After 6 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Chuck Pagano has reportedly been fired as the Colts head into another offseason of massive transition that will not just impact the coaching staff but will likely result in significant turnover on the roster as well.
Breaking: I’ve just learned that Chuck Pagano has been released of his duties as #Colts Coach.— Anthony Calhoun (@ACwishtv) December 31, 2017
Pagano is out in Indy. Column coming and lots of coverage on WTHR throughout the evening.— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) December 31, 2017
Hearing Irsay and Ballard will be meeting with the media tomorrow.— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) December 31, 2017
The Colts ended 2017 with a 22-13 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday but the damage for Pagano had been done for some time now.
Pagano began his career credited with a 33-15 start and 3-straight trips to the postseason with Andrew Luck, who helped bring success early in his tenure as head coach. However, it was the 20-28 record over his final three seasons that were his undoing. The hiring of new GM Chris Ballard may have signaled the end to Pagano’s stay in Indianapolis but he certainly got a fair shake. The uncertainty about the team’s future, mounting injuries, losses in close games, and the Andrew Luck saga were too much to overcome.
We saw this from Pagano immediately following the win over the Texans. He appeared to already be cognizant of his future and the decision that had been made.
Pagano came to Indianapolis through Baltimore after serving as defensive coordinator and was considered to be a wise defensive grab. His lack of experience as an in-game leader overshadowed his defensive contributions. To make matters worse, the Colts have had some of the worst statistical defenses in franchise history during his tenure. The unit had a reputation for being soft up front and as one of the league’s worst run defenses in the league for much of his stay with Colts. While he had a strong background as a secondary coach throughout his career, his defenses were not able to regularly force turnovers or show the kind of opportunism fans envisioned when he joined the franchise.
The Colts have presumably already unofficially started their search for Pagano’s replacement and will attempt to get through the hiring process quickly so they can get a head start on the 2018 season. Among those assumed to be targeted are Tom Cable (Seahawks OL coach) as reported yesterday by Adam Schefter, Matt Nagy (Chiefs OC) and David Toub (Chiefs ST coach) among several other potential hot names out there including Pat Shurmer, Josh McDaniels, and Frank Reich.
There is no shortage of names of potential candidates that are ‘available’ to be plucked away from their respective teams, which is in stark contrast to the coaching market when Chris Ballard joined the Colts as General Manager later in the off-season process than is typical. As much as Colts fans loathed a final season under Pagano, it may well have been the right choice to not make any rash decisions earlier in the year.
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The #Colts have fired coach Chuck Pagano. GM Chris Ballard will hire his first coach.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2017
And it's official. After six years, Chuck Pagano has been released as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, per source.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) December 31, 2017
Ya boy will be in rare form this evening for NYE and to celebrate the firing of Chuck Pagano— Cory Chance (@CoryChance) December 31, 2017
It was in Colts best interest, God speed Chuck Pagano. https://t.co/G1mVKjroKO— ✧✦✧✦✧✦ (@fyeahGH) December 31, 2017
Chuck Pagano couldn't even get a post game locker room speech in before getting fired #ColeWorld— 『Jerome』 (@EchelonNYK) December 31, 2017
Chuck Pagano is gone! Time to go big time coach hunting in Indy now!— KEVIN (@LAKERFANKEVIN88) December 31, 2017
The Colts finally fired Chuck Pagano— Silas Shreve (@SmSilas) December 31, 2017