We've been waiting all morning to find out the status of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, and it appears we're not the only ones still waiting. The Colts' locker room opened up to the media moments ago and the players said they are still not sure of Pagano's status.
Chuck Pagano addressed his team at noon today, but he didn't provide any update on his status. According to the Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer, the players said it's simply "business as usual" for now until they hear anything otherwise. Keefer notes that Pagano's message to his players in the meeting was that, "I'll go to bat for any of ya," but the players noted that Pagano still doesn't know his fate. Colts.com's Kevin Bowen says that Pagano will meet with owner Jim Irsay later to discuss his future with the organization.
The players are cleaning out their lockers today as their season is officially over, meaning that a long offseason has begun. It is expected that Pagano would want to address his players if/when he is officially informed that he won't be returning, but the timeline of when that announcement might occur is uncertain.
One important thing to note is that Pagano's contract will expire at some point soon, so if the Colts do make the stunning and unlikely move to bring him back as head coach, they would still need to work out a contract extension for Pagano to stay. Again, that's very unlikely, but they would still have to do that, so just because Pagano addressed the team today at noon doesn't mean that he's staying. If he was staying around he'd need to agree to an extension, so he would know that he is staying. It's expected, though, that Irsay will inform Pagano that the coach won't return next year, we're now just waiting for that conversation to happen.
For the time being, the players are cleaning out their lockers and speaking to the media, and they're once again defending their head coach. "I love Pagano," left tackle Anthony Castonzo said, according to FOX59's Dave Griffiths. "Love the atmosphere he brings here, but it's out of my hands. Whatever happens happens."
I know many have been waiting all morning for an official announcement, but it seems we'll have to wait a bit longer. As of right now, neither Chuck Pagano nor the players know the fate of the coach, but he is expected to meet with owner Jim Irsay later to find out. So, in other words, stay tuned.