If there’s one thing you can say about Chuck Pagano, it is that he never lacks the ability to give local media a pep talk. What’s more, it feels as though he’s a little delusional as well. Some may not say that’s a revelation, however, there it is.
While I’m not one for endless negativity, I simply don’t understand his mindset in the midst of the current state of the team. Let me explain.
Let’s start with the fact that the Colts have shown spurts of solid football this season, right? They have gotten out to several halftime leads. Jacoby Brissett does present some optimism for the Colts in terms of a quality backup for Andrew Luck, or some would even say for trade bait in the future.
The defense is improved up front, and the secondary has shown some positive signs about their future as well. There absolutely is a feeling that the team is headed in the right direction, it’s just not likely to be this year that we see that growth bud with only 7 games to go.
At 3-6 the Colts are where many thought they would be at this point in the season if Luck hadn’t returned yet. Though the circumstances by which they got there are somewhat of a surprise, they’re a very below average team.
The Colts have played against 4 of the league’s worst quarterbacks, won 3 of those, and by a total margin of victory of plus-12. In their other matchups, the Colts have been blown out 3 times, and their close losses to the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals were simply competitive due to a broken roster around Carson Palmer and an unimpressive Andy Dalton.
Like I said, they are not very good right now.
Following their win over the Texans Pagano wanted to give the players a day off, but the players didn’t want it. For all of the hyperbolic, metaphoric blah blah that comes out of his mouth, there are just as many comments that lead us to believe that he’s lost in reality. Yesterday was no different.
Pagano pulled the ole ‘keep chopping, and that tree will fall’ analogy out of his back pocket, and basically said what he always says — mostly nothing at all. Pagano wouldn’t offer any further explanation on the Vontae Davis situation but offered to tell the room a story about society being — ironically — soft.
Pagano also mimicked a high school coach with his intent to build young men for their lives after football. That’s great and all, don’t get me wrong, but he’s getting paid to lead, and prepare men for football games. It sounds cold, I know, but I simply don’t think he’s shown the capability of playing both roles while actually succeeding.
Basically, Pagano said what he wanted regardless of the question being presented to him. But more than anything, I just can’t shake the day off theory on his part.
What have they done to ‘earn’ a day off? We’ve already discussed how the season has gone thus far with mental lapses all over the place, the Colts have their bye in Week 11 and will have several days off throughout that span, and they are taking on the No. 5 overall offense, and No. 5 overall defense according to Football Outsiders.
The Colts are at home against those Pittsburgh Steelers with the team averaging 17.5 points per game and allowing 23.5. Nevermind that the Colts have allowed 41.3 points per game to the Steelers on Pagano’s watch while putting up a measly 17 points per game in return. And, oh yeah, the team was one throw away from losing yet another double-digit lead in the second half to an awful quarterback.
Let’s just say, I don’t think the time is right for an extra day off.
Maybe the saddest point of all with Pagano at the podium was when he completely contradicted his own proposed actions. Earlier Pagano acknowledged that he offered and the players rejected it, but then goes on to say later in the presser to say:
“You get this win and it can be real easy to exhale, if you will, and we can’t do that.”
I’m confused, Chuck. You wanted the guys to take an extra day off, they didn’t want to, then you ultimately acknowledge that you can’t rest on your laurels and take extra days off if you want to be successful and that it was a stupid idea to begin with?
In essence, you were being ‘soft’ on them? Like society is right now? Oh, and something about Burger King too, but sadly no messy burger analogies for those in attendance.
Well, Pagano is sending the team some kind of message, but it’s just not the one he’s hoping will be retained. And the room is getting the message through the mumbo-jumbo as well. He’s blabbering, hoping that Chris Ballard likes one of his Shakespearean parables enough to consider keeping him around. Then deflecting real questions with “We all gotta...” and so on and so forth.
No Jiminy Cricket, no Huck Finn references either please Chuck. Just talk football for once, and answer real questions when they’re asked — we’re begging you.