Chuck Pagano is still the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. For now. We think.
Yes, Monday came and went with no word on Pagano’s future. Pagano, 55, is 41-23 in four years with the Colts and led Indy to the AFC Championship a season ago. This year, however, the Colts went 8-8, as Andrew Luck was limited to just seven games due to a variety of injuries.
Many people assumed the Colts would fire Pagano on Monday, but no announcement has been made.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” NFL Network national reporter Albert Breer said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think a lot of people in that building right now are sitting there and wondering what the hell is happening. To me, the longer this goes on, I would think the better it would be for Chuck Pagano. Because if Jim Irsay starts polling people in his building, I think that there’s going to be a lot of support for Pagano. There’s a very strong feel that the things that happened this year aren’t Chuck’s fault, and so the longer this thing goes on, the more people that Jim Irsay talks to within his own walls, the better chance I would think that Chuck has of surviving.
“Now, that said, maybe this thing went from 95/5 to 80/20,” Breer continued. “I still think that there’s a good chance that Pagano’s gone. And the main reason why is because this doesn’t need to be a firing. His contract’s expiring. For them to bring him back, they have to give him a whole new contract. If they’re already lukewarm about bringing the guy back, it’s a pretty big leap to go from that to giving the guy a new four-year deal or a five-year deal and something that he’d be willing to come back on given the circumstances. I still think that he’s out in Indy, but the situation, the way it’s unfolded over the course of the day, certainly is a little different and weird.”
Tom Coughlin, meanwhile, will definitely not be back with his team next season. The 69-year-old resigned Monday after meeting with John Mara and Steve Tisch. Coughlin coached the Giants for 12 seasons and led them to two Super Bowl championships.
Of course, Coughlin’s decision to leave wasn’t entirely his own, but the Giants, who went 6-10 this season, weren’t going to fire him.
“I think it’s just the way the Giants do things,” Breer said. “Look, the time has come. They’ve missed the playoffs four years in a row. Most coaches don’t survive that, even coaches who have multiple Super Bowl championships, as Coughlin did in New York. I think it was pretty clear that a change needed to be made. I think if you look at the way this was handled over the course of today, for Tom Coughlin, the way he wanted to handle it, the first people he was going to talk to about it and make his decision clear to was his bosses. That’s why when he addressed the players that things were left a little open-ended. (He) sat down (with Mara and Tisch) and obviously they came to the conclusion that this was the right way to handle the separation. I’m not going to say it’s his decision, but the right way to handle the separation. Then he tells his staff and the players find out. I just think that the way things were termed and the way it was handled, it was a very, very New York Giants process.”