Chuck Pagano: Thankful for Today


Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano issued a statement yesterday at a news conference, regarding not reaching a new contract extension with the team. Pagano specifically declared, “Cancer taught me to be thankful for today. All I’m concentrating on is today…I look forward to coaching the Colts this season and for many years to come.”

Per The Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder:

It was reported earlier this week that the Colts were not planning on offering Pagano a contract extension before the season starts. However, there were other conflicting reports indicating that Pagano reportedly turned down a modestly increased 1-year extension.

Oct 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano reacts during the first half against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t appear that Pagano and the Colts will reach an extension anytime soon, as the Colts head coach is set to enter the last year of his contract with “lame duck” status.

It’s not an ideal situation for any head coach, but it certainly isn’t unprecedented, as the Dallas Cowboys just took the same stance with their head coach in Jason Garrett. Of course, Garrett was able to have a successful season with the Cowboys and parlayed that into a lucrative multi-year extension this offseason.

No one can question that Pagano is a high character individual and a “great leader of men”. He’s well liked in the Colts locker room by his players–many of whom would go through a brick wall for. However, he’s 0-4 against the New England Patriots as the Colts head coach, including two season-ending blowout losses. While his defense has steadily improved since 2012, it’s still been mostly an up-and-down unit that has largely struggled against elite quarterbacks.

Still, Pagano’s teams have improved every season that he’s been head coach. The team has made the postseason in all 3 of his seasons as head coach. In his inaugural season, the Colts lost in the Wild Card round, only to lose in the AFC Championship Game this past season, so there’s been steady improvement.

However, at the end of the day, the Colts want to be Super Bowl contenders and will have to make that jump from a really good team to the seemingly NFL’s elite. Pagano beating Bill Belichick‘s Patriots or shoring up the team’s suspect run defense would certainly go a long way with what appears to be an improved Colts roster.

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