NFL Coach Faces Battle Off Field, Inspires Team to Victory

Indianapolis Colts Coach Chuck Pagano returns to field after battle with leukemia.
2:41 | 12/29/12

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Transcript for NFL Coach Faces Battle Off Field, Inspires Team to Victory
quit one day at a time with nicoderm cq. Finally, tonight, here, the his own battle off the field. They waited for him on it. Tonight, we team up with our espn colleague rachel nichols for one triumphant return. At the beginning of this season the head coach of the indianapolis colts chuck pagano faced heavy odds. The team, fresh off an awful season. Even the fans wondering, where have all of the good times gone? The new pick the rookie quarterback taking over for the departed peyton manning. The coach already facing so much pressure and then, less than a month in, the diagnosis. The 52-year-old coach had leukemia. Away from the field, pagano was facing tremendous hurdles of his own. The coach with our colleague rachel nichols. What were used to do? The simplest things that you couldn't do anymore? Getting out of bed, going to the restroom, brushing my teeth. Things like that. Just it physically tears you down to the point where, you know, you lose 20, 25 pounds, you know, you atrophied. Reporter: The team praying for the team. The team's mantra chuckstrong and the team began to win remarkably turning their record around, making it to the playoffs. And as the coach began to regain his strength, rare visits to the team. I'm dancing to two more wins. And we're hoisting that trophy together. Reporter: The messages from the champions off the field. Fellow survivors. I beat it. It can. You can beat it, too. I know I can. Reporter: The constant checking from doctors of his blood count. Kind of like scoreboard watching, like a coach. Looking at your numbers. The doctor came in and he said, your counts are coming up to good. I said, how were they? He said, good enough to go home. So, you're like -- it's like a day early. So, anyway, he said, what time is the game? I said, we play at 1:00 today. He said you should be out of here by noon and make it home in time to see the game from home. So, that was big. That was awesome. It was a great day. It was a great day. A great day. And tomorrow, an even better one when the coach returns to the field, and you can see more of rachel's interview with him tomorrow morning on "nfl countdown" 10:00 a.M.

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