You can say what you want about Pagano as a coach, but he hasn't lost the locker room. His players love him and he is a tremendous leader, and that's the biggest positive toward Pagano as a head coach. He is very popular and very well-liked by those in the locker room (and around the league, too) and that is showing up very clearly now. All season, the players have publicly defended Pagano, but with the season now over and Pagano's job status in serious doubt, a number of players have expressed appreciation for Pagano and defended him, joining team "Chuck Stay."
In the locker room after the game, Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis - one of the leaders on the team - gave Pagano the game ball, saying that "as a man, as a father figure, as a friend, we're gonna give you this ball." It was met by loud cheers from the players in the locker room as Pagano hugged Mathis and then held the ball in the air. It was an emotional scene but one that showed the appreciation and respect for the head coach.
Robert Mathis gives Coach Chuck Pagano a game ball after today's emotional win against the Titans: https://t.co/WffkaqrtVl— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) January 3, 2016
Other players took to twitter to support Chuck Pagano.
I have no idea what the future holds.. But. I'll forever love my time as a Colt w/ Chuck Pagano as head coach.. Great win.. Let's celebrate— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 3, 2016
Nothing but love for this team! #ChuckStay— Matt Overton (@MattOverton_LS) January 3, 2016
Coach P Is The Best Coach !!! Point Blank Period ..— Donte Moncrief (@drm_12) January 3, 2016
Coach P!!! Coach P!!!! Coach P!!! Coach P!!! Coach P!!! Coach P!!! Coach P!!!! Must Stay ......— Donte Moncrief (@drm_12) January 3, 2016
#ColtsNation Bring Coach Pagano back for another season. He's a good coach and a good man.— Winston Guy Jr.™ (@winstonguyjr27) January 3, 2016
And then another Colts player texted NFL Network's Albert Breer in support of Pagano.
Text from one Colt on Pagano: "We all have his back! We had to get this done for all the guys in that locker room -- Especially him!"— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 3, 2016
More from Colts player on Pagano: "He is definitely NOT the problem!!!!"— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 3, 2016
In short, it's still clear that the players still love Chuck Pagano. It might not do much in causing him to stay, but he most definitely hasn't lost the locker room. For teams looking for a coach who can relate to players (like the Eagles) and lead a locker room, Chuck Pagano would seem like an obvious choice. All you have to do is look at the support his players are giving him right now to realize how well-liked Chuck Pagano is. He may prompt questions as a coach, but he's a great guy and his players love him.