Chuck Pagano Ranked #11 in NFL.com Head Coach Power Rankings
According to NFL.com Media Analyst Elliot Harrison, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is the 11th best at his coaching position in the entire NFL:
"11. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis ColtsBack in 2012, no one really knew what to think of Pagano — specifically with regard to what kind of job he could do. He’d implemented a plan for the Colts, only to miss almost the entire season while fighting leukemia. Yet, over the last two seasons, Indianapolis has improved, winning one additional playoff game each season. His players play for him, and that, as much as anything, is indicative of a solid head coach."
Having been named the Colts head coach in 2012, Pagano’s teams have steadily improved each season under his leadership, having never missed the playoffs. The Colts went from a Wildcard appearance in 2012 to an AFC Championship game appearance just recently this past season.
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
However, Pagano is entering the last year of his current contract with the Colts, and while both sides remain optimistic, a long-term contract has yet to be reached. There’s no question that Pagano is the ultimate player’s coach and a great leader of men, as his players simply love playing for him.
Nevertheless, his teams have struggled mightily against the New England Patriots (0-4), with two of those losses resulting in season-ending blowout losses in the playoffs. If Pagano wants to rise into the truly elite company of NFL head coaches, he’ll have to eventually find a way to beat Bill Belichick‘s New England Patriots, who’s the #1 rated coach in the NFL.com power rankings, which is clearly no easy task.
For starters, fixing the Colts inconsistent run defense would go a long way and may ultimately be the difference between Pagano remaining with the Colts long-term or finding a new coaching job elsewhere. Something that the defensive minded head coach has already admitted to:
"“It’s our Achilles heel right now,” Pagano said earlier this offseason regarding his run defense. “We either get it fixed or it will be somebody else getting it fixed.”"
Either way, Pagano is widely respected throughout league circles and is considered as one of the better head coaches in the entire NFL. Still, with the Colts in “win now” mode, he’ll have to find a way to get that New England Patriots monkey off his back or win an elusive Super Bowl championship before he can be truly considered among the league’s best.
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