The Indianapolis Colts finished the season with a win over the Tennessee Titans, but changes are coming to the franchise.
The Colts finished the season 8-8 and will have the 18th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Considering the injuries this team suffered it is actually an impressive result. One or two more wins and the Colts are in the playoffs.
Here are a few quick thoughts on the win:
- Josh Freeman will have some nice tape for next season. Freeman arrived in Indy on Tuesday and started for the Colts just five days later. That is incredibly impressive. Any team needing a starter or even backup should give him a look next year (hell, the Colts should too).
- Jerrell Freeman had a “pay me” game yesterday. The other Freeman led the team in tackles, had a pair of sacks, a couple QB hits, and oh yeah that interception for a touchdown. He’s gotten better every season, but needs to do some injury prevention work on his hamstrings if the Colts are going to invest in him (seriously, take a pilates class, do some yoga there’s plenty he can do).
- T.Y. McGill finished the season strong with three sacks over the past two weeks. That says a lot about the competition (Dolphins and Titans) but he’s shown flashes that suggest he could be a good contributor going forward.
We could spend some time talking about a win that ultimately didn’t matter, but there are more pressing issues surrounding the team.
Who’s getting canned today?
It certainly sounds like Chuck Pagano is going to lose his job, or rather not be retained since his contract is up. For some reason he has a press conference later today and then meets with Jim Irsay, which seems a bit backwards.
Pagano is clearly well liked as #KeepPagano was trending on twitter. For the life of me I cannot understand why people are so enamored with Pagano. He is a great, inspirational person who also happens to be a mediocre head coach.
Pagano pushes an antiquated philosophy, doesn’t recognize his team’s strengths, and often times fails to have his team prepared to play. Aside from beating a one-legged Peyton Manning twice, Pagano and his staff don’t appear to know how to adequately game plan and exploit the weaknesses of an opponent (unless it is glaring and slapping them in the face).
That said, his players love him and play hard for him. Pagano clearly has the support of the locker room. But it takes more than inspirational speeches, cleverish t-shirts, and silly gimmicks (poker chips, really?) to take a team to the next level.
However, general manager Ryan Grigson should be walking out the door with Pagano today. Grigson track record is questionable and his meddling is appalling. Forcing a team to not just play, but start bad players to stroke your ego is inexplicable.
Couple that with Grigson not allowing Pagano to adequately discipline his players or pick his own coaching staff, and you have a recipe for disaster.
It is very clear now that Andrew Luck hid all of these problems. He willed the team to multiple wins every year and when you are on top, the little issues get brushed aside.
Irsay needs to reset the franchise once again, if only to build a better culture within the Colts Complex. Irsay isn’t flawless in this situation either. He’s the one who hired and enabled Grigson, a man that cares more about being right than winning.
The kind of culture spewing out of West 56th Street is turning fans off on the Colts. They’re caring less because no one likes to hear about the infighting between a coach and GM. This isn’t indicative of every fan, but many just seem to care less about the team.
If Irsay wants to rebuild the team’s reputation and competitiveness, he’ll clean house this week and start over. There is a very good foundation for the Colts, they just need the right coaching and management.