We haven’t really gotten many updates on what’s going on with the Colts, which means that Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano might be staying put for the time being.
Whatever is happening, owner Jim Irsay has been incredibly silent through it all, which isn’t making things any better. At the very least, he should come out and give a vote of confidence to his general manager and head coach. But perhaps the reason he hasn’t yet is because there’s still some uncertainty and still some things to figure out.
According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, part of that might be the coaching staff. And by coaching staff, namely the assistant coaches. He was asked on NFL Network today about the silence from Irsay and whether the owner should say something publicly, and his response was interesting.
“I’m sure, yeah, that’s what I would do,” Garafolo said, via a clip tweeted out this evening. “It’s personal preference how you deal with the media, how you announce things. The Jets the other day coming out after the game and saying that Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan were safe when they really didn’t have to, so a lot of teams tend to do that. In this case, I still think there’s some discussion going on in that building there about what they want to do and how they want to go forward. And it’s not just me thinking it, that’s what I’m hearing from a lot of people. Now according to a couple of players, the feeling in that locker room is that across the board on the coaching staff, they’re not coached hard enough. That there’s not enough of a level of discipline, I guess you could say. When things go wrong guys are not really being held their feet to the fire enough. They want more of that in that locker room. And Chuck Pagano is a guy that is usually willing to criticize guys, come down hard on guys, so that is going to be a discussion for him and his entire coaching staff, and if maybe his assistants are not doing that well enough then maybe they need to make some changes on that staff. And they could make some changes on that staff coming up here. So I still believe that that’s part of the process, and that’s what’s going on here.”
That’s right: according to Garafolo, the changes that might be coming in Indianapolis might be in regards to assistant coaches - which would fit right in line with Chuck Pagano’s history of throwing some assistants under the bus trying to save his job. Remember, mid-season last year Pagano fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Then after the season, Pagano gutted most of his coaching staff, including a change at defensive coordinator, and completely overhauled the staff. So now, if the Colts again fire some assistant coaches, whether it’s the right thing for them to do as a franchise or not, it would send the message that Pagano’s job is safe with Irsay, but it might be at least partly because he’s willing to fire assistant coaches when things aren’t going right so that they take the blame instead.
In regards to this specific report, though, it’s very interesting that Garafolo says some players think that the players need to be held accountable more and that players aren’t really treated as such when they need to be. And if players in the locker room think this, that’s a big issue. Imagine being a player in the locker room and seeing other players screw up and then seeing the coaching staff not hold them accountable for it - what kind of message does that send? What kind of culture does that create? This is an issue that many fans have speculated is going on, and it sounds like they might have been right.
The main takeaways from this report are that, 1) there’s still some uncertainty regarding any potential changes for the Colts; 2) some players think there’s not a good enough level of accountability with the team; and 3) Chuck Pagano might fire some more assistant coaches. Good times in Indianapolis.