At the press conference today detailing Colts head coach Chuck Pagano's recent leukemia diagnosis and treatment, it was also announced that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians would assume the role as interim head coach while Pagano is hospitalized.
Arians, a 59-year-old coaching veteran who had worked as an assistant in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and other stops over a 37-year coaching career, fought back tears as he addressed the media. He also revealed that he is a cancer survivor himself, and that Pagano's first few days of treatment will be tough.
Per a request from Arians and the team, Pagano's office light will remain on until he returns.
Arians inherits a 1-2 Colts team that will host the 2-2 Packers this coming Sunday. Indianapolis is coming off their bye week while the Packers barely survived a 28-27 thriller this past Sunday over the still-winless Saints. Arians told media he'd answer questions after practice today. He took no questions during the press conference.
It is unclear at this time as to whether or not Arians' new role will have a trickle down effect on the rest of the staff. When G.M. Ryan Grigson was asked about how this change will affect the coaches, he offered no details. If Arians is taking on the role of head coach while, at the same time, retaining the tasks of the offensive coordinator, it will be interesting to see how this will affect the team.
Arians last head coaching stint was with the Temple Owls back in 1998. He was their head man there from '83-'88.
Should Arians cede the play-calling duties, it's possible current quarterbacks coach Clyde Chistensen could take over. Christensen, as many of you know, was the Colts offensive coordinator the two years prior to the Arians hire. Chistensen worked as O.C. under head coach Jim Caldwell, who was fired in March 2011. Pagano was then hired as Caldwell's replacement, and Christensen was retained, but as the QB coach. Christensen has been with the Colts organization since 2002 when he was brought over from Tampa Bay by then-head coach Tony Dungy.