Perhaps Tireball Sports should start some weekly segment called “Worst Kept Secrets” because that is all I can say to describe the news that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano will not return to the team for the 2016 season.
The writing has been on the wall for Pagano all season. The team opened the season with high expectations – many were saying Super Bowl matchup – and yet they enter Week 17 with virtually no chance of making the playoffs.
Someone has to get fired. Sure Andrew Luck was injured two different times this season and back-up Matt Hasselbeck has been beset by injuries himself but a team which was in control of their destiny at the beginning of December now finds itself needing a miracle in order to make the playoffs and that means firing.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 31, 2015
In fairness to Pagano the Colts really should fire general manager Ryan Grigson as well because his patchwork offensive line did nothing to protect any of the quarterbacks who played for the team this season. Gigson figured bringing in two names in Andrew Johnson and Frank Gore would help put the offense over the top but the running back never topped 100 yards with only a 98 yard showing in October being his highlight this season. Worse Ahmad Bradshaw was signed in season to help Gore and that experience lasted only six head scratching weeks.
Pagano has never said he expected to be fired but reading between the lines of what he has said in recent weeks said it all to me. The coach knew he was not coming back, he spoke about surviving cancer and how he would be content with simply living. With respect to cancer survivors everywhere, heading a NFL head coach talk about living opposed to winning is not what anyone wants to head about of their head coach.
The last ditch effort to save his job came weeks ago when offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was replaced. Of course by the time that happened the Colts were already battered at quarterback and talentless on the offensive line or at running back.