Report: New Colts GM Chris Ballard ‘Intends to Keep’ Coach Chuck Pagano
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, newly hired Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard ‘intends to keep’ current head coach Chuck Pagano:
Ballard’s inaugural press conference is scheduled for 4:15 EST Monday at team headquarters, where Colts fans will get their first live look at their new general manager.
This report comes in the wake of speculation that Ballard ‘wants a change‘ at head coach–specifically seeking to appoint Kansas City Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub as his own appointed head coach.
In the Colts press conference announcing the termination of former general manager Ryan Grigson a week ago, team owner Jim Irsay said that ‘Chuck Pagano is our head coach for 2017’–although it was rumored that a new general manager could potentially force the owner’s hand to actually come on board by mandating his own head coach.
Right now, it’s unclear whether Irsay insisted that Pagano remain as head coach or whether Ballard truly believes he can work with the Colts coach–for at least a season.
Regardless, it does feel like 2017 will be a ‘make or break’ season for Pagano if he actually stays on board as reported.
Next offseason, the Colts will have a fuller list of head coaching candidates to potentially choose from since the termination of Grigson was made so late after ‘Black Monday’.
Additionally, Ballard will have a better idea of whether he can ultimately win with Pagano–or whether it will be time to make a change as part of his evaluation.
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Pagano’s supporters will argue that his players love him, he’s never had a losing season, and it was the lack of talent on defense that has diminished the results.
Meanwhile, critics will point to his underperforming defenses, questionable play-calling regarding clock management, his teams’ poor starts to games, and frequently getting blown out by the NFL’s best teams.
The latter will definitely have to improve if Pagano wants to remain as Colts head coach for the foreseeable future.