Pagano Stays: Jim Irsay Made the Right Choice


Tarig Eldosougi, Staff Writer

Going into the 2015-2016 season, many big time sports critics projected that the Colts would not only make the playoffs but would win the Superbowl. Although those projections made a lot of sense with the offseason pickups of ex-Pro Bowlers Andrea Johnson and Frank Gore to go along with the plethora of other solid free agents that the Colts acquired, the Colts’ season was nothing short of a disappointment. Even so, it was a good call to keep Coach Chuck Pagano as coach, and he should stay in the position for at least another season.

For three straight seasons the Colts have finished with an 11-5 record. They won a great number of close games, picked on a weak division, and went a step further every year in the playoffs. But this season, the Colts lost the same close games they won over the past few years. Injuries surely affected the team, but the consistent flaws of the past became more prominent, as they finished with an 8-8 record and did not make the playoffs.  

Another reason to keep Pagano: he’s built the team up after their disastrous 2011 season, making it what it is today. The majority of his seasons have been winning, and he nearly made it to the Superbowl last year, losing to the Patriots only because of the notorious deflategate cheat.  He’s familiar with the players, and the players actually like him. Rookie receiver Phillip Dorsett even posted to Instagram, “What a great way to start off my birthday, #CoachPaganoStays… Couldn’t be any happier!”

Towards the conclusion of the season, many people speculated that Coach Pagano would lose his head coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts. For example, ESPN Sportscenter falsely posted that he would be fired on their Instagram, and sports analysts like Stephan A. Smith and Skip Bayless on ESPN First Take talked about who The Colts should hire as their next head coach.

Also supporting these speculations, Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson both had continuous feuds and disagreements during the season. Despite all of these rumors, at the conclusion of the season owner Jim Irsay announced that Pagano and Grigson would both keep their jobs, and it made sense because every year Pagano and the Colts have improved in the playoffs except this one bad year.

Here at Brebeuf, opinions have been mixed. When asked whether Pagano should have kept his job, Austin Wodock ‘16  said, “ I think that Pagano deserved to keep his job for another year because every year his team would improve, and it wasn’t Pagano’s fault for the bad season this year. It was just injuries that plagued the season.”

Austin also went on to say that “If anyone was going to be fired, it should have been Grigson because he was the one who was picking the players that were simply not producing, and he was trying to make too many decisions that coaches are supposed to make.”

Kobie Mcneal ‘17 said, “Pagano should have gotten fired because his strategies and installed lineups where just off, and the Colts needed to start fresh with a whole new coaching staff, or they won’t win a Super Bowl”.

Despite the Colts’ bad 2015 season, they will still definitely be the favorites in the AFC South next season just by means of having the most talented quarterback in the division. With better injury luck, the Colts will be right back in the mix next season.