Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano has been on the hot seat for much of the 2105 campaign. He has had the misfortune of having an injured Andrew Luck for a good portion of the season, few weapons around Luck on offense and a defense that is 29th in the league in terms of total yards.
Pagano was asked about his job security on Monday, telling reporters, “They can’t eat you. They can fire you, but they can’t eat you. So if the worst thing is a year from now, let’s say I’m in Boise playing with my granddaughters, I’m going to be fine. That ain’t going to happen, but I’m going to be fine if I go down that road.” Listen to the press conference at NFL.com.
Pagano notably spent time in the hospital in 2012 after being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, and referenced that when putting what is happening to him now in context:
"When I spent 26 days in the hospital in 2012, that was tough. This is nothing."
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 14, 2015
It’s interesting when Pagano brings up his cancer in a football context. One aspect of the heat around Pagano in Indianapolis has always been how well Bruce Arians did in his absence, and the success the Arizona Cardinals have had since Arians arrived there. It appeared the Colts had a lot of pieces and were very close to getting to where they needed to be as a franchise, yet it somehow just all fell apart quicker than it was built. Some of that blame has fallen on Pagano. More of it, perhaps, on Colts GM Ryan Grigson.
The Colts have been bad on defense before, which was certainly the case even back when Peyton Manning was in his prime, but this is a new level for them:
Colts: first time they've allowed 45 points in back-to-back games since the final two games of 1953 and the first game of 1954
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 13, 2015
A lot of noise was made early on in the season after the Colts suffered a 20-7 loss at the hands of the New York Jets, where Pagano seemed to throw shots at Grigson, when he is typically very low key in his post game pressers.
When asked about Luck, and his comfort with the offensive line and how poor it is, Pagano told reporters, “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.”
The Colts have a monumental game this upcoming Sunday against the Houston Texans, then close the season with a road game against the Miami Dolphins, and at home against the Tennessee Titans. It seems safe to say that Pagano may be coaching for his job in the final three weeks of the NFL season, and Pagano must be thinking that Andrew Luck can’t get healthy quick enough.