On Thursday afternoon, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport mentioned that the Indianapolis Colts are not expected to extend the contract of head coach Chuck Pagano before the 2015 season, making it essentially a "make or break" season.
Of course, what that doesn't mean is that the Colts are unhappy with Pagano but rather that they just aren't completely sold on him yet either. He's compiled a 33-15 record in three seasons with the Colts, won two division titles, made the playoffs three times, gone 3-3 in the playoffs, and made the AFC Championship game, but at the same time, he's really only had two full years as the team's head coach and there are still in-game coaching concerns, some terrible games, and some defensive struggles.
What's clear is this, though: Chuck Pagano isn't on the hot seat. It would likely have to take a pretty bad season in 2015 for the Colts to part ways with him. For his part, Chuck Pagano expects to be the Colts' head coach for years to come. On Friday night, Pagano issued this statement to the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder:
"Be where your feet are. What do I mean? Cancer taught me to be thankful for today. All I'm concentrating on is today. Then tomorrow. My focus right now is on the draft, bringing in players that can help us continue to grow, get better, and continue to ‘Build the Monster.' I look forward to coaching the Colts this season and for many years to come."
It's no surprise that Pagano says he expects to be the Colts coach for years to come, and really there's no reason to expect anything otherwise. Unless there's a disastrous 2015 season - a year in which the Colts clearly have high Super Bowl expectations - Chuck Pagano will almost certainly be back in 2016 and beyond. It's noteworthy and interesting that the team isn't extending him, but it shouldn't be reason to think anything other than what Pagano himself said tonight: the expectation is that he will be the Colts head coach moving forward. But it'll still be a big 2015 season for him as he's coaching on the final year of his contract.