INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 4: Head coach Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts looks on during a rookie minicamp at the team facility on May 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Some people like coach speak.
I don't. It's just how I'm wired, and it's likely a reason why I nearly got kicked off my 5th grade basketball team (Orchard Park Elementary, in case you care). I have an inherent dislike for authority, and I cannot control my laugh reflex when someone tells me something that is completely and utterly full of sh*t.
I'm not a football player though, nor am I a coach. Football players are highly impressionable, and coaches are tasked with teaching these players the best way to win. Thus, I understand the need for coaches to sometimes redress words and phrases in an attempt to get players to buy into what they're selling.
Coach speak, as they say.
That's what Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is doing right now as he gets his team ready for the 2012 season. After an offseason where eight of eleven starters on offense were cut or allowed to sign elsewhere; where the front office was completely overhauled; where nearly the entire coaching staff was fired, Pagano insists to both his players and to media that the Colts are not "rebuilding."
You see, "rebuilding" is a bad word. Translated from NFL euphemism into English, it means, "you suck." For a new head coach looking to sell veterans like Dwight Freeney on how it's a good idea to switch from defensive end to linebacker (even though Freeney has never played the linebacker position, ever!), telling them that the roster "sucks" isn't going to get anyone to run through brick walls for you.
So, the Colts and Pagano aren't using "rebuilding." They have a different word to describe a team that is virtually nothing like the one they fielded last season:
Pagano said on NFL Network’s Total Access that the word he prefers to describe his team is "reloading."
"Like I told these guys when I first got here, there’s a lot of players here that, if someone didn’t see something special in them they wouldn’t be in an NFL football facility," Pagano said. "We’ve raised the bar, we’ve raised the expectations. I know everybody is looking in a different direction as far as what their expectations are for us, but we’re certainly not doing that. We’ve got some guys who are running out of time, so to speak, and have high expectations for themselves and the rest of the players here."
Hmmmm... I guess that could work. Here's a few other suggests...
Whatever "re-" Pagano wants to call it, the fact is that the team is rebuilding, from the ground up.
Again, I get the coach speak. I see its relevance. If Colts coaches and players want to call this new era a "reloading process," fine. They can call it Louise for all I care. Just please, PLEASE my friends and readers, don't adopt this silliness yourself. When someone asks you, How's the Colts rebuilding process going? please do not respond back with, We're not rebuilding. We're RELOADING!
The thought of a fan doing that makes me groan out loud.
Coaches and players can buy into that nonsense. Let them do whatever it is they need to do to win. If "rebuilding" means "reloading" to them, bully for them. Media cannot buy into that stuff. Nor can fans. We gotta keep it real. The Colts are rebuilding. Coaches and management can call it anything they want. The word is meaningless. The reality is this organization was stripped down to virtually nothing and then rebuilt with a new vision, a new philosophy.
If you want to call it something other than rebuilding, I accept redecorating. There is a silliness about the word, in this context, that makes it appropriate. If you can think of an equally silly word, toss it in the comments. You can also watch the Pagano interview on NFL Network here.