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Colts players express support for Chuck Pagano

A number of Colts players have expressed their support for head coach Chuck Pagano since the team's 30-24 victory over the Titans.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Tennessee Titans 30-24 on Sunday in a game that very likely will be the final game of the Chuck Pagano era in Indianapolis.

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.

Other players took to twitter to support Chuck Pagano.

And then another Colts player texted NFL Network's Albert Breer in support of Pagano.

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.