Chuck Pagano is no stranger to being elusive in interviews. He is like a “rolling ball of butcher knives” when it comes to press conferences. He’s a ball of something at least.
More likely than getting an actual answer to any questions, he is prone to coach speak and nonsensical comments, or even complete lies.
At today’s press conference he was not much different. Zak Keefer of the Indy Star provided a brief look at how some of the questions went as follows:
Here's our conversation with Chuck Pagano today regarding the status of Andrew Luck. Can't say we're not trying. pic.twitter.com/q9QO4Wtd59— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 28, 2017
Pagano is doubling down on the idea that there is no timetable for Luck’s return, and even adds that he has not seen Luck throw, saying he just tried to “stay in my lane.”
Let’s deal with both of those statements separately, because they’re both outright lies. We expect this, but I really wish just for once that he would tell the truth rather than lie about it. Would it be so hard to just say, there is a timetable and we aren’t sharing it? Whether it is gamesmanship or an attempt to keep fans buying tickets, it isn’t a good look.
The timetable has almost certainly shrunk to the point that Luck cannot be expected to start Week 1. One thing that hasn’t changed is that Chris Ballard has repeatedly stated that Luck will be activated before the beginning of the season. If that holds true, about the best we can hope for is that he could be back by Week 2 or 3.
Now as to the idea that Pagano is staying in his lane and hasn’t seen Luck throw, come on. No one believes that. Head coaches are control freaks. They have massive egos and they want everything to go their way. If they don’t, they don’t make it to a head coaching position in the NFL, period. Trying to convince us that you haven’t seen your best player doing the most important thing he does at the most important position on your team is simply absurd.
If Pagano truly hasn’t seen Luck throw and doesn’t know anything, it would make him a grievously irresponsible coach. Not knowing how your best player is progressing is unacceptable as a high school head coach, let alone at the NFL level. So, of course, that is nonsense.
So what should we make of Pagano’s non-answers? Not much. It is clear that very little legitimate information is going to come out until the Colts want it to. There have been no credible reports that indicate any reason to worry that Luck’s recovery has been significantly sidetracked. Likewise, there is nothing that indicates that he will be ready to go against the Rams.
The perplexing thing has continued to be the Colts quarterback room. You can expect coaches to lie. They do it naturally, although some like Pagano aren’t very good at it. However, actions, as they say, speak louder than words. The situation at quarterback is not good, and the Colts haven’t seriously pursued a better quarterback option for Week 1. That leads any thinking person to believe that Luck has to be close to ready to come off PUP.
There have been reports out that they have looked at some guys like Christian Ponder and even Brock Osweiler, but given that they still have not signed anyone, it leads me to believe that they cannot expect Luck to be gone long enough to be worth overpaying for an incremental improvement over what they have, if indeed Osweiler would be an improvement at all.
The only way we are going to get more actual credible information is if Luck is activated, or if he moves to the reserve/PUP once cut downs begin. That will tell us that he is either close to the timeline doctors have laid out as probable for his recovery, or that we should expect him to miss serious time.
I for one would be fine with Luck missing 6 games if that means he will have the opportunity to heal appropriately. We all understand that he is the future of the franchise and that his long term health is more important than getting him back in time to attempt to salvage Chuck Pagano’s job.
But don’t let that possibility cause you to wish for his delayed recovery. Until then, we wait.
Below is a brief clip of Pagano’s statements.
Let us know what you think in the comments.