Sunday mornings have long been the time for reports on all 32 teams and what is going on, but this year, we might as well simply call it a time to be reminded how much of a mess the Colts really are.
This morning brought a report from NFL Media's Ian Rapoport saying that head coach Chuck Pagano is telling people that he has "doubts" that he'll be back with the Colts in 2016, and later we got a report from CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora saying that, despite the Colts' losing, there won't be any coaching staff changes. Because Chuck Pagano doesn't have the autonomy to make them.
Should problems persist, however, any shuffling of the coaching staff would have to come from above Pagano. Sources said Pagano does not have the autonomy to hire or fire staff if he sees fit -- not that he would consider any such drastic actions so early in the season.
When Bruce Arians left the Colts to become Arizona's head coach after the 2012 season, Pagano was pushing for Rob Chudzinski, the former Browns head coach, to be offensive coordinator. He was overruled, with Pep Hamilton getting the job. Hamilton worked with Luck at Stanford. Chudzinski is on the Colts staff as associate head coach.
Regardless of your opinion of Chuck Pagano the coach, I think most would agree on this: the coach should have control over his coaching staff. If he wants to make a stupid decision, then fine - maybe it will cost him his job. But let him have the control over his coaching staff. In Indianapolis, however, it sounds like that also is Ryan Grigson's responsibility.
So far, we've heard reports that Pagano doesn't have control over personnel, doesn't always have control over who starts, and doesn't have control over his coaching staff. So while, yes, he has his faults as a coach, how much can we expect from a coach with no authority? His hands have been tied and he's forced to work with whatever Grigson gives him, yet it might cost him his job? Ok then. No wonder he turned down the one-year extension this offseason.
Furthermore, what does Jim Irsay see in Ryan Grigson that he's fine giving him this much authority? Maybe Grigson has made some good moves - I actually liked and still like the hire of Pep Hamilton - but it still should be the head coach's role.
I think this tells me two things in particular: firstly, the Colts are a mess. And secondly, I'm not sure firing Pagano would fix the issue. If you get rid of Pagano, you'd have two options. Either hire a guy who will be subject to Ryan Grigson on most moves, or hire a guy who is a legitimate big-name coach but who wants authority. Either the Colts will get stuck with a coach who's just doing whatever Grigson wants, or the Colts are going to have to re-define Grigson's role or get rid of him as well. I'm not sure what the Colts will do, but they might really have to decide that shortly.