Despite likely being a coaching casualty during tomorrow’s “Black Monday”, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano still has the support of his players in the locker room.
Even though his team went 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs, Pagano was awarded a game ball in the locker room following the Colts 30-24 win against the Tennessee Titans:
"“Gameball to a guy: mind, body, and soul literally,” said veteran leader Robert Mathis before handing a game ball to Pagano. “Put it on the line. Gave us everything he got, then some. Talking about love, friendship, brotherhood, fatherhood. Whatever you want to call it. We love you. Game ball for ya.”"
While it’s been fair to question Pagano’s coaching ability at times, one thing is for certain that he continues to be beloved by his players. Even NFL.com’s Albert Breer has reported that one Colts player said that his teammates still have Pagano’s back and that he hasn’t been the problem:
To be fair, Pagano did win 8 games this season with only 7 starts from Andrew Luck and having had to play 5 quarterbacks on the season.
Still, the Colts do have the luxury of playing in the woeful AFC South and continue to suffer too many blowouts against the NFL’s better teams.
For perspective, Pagano is 20-4 against the woeful AFC South in 4 seasons (.833), yet 21-19 (0.525) against everyone else. Overall, he’s 41-23 (.641), which is certainly good, but could admittedly be better–being in the AFC South.
That being said, the embattled head coach continues to be beloved by his players and remains highly regarded as a stand-up leader of men–even if Sunday likely was his last game coaching the Colts: