We chuckleheads who write for and-or edit Stampede Blue have found Colts head coach Chuck Pagano's recent comments about the philosophy of his new, post-Bruce Arians offense interesting.
It's a West Coast offense, only it isn't.
The emphasis is running the ball, but the system the are installing from Stanford traditionally emphasizes throwing.
It isn't so much that we think Pagano is trying to toss up smoke screens or intentionally mislead anyone. I personally don't think that's Pagano's modus operandi.
For us Stampede Blue chuckleheads, Pagano's comments read that he just isn't on the same page with the new system coordinator Pep Hamilton is installing. This isn't necessarily a bad thing seeing as Pagano and Hamilton have never worked together at the NFL level. It's just interesting to note. That's all.
Another interesting observation is Pagano seems to continually re-re-define what the offense is. He recently told Paul Kuharsky of ESPN that the Colts will not run a "pure West Coast offense." At the Colts rookie minicamp on Friday, Pagano met with reporters and, once again, tried to re-re-define what he meant (transcribed by Adam Caplan):
"We still are going to run the football. We are still going to take our shots down the field. We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to drop back and throw the football 600-plus times. Obviously, some of that was due to self-inflicted wounds, so to speak, getting behind early and we had no choice but to throw to catch up. Hopefully, we can run the football better. We will run the football better. I feel great about the offensive line and where we are at. We are still going to be a power-run team and try to get ourselves in third-and-manageable. Maybe a few more check downs, a few more screens here and there, quick passing game, try to get the completion percentage up a little bit. You’ve got to run the football, and we are still going to take our shots down field."
Can you tell Pagano is REALLY emphasizing running the ball in 2013?
It will be interesting to see how that happens with only Vick Ballard, Delone Carter, and Donald Brown in the backfield. In fact, one observation I took from watching Pagano's media session was his annoyance at a question posed by Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. Mike asked a perfectly logical and appropriate question regarding the quality of the Colts backfield. If Pagano intends to focus on running the ball, does he have confidence in the backs currently on the roster to do that job?
Pagano did not seem pleased with this question, and gave the standard "yes, I have confidence in them" answer. He didn't elaborate any further than that, and went on to the next question,
Again, that's just how I saw it.
Something else that I noticed: Pagano looks healthy. His weight looks good and he appears energetic. His hair is also back. It's almost as if the guy didn't go through several intense rounds of chemotherapy just six months ago.