In a long awaited move, the Indianapolis Colts let go head coach Chuck Pagano, per Anthony Calhoun. The city of Indianapolis has been clamoring for this to happen over the last three disappointing seasons. After leading the Colts to the AFC championship in 2014, the team has been on a steady decline. In 2015-2016, the Colts went 8-8 twice. Even though it seemed it couldn’t get any worse, the Colts went 4-12 this season, their worst finish since 2011.
Pagano has been repeatedly and relentlessly criticized as the Colts head coach. He fields one of the worst second half teams in the history of football, and is unable to make competent adjustments after the break. The Colts’ locker room began to implode this season, and the team seemed apathetic too often on the field this season. After many dumb play calls in crucial moments and questionable roster decisions (I.E. Quincy Wilson), enough was enough. The management finally decided to relieve Pagano of his duties as head coach. Although Pagano hasn’t had the best time recently in Indy, he will most likely get a job elsewhere. For all of the wrongs he has brought the Colts, we can’t forget all Pagano’s done for this city.
During the 2012 NFL season, Chuck Pagano fought his battle with Leukemia. The #ChuckStrong movement brought the Colts, and the city of Indianapolis together around him. The Colts fought hard that season, and made the playoffs under interim head coach Bruce Arians (we’ll get to him soon). All of the players love Chuck Pagano, and will certainly not want to let him go, although it is for the best. Although it is a good thing that Pagano is gone, the Colts organization and the fans should be grateful for all he has done for this team.
With Pagano out the door, who do the Colts hire for their next head coach?
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Andrew Luck, the Colts’ head coaching position will undoubtedly be one of the hottest jobs on the market. The Colts will have a top pick, a ludicrous amount of cap space, and a solid young roster.
Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians was reported to be leaving the Cardinals, and seems like a good fit to return in Indy. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has been linked to the Colts as well. Chiefs’ special teams coordinator Dave Toub is another option, who is familiar with Chris Ballard. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is a name that we have heard, but he is unlikely to leave.
There are a few options that the Colts should absolutely avoid.
The Colts have been linked to Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable, which would be an awful signing.
They have been linked to former Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher. After seeing what Sean McVay did with a similar Rams’ roster to last season, the Colts should avoid Fisher like the plague. Lions coach Jim Caldwell is also in the rumor mill, who coached the Colts from 2009-2011.
Keep your head up, eyes open, and ears up Colts’ fans. The future is oh so bright.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, and the AFC South Division Editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_ and @FPC_Colts.