When bringing in a new head coach, everyone always wonders how he is going to do compared to the guy he is replacing. We now project Coach Reich’s success compared to Chuck Pagano.
It is always hard to go through a coaching change. Players have to learn new systems, the new staff has to build chemistry with the players, and they have to do the same amongst themselves. It is also difficult to project just how well the new head coach will do.
But that is a fair question to ask; will Frank Reich succeed more than Chuck Pagano did? Reich seems like a tough, hard-nosed guy. He also seems to have a good grasp on offensive concepts to make life miserable for other teams. But Pagano had a track record of success, especially early on.
Pagano improved every year in his first three years. He started out taking the Colts to the Wild Card round, then to the Divisional round, and then the AFC Championship game from 2012-14. He had the team one step away from the Super Bowl.
Ultimately though, that’s where the team plateaued. They never could get to the next step. That isn’t all on him, as former GM Ryan Grigson failed to improve the roster in many ways. But Pagano still had many late game blunders, and had issues scoring early in many games as well.
Reich will need time to be measured up against Pagano. Based on everything he has said, the team should have a better mindset. But the team also has injuries that will dictate its success, mainly the shoulder of Andrew Luck. Reich also needs help from GM Chris Ballard to continue to put young talent into the organization.
Reich will have a tough time getting to Pagano’s top achievement, but if anyone can do it, it’s Reich. He should have this Colts team competing for divisional championship again in no time, and maybe perhaps a Super Bowl run or two.