The best way to assure yourself of becoming a short-time employee in a corporation is to criticize management for the way it conducts business.
It looks like Chuck Pagano isn’t going to be around after this season, if not make it through the current season, based on the team’s performance so far and the comments he has made regarding his current boss.
The Indianapolis Colts were in the AFC Title Game last season (see Deflategate) but it looks like the team with all the chance in the world to be the next team in the AFC to break through is going to be the team that never was. Pagano and management have been at odds of late – discussing his future contract and the recent comments the coach has made regarding the roster, management and the need for his star quarterback, Andrew Luck, to make better decisions.
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This is quickly turning toxic – more so than the Philadelphia Eagles 0-2 start or the fact it looks like Ndamukong Suh is playing for himself, or so it seems. Pagano was especially hard on Andrew Luck, chiding Luck's three interceptions and fumble and stressing the need to protect the ball. However, in his criticism of Luck, Pagano seemed to take a shot at GM Ryan Grigson.
When asked if Luck is rushing because the offensive line isn't giving him enough protection, Pagano told reporters according to Scott Davis of businessinsider.com : "You know what, I'd have to sit down, honestly, and have a conversation. I don't think so. That's been the case for three years now. Has it not? He should be more than comfortable dealing with what he's dealing with. We've got to get it fixed."
It would be a great story if the Colts turned on the light and saw a vast opportunity to beat the hell out of the AFC South, but there is no team that jumps out and scares you right now. The Colts were supposed to be the team that represents the AFC in the Super Bowl this season.
It can still happen – but Pagano and management have to find some way to coexist and the rumors about the team possibly being interested in Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh have to end. I’m sure fans in Ann Arbor are thrilled to here this kind of news.
As a side here – Harbaugh is a good trivia question in Colts lore. The last quarterback to take snaps behind center before Peyton Manning was drafted was … You guessed it.
Davis added that Pagano's subtle shot at Grigson only adds to the speculation of an internal rift in the Colts. After a Week 1 loss to the Bills, Bob Kravitz of WTHR Sports reported that Pagano may be on the hot seat as the Grigson and Colts owner Jim Irsay are losing faith in his ability to take the Colts to the next level.
If this is Pagano’s last stand, then the team needs to man up and play out the string. While there are stars on offense like Luck, Andre Johnson, TY Hilton and Frank Gore, there isn’t anything on the defensive side of the ball that makes you scream with fear. Pagano is a defensive minded coach who was supposed to come in and instill confidence on the weaker side of the ball for this franchise.
It hasn’t happened yet – despite the changes in the offense and winning the AFC South last season.