Colts Reportedly Held ‘Players Only’ Meeting Last Week Amid Turmoil
According to the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder, several Indianapolis Colts leaders including Robert Mathis and D’Qwell Jackson organized a ‘players only’ meeting last week in an attempt to limit the distraction that has arisen from the front office and coaching staff’s disconnect:
"“Indianapolis Colts team leaders called a players-only meeting last week to urge teammates to block out distractions stemming from the turmoil between their coaches and the front office, according to multiple players,” writes Holder. “Players and coach Chuck Pagano have insisted the locker room was the one place unaffected by the internal issues that continue at Colts headquarters,” Holder. “But, over time, concern among players has grown, with some feeling they were beginning to be personally affected and such a meeting was necessary to try and salvage the season.”"
This only confirms what we’ve speculated all along, that some of the Colts struggles can be attributed to the top of the organization where there’s obviously some dysfunction, or at least disconnect between the front office and coaching staff:
"“Chief among them: coach Chuck Pagano and his staff are being directed to follow lineup decisions — usually the coaches’ prerogative — made by the front office, something numerous NFL sources confirmed,” writes Holder. “This has been a recurring source of irritation for Pagano and his coaches. During the past several weeks, and even dating to last season, there have been instances in which, sources said, players approached Pagano or his assistants with suggestions or requests, only to be told they could not act on the ideas because of forces beyond their control.”"
The Colts entered the season as a potential championship contender, but turmoil began before the season even started as speculation swirled just prior to the team’s regular season opener that head coach Chuck Pagano could be coaching for his job and didn’t necessarily expect to return at season’s end.
Nov 2, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Having entered the season with championship aspirations, such tension has trickled down to the players, who are now feeling the ill-effects. However, championship contenders have continuity and cohesiveness–from the top down, where the front office, coaching staff, and players are expected to perform for each other, not themselves.
Right now, the Colts seemingly have some dysfunction, and it’s not just all on the football field. While the players poor play so far can’t solely be attributed to the front office and coaching staff’s disconnect, it certainly hasn’t helped matters this season.
Hopefully, the players only meeting will help the Colts mitigate the distractions and get this season salvaged. Per Holder, the results so far have been positive:
"“So, the Colts’ leaders — among them linebackers D’Qwell Jackson and Robert Mathis — have been trumpeting the need to ignore distractions and focus on football. The word is getting through, players said,” writes Holder."
That’s definitely a good thing because right now, time is of the essence for the Colts at 3-5 facing a 7-0 Denver Broncos team this Sunday–desperately in need of a win.