I try to stay up with all the posts on Stampede Blue. I have come to realize I like Josh Wilson’s more measured and balanced approach than Brad Wells fiery and emotional commentary. It is probably a matter of style, I relate closer to Josh’s style. Brad is ready to fire the three top coaches in the Colts organization, and oh, by the way, fire Grigson along with the others. Thank goodness he is just a commentator and not actually making decision that matter for the Colts organization.
So, is Chuck a good coach? Let’s go through it and see where we arrive. There are several phases to coaching. All coaches have different strengths and weaknesses related to those phases. The phases I can identify are as follows, Of course this isn’t a definitive list, but I believe captures most of the key ones.
- · X’s and O’s
- · Game planning
- · Adjustments during the game
- · Game management
- · Player preparedness
- · Player evaluation
These are all casual observations but here are my opinions on how Chuck does on these six phases:
X’s and O’s – It appears he does a reasonable good job here. On defense there has been inconsistency, but the scheme has shown itself to be fine when it is properly executed. On offense it is a little weaker, but I believe the scheme is fine. They just don’t have the O-line to execute it.
Game Planning – This is where Coach and his staff struggle, the ups and downs this season seen to me to be attributable to game planning. It is amazing at this level how much a flawed game plan can lead to disaster. We have had terrible game plans, both on defense and offense. This past Sunday was one of the best game plans we have had all year, especially on offense. We spread our offense with multiple receivers, Luck played out of the shotgun, we increased the pace, and finally opened it up. I believe if they had better game planning they would be an elite team.
Adjustments – This is a strength. Unfortunately, they have had such terrible game planning, the adjustments come too late. The ability to adjust is what has helped us with so many second half comebacks.
Game Management – This seems to me to be about average. They do a much better with the challenge flag than Tony Dungy or Jim Caudwell ever did. Time management is a little on the "needs to improve" side.
Player preparedness - This is closely related to game planning. So many times the players don’t seem to be prepared for a game. They are out of position on defense. They are overwhelmed on the offensive line.
Player evaluation – I think Chuck has the best players playing and except for a couple minor exceptions made the correct decisions for the final roster. I think the jury is still out on a lot of the free agents and players we picked up in trades. If we played the way we are capable of playing, this is a strong group. We just don’t seem to be in the right position to make plays.
So overall I think Chuck and his coaches can be good coaches but inexperience is causing problems. This is Chuck’s first full season and Pep’s first full season in the NFL. I think there is upside, but right now they are not that great. I think next year will be a defining year for coach Pagano and Pep Hamilton. We need to see if they grow into the job or not. If they could get that game planning under control, I think we would see some big improvement.