5. Chuck Pagano is the Head Coach for 2017
Despite speculation that Ballard sought to hire Kansas City Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub instead, incumbent Colts head coach Chuck Pagano will remain the franchise’s head coach–at least for 2017.
Even with multiple years remaining on his deal, Pagano is essentially a ‘lame duck’ next season, meaning the Colts have to show significant improvement in 2017–particularly on defense.
Whether Pagano was forced onto Ballard by team owner Jim Irsay–we may never know, but the Colts new general manager at least made the appearance that there was never an issue of whether Pagano wasn’t the guy going forward next season:
"“There was no other options,” said Ballard. “Chuck Pagano. Chuck Pagano is a good football coach in the National Football League. Three 11-5 seasons, went to the AFC Championship Game, had two 8-8’s back-to-back, but he’s won 49 games. We need to keep our eye on how hard it is to win in this league. It is hard to win, and he’s won 49 games in the National Football League.” “No, it was Chuck Pagano and his staff, and we’re rolling.”"
In fact, Ballard later mentioned just how important the head coach, general manager dynamic truly is–something that clearly doomed the Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano pairing in recent seasons:
"“It’s essential,” added Ballard on head coach, general manager cohesiveness. “So I just left a place where John Dorsey and Andy Reid are tied at the hip, and they make decisions together. Me and Chuck will make decisions together for the best interests of the Indianapolis Colts.”"