The Indianapolis Colts meager playoff hopes came to an end on Sunday. Now the franchise finds itself in the same spot as last season, deciding between rebuilding or slogging forward.
If the 2015 season wasn’t enough reason that the Colts franchise needed some big changes, then 2016 should do it for you. The Colts had the perfect out last year, Jim Irsay could have cleaned house and turned the franchise in a better direction.
But he doubled down on a duo whose relationship was described as “toxic” at one point last year. He kept a coach who doesn’t know how to gameplan and a GM that can’t evaluate talent to save his life.
Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson have to go. The mediocrity of the past two seasons isn’t going to magically improve next year. The AFC South has gotten more competitive (slightly) and the Colts clearly can’t rattle of six straight division wins anymore. The roster building of Grigson has been suspect at best and Pagano isn’t capable of coaching a modern NFL team.
If you want to rehash the good and bad of Pagano and Grigson, we’ve already looked over it. Frankly, there is nothing that points to a reason to keep either one of these men.
Ask yourself: what is the identity of the Colts? What is the one thing they do exceptionally well? What do they hang their hats on? What has this team improved on over the past five years?
Have they adequately developed their young talent? Not really. Has the coaching staff maximized the talent they do have and put the team in a position to be successful from week-to-week? Absolutely not.
More from Horseshoe Heroes
- Colts explored hiring former quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky
- When is the NFL Combine 2023? NFL Combine schedule, events, how to stream
- Latest NFL mock draft has Colts trading up to No. 1 for star QB
- Eagles offensive free agents that could follow Shane Steichen to Colts
- Here’s why Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is going to love Shane Steichen
From an analyst perspective, this version of the Colts has been maddening to cover. They are the most inconsistent team in the league and you have no idea who is going to show up from week-to-week (I’m sure the fans love this too). They seem to make the easiest games a slog and try to force a style of play that this team has never been able to execute.
The biggest issue with this duo is what it has done to the fans. They are apathetic. They don’t care to watch if these two are going to come back and continue the mediocrity. Some fans are talking about dropping their season tickets if Pagano and Grigson are back. Many don’t care to watch a full Colts game, opting for something like RedZone instead.
Apathy is something the Colts brass can’t afford. Indianapolis can at times be a fickle market. The fans are great, but with continued failure will tune out (see the Pacers in the mid-2000s). Sure they’ll rally for a season like 2011 or support a team after an ugly incident (Pacers Brawl in Detroit), but over time that fades.
The fans want to see a franchise headed in the right direction, one that is trending towards being a Super Bowl contender. They have the same aspirations Irsay does, but they’ve realized what Irsay hasn’t yet: that the Colts won’t win a title with Pagano and Grigson.
It may be a year late, but the Colts can still make up for this decision and work towards building a franchise that fans want to follow again.