Chuck Pagano recently made some interesting comments about the coaching search of the Indianapolis Colts and other teams in the NFL.
Chuck Pagano was once the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, so he’s not only familiar with Indy, but he has experience being in the head coaching interview process. Currently, there are a ton of other coaches in that process right now. With five head coach openings, there are a ton of interviews being requested and set up every day. It seems like the Colts are interviewing every possible candidate. Indy’s list of candidates had grown to 12 before Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson decided to return to Detroit.
However, Pagano isn’t sold that every candidate that interviews for an opening is actually on a team’s list. Not just for the Colts, but throughout the league. Pagano isn’t arguing that franchises are throwing sham interviews to loophole the Rooney Rule, he believes teams have a different motivation. He argues that teams already have an idea of their actual candidates but holds many more interviews to gather intel on the process of other coaches and their respective teams.
In a conversation on ‘The Pat McAfee Show’ about the poor timing of the interviewing process, Pagano went on a tangent and argued that teams are “abusing” the current process with the number of candidates they’re interviewing. Pagano pointed to the Colts having about 12-15 candidates on their interview list and explained that since the process went virtual with the pandemic, teams can feasibly talk to as many candidates as they want. He says teams are “doing research, you’re gathering intel. Because you have all these guys on the virtual, they’re in your conference, they’re in your division, so you’re picking their brains and wasting their time…Getting all those guys’ philosophies.”
Chuck Pagano says teams are interviewing to gather intel on other teams
This is a bit of a strong accusation but it’s believable. Teams obviously try to take every opportunity to get an advantage and others have already criticized the Colts for interviewing everyone just so they can say they held a fair process before ultimately hiring Jeff Saturday. It’s not clear if that’s what’s actually going to happen but a lot of people are convinced it will.
There’s also the other side of the token. The Colts could argue that they’d be foolish to not get to know every candidate. Indianapolis is at a crossroads as a franchise, and general manager Chris Ballard explained that their coaching search would be a slow and in-depth process. Indy is certainly being thorough by getting to know every candidate.
Is every interview an honest one? Maybe, maybe not. There’s no way to test intent so no one will ever know. Chuck Pagano’s accusation may be right or the Colts just really don’t want to leave any stone unturned before they make one of the most pivotal decisions in the franchise’s history.