The Indianapolis Colts are many people's hot tip to end the upcoming 2015 NFL season as Super Bowl champions.
Big year ahead
Their fans have been treated to a host of big offseason arrivals which suggest that owner Jim Irsay is plotting a big push for the title this time around.
And news today that the Colts are not planning on extending the contract of head coach Chuck Pagano until after the 2015 campaign has been and gone further suggests that this really is a Super Bowl-or-bust year for Indy.
NFL Insider Ian Rapoport broke the news on Thursday.
With Pagano having led the Colts to the playoffs in each of his three seasons as head coach, the decision to wait it out regarding his contract has irked many Colts fans who feel the 54-year-old is deserving of a new deal regardless of what happens between now and next February.
As it is, Pagano will head into the 2015 season - the fourth on a four year deal - as something of a lame duck. His 33-15 record to date counting for very little if he isn't able to mount a serious challenge for the Super Bowl this time around.
Rapoport notes that, with Pagano having missed much of the 2012 season battling cancer, the Colts hierarchy are wary of committing to a big money, long-term contract based largely on two seasons.
The move could actually work out in Pagano's favor. While he has no job security to speak of he could very well end up with a bumper deal if he exceeds expectations, ala Jason Garrett in Dallas.
Garrett was left in limbo for the 2014 season by Jerry Jones but, after an impressive season which ended in playoff heartache against the Packers, the Cowboys rewarded him with a five-year, $30-million deal.
The expectations in Indianapolis though are greater than simply getting to the NFL playoffs. With the likes of Andre Johnson and Frank Gore boosting an already strong roster there is a growing belief that the Colts should be one of the two teams participating in Super Bowl 50.
The pressure certainly is on in Idny this year and, after today's revelation, Chuck Pagano can be in no doubt about what has to be done if he wants to be around with the Colts come SB51.
What do you think Colts fans? Should the team stick with Chuck Pagano? And what are the minimum expectations for the team in 2015? Let us know in the comments section below...
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