INDIANAPOLIS – By default, Chuck Pagano is still the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. On Jan. 21, Jim Irsay said Pagano would be back for 2017 but wouldn’t give him much of a confidence builder past that. Yesterday, new general manager Chris Ballard pretty much ecoded Irsay’s statements saying that Pagano will be his head coach for 2017, but they’d reevaluate his status for 2018 once the 2017 season is done.
Translation – Super Bowl or bust.
Pagano is a nice guy, but his coaching abilities are the worst I’ve ever seen in all of sports at any age level. He has none. I don’t think much of the Colts’ lack of success the last two seasons have been much on anyone else than Pagano. He’s the culprit of all of this and here he is back in 2017.
But, Ballard didn’t hire Pagano in 2012. Ballard, has no ties to him and can cut his losses after next season and bring in his own guys. After yesterday’s introductory press conference, I expect that to happen.
“Look, we’d rather have a down year or two and win a couple of Lombardis than just never have a non-losing season and never winning a Lombardi,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said. “We’re about world championships. I’ve always said, with Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck, let them earn their money,” “Let them go do it with a few less players offensively and give them the defense because in the end, that’s what they want – they want Lombardis more than anything else.”
Even Ballard said that his expectations of a one-year turnaround are slim as he’s not going to go out and spedn a lot of money through free agency. He’s going to work the draft and build in-house.
Another mediocre year in Indy for 2017.
I don’t think it matters if Ballard used free agency and signed an all-star cast of young talent, Pagano can’t coach it. Plus, why go out and spend a ton on free agents this spring only to fire your head coach and maybe go with a new coach with a different scheme? Who says who he signs this year will work for a new coach in 2018?
That’s why he’s going to be relatively quiet in free agency and work the draft this year. That’s why he and Irsay are saying not to expect a big season in 2017. But, for a guy like Pagano who’s coaching for his job of Super Bowl or bust, his job status appears to be affected the most.
8-8 at best for 2017, Pagano being fired and things will really ramp up this time a year from now for a banner 2018.