According to multiple reports this morning, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has been told he will return as the team’s head coach in 2017. It was first reported by Sporting News’ Alex Marvez:
Colts are planning to bring back HC Chuck Pagano for 2017 season, as @alexmarvez reported.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2017
It also sounds like Ryan Grigson will be back as well:
Haha. Nothing on Grigson but I would be more surprised if he's fired than if he's retained. Jim Irsay likes him a lot & wants him to succeed https://t.co/iC8u1ddgL4— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) January 6, 2017
Expect the same for GM Ryan Grigson. Irsay was a man of his word. https://t.co/fJtg9aeONr— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 6, 2017
So it sounds like the Colts will in fact not make any changes after a week of speculation and a week of silence from owner Jim Irsay. It is very likely that Irsay has been looking into options that might be better than Grigson and Pagano, which would explain the silence. If he just waited to tell Pagano that the coach will return when he knew it all along, and if Irsay neglected to give any indication of that to fans and the media, that’s incredibly stupid and irresponsible. So it’s likely that there were some investigations into who might replace them, but in the end it sounds like Irsay has decided to keep things the same.
Pagano was hired in 2012 and has gone 49-31 with the Colts, winning two AFC South titles, making three postseason appearances, and going 3-3 in the playoffs with a trip to the AFC Championship game in 2014. Most of that success came in his first three years, however, as since the high point of his tenure - a divisional round win over the Broncos in the 2014 playoffs - the Colts are just 16-17, getting blown out by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game and having two straight 8-8 seasons without a playoff appearance. That made Pagano the first Colts coach to miss the playoffs in back-to-back years in over 20 years, but apparantly Jim Irsay is ok with that mediocrity.
Either way, Irsay should confirm the news shortly. It doesn’t have to be a press conference, but something - anything - to inform and assure the fans that Grigson and Pagano are coming back. Just something to express confidence in them. The Lions did it for Jim Caldwell, and they’re in the playoffs! Jim Irsay needs to put this to rest and express confidence in his guys if in fact he’s keeping them - and it certainly sounds like he is.