Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has been on the hot seat since Week 1 of the current NFL season. Newly appointed GM, Chris Ballard, kept a close eye on Pagano and his staff all year to determine if overall is necessary. That looks to be the case after seventeen consecutive weeks of poorly coached football in Indianapolis.
The Colts suit up Sunday in their season finale against the Houston Texans in the comfortable confines of Lucas Oil Stadium. This will be a battle for third-place in the AFC South which is currently occupied by Houston at 4-11.
After a disappointing season, even without quarterback Andrew Luck, Pagano has managed to lead his team to a 3-12 record, underwhelming at all measures, to say the least. The Colts are on a six-game losing streak and Sunday’s game could mark the seventh consecutive loss leading into the season’s end.
During Pagano’s tenure with Indianapolis, the Colts are 52-43, good for a .547 winning percentage. In Pagano’s first three seasons as head coach, the Colts went 11-5 and reached the playoffs each year from 2012-2014. In that same span, Pagano amassed a 3-3 playoff record. After the 2014 campaign, Pagano and the Colts underperformed in back-to-back 8-8 seasons during 2015 and 2016.
2017 was Pagano’s last test in front of GM Chirs Ballard and he did not fair well. At the end of Sunday’s game, Pagano and the majority of his staff will likely be overhauled for new faces and voices come 2018. The raspy pep talks from Pagano have become toned out in the locker room and fans are tired of hearing the postgame sorrows and positivity he erks out each week.
Pagano is a soft football coach and that is not in Indy’s identity. Tony Dungy was soft as well, but Peyton was far from soft. Peyton demanded respect and effort day-in-day-out. That is the kind of coach that needs to come in.
There have been rumblings of a possible Jon Gruden presence in Indianapolis, but I do not see him coming out of the booth to coach a debacle of a football team. Gruden already turned the job down last summer when Colts owner Jim Irsay personally reached out to him.
Another offensive minded option would be the New England Patriots OC, Josh McDaniels. Coming to Indianapolis would be ideal for McDaniels. He would get to work with one of best quarterback talents in the NFL, Andrew Luck, and if Luck does not start the 2018 season, he will be working with former Patriot quarterback, Jacoby Brissett who McDaniels thinks very highly of. It is inevitable that McDaniels will get a head coaching job this offseason, but it is a matter of where.
The third and final option I will propose is Matt Nagy. Nagy is the offensive coordinator in Kansas City, the same organization Chris Ballard came from. Through the early part of the season, Kansas City had one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. Quarterback Alex Smith is not a superstar by any means, but Nagy has made it work. Not to mention he had his hand in on drafting star running back Kareem Hunt and getting him into the game plan. Look for Nagy to be on the move and possibly making a move to Indianapolis this offseason.
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