Chuck Pagano Reportedly Turned Down 1-Year Extension From Colts


Earlier, it was reported that the Indianapolis Colts have no plans to extend Head Coach Chuck Pagano. However, according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 in D.C., the team did in fact offer their head coach a modestly increased 1-year extension, he just turned it down:

To her credit, Russini has already broken several offseason signings before some of the bigger named NFL media personnel. While this report conflicts with earlier reports, either way it doesn’t look like Pagano will be signing an extension before the season begins at this point.

Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If this report is true though, it looks as though Pagano is clearly taking a chance on himself and the hopes that his team will have a highly successful 2015. It’s hard to necessarily blame him either, as the team has already added some high-profile veteran talent this offseason and at the very least, should be led by a well-rounded highly potent offensive attack. He could parlay that success into a more lucrative multi-year extension with the team.

No one can question that Pagano is highly liked by his players in the locker room and is a “great leader of men”. However, the Colts really have no incentive to give him a lucrative long-term contract at this juncture. Their wait and see approach makes a great deal of sense, as they have all of the leverage right now.

Pagano’s teams have consistently improved in his 3 years with the team, from losing in the Wild Card round in his 1st season in 2012 to losing in the AFC Championship Game just recently, with a Divisional Round appearance in between. However, he was brought in for his defensive mind and expertise, and while the unit has improved under Pagano’s tutelage in his 1st 3 seasons, it hasn’t been the great defensive unit that owner Jim Irsay perhaps envisioned.

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If nothing else, Pagano will have to find a way to beat

Bill Belichick

‘s Patriots (0-4), where he’s so far been on the wrong side of two season-ending blowouts. One could make the case that his teams have largely been outmanned from a personnel standpoint, but at a certain point, especially with this year’s clearly upgraded roster, there may no longer be anymore valid excuses.

It’s uncertain if 2015 is necessarily a “do or die” year for Pagano, as it will be admittedly hard to surpass last year’s AFC Championship Game appearance as far as the season’s overall success. Perhaps, more than anything else, Pagano’s team will have to show significant improvement, particularly on the defensive side of the football where his unit has clearly struggled against the run. Pagano has even indicated that he could be on the hotseat if that area of his defense doesn’t improve:

"“It’s our Achilles heel right now,” Pagano said. “We either get it fixed or it will be somebody else getting it fixed.”"

As mentioned, it also won’t hurt if his team can better compete against Belichick’s Patriots, where so far they’ve been clearly outplayed, outcoached, and had 2 of his 3 seasons as Colts head coach convincingly ended at the hands of.

Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano walks off the field after losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports