Steelers jersey in the front row right away .A few minutes later, he asked first-year coach Chuck Pagano to take care of the offensive sight.
Armed with a new Andrew Luck jersey and an ultimatum, Pagano enticed 24-year-old Anderson native Zach Simmons to make the smart decision – changing his shirt so he could stick around for the rest of Monday afternoon’s training camp practice. Yes, the Steelers-Ravens rivalry now includes a handful of former Ravens in Indianapolis.
”He (Zbikowski) saw it and said, `Look Coach we got to do something about that,”’ Pagano said. ”I went over there. He’s a huge (Bruce) Arians fan, obviously, and Mewelde Moore. So with a little bit of coaching and a brand new Andrew Luck jersey, I said, `Look, you’ve got to put this jersey on. If you do it, you get to stay, if not we’ve got to escort you out of here.”’
Arians, the Colts’ new offensive coordinator, and Moore, a running back, are former Steelers.
It’s the latest twist in one of the NFL’s hottest rivalries and one that these ex-Ravens simply can’t let go of yet.
On Monday, it was all in good fun. On Aug. 19, it will be serious business as the new Colts face Pittsburgh in a nationally televised preseason game.
Simmons said there was a simple explanation for his attire at Anderson University, a Division III school about 30 miles northeast of the Colts’ team headquarters and a world away from Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
”I’m trying to get Bruce Arians and Mewelde Moore’s attention,” Simmons said. ”I am still kind of in shock, but it was pretty cool for my buddies I came with.”
He caught everybody’s attention.
After practice, Simmons met new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, Arians and Moore.
Pagano just hopes he doesn’t have to see the site of another Steelers jersey until that preseason game.
”It’s kind of our motto. You are either all the way in or you’re all the way out,” Pagano joked. ”He wanted to see practice and Bruce so it was a good deal.”