Colts: Chuck Pagano ‘doubts’ he will return in 2016


According to various reports, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has stated that he ‘doubts’ he will be returning to the sidelines next season.

There’s a fire brewing in Indianapolis. Some have likened it to a dumpster fire after an unexpected 0-2 start, others have simply pointed out the friction between General Manager Ryan Grigson and Pagano as being enough to incite sparks. Regardless, the heat is on for at least one man looking to keep his job… and it may not Pagano.

Last week, Indy’s head coach didn’t mince words – criticizing both his offensive line and his quarterback Andrew Luck – which, Andy being Andy, he took in stride like a true pro. Now the Colts head to Tennessee to face the Titans (1-1) trying to maneuver around a winless start through three weeks.

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But they travel with unresolved issues, the main one being can Grigson and Pagano hash it out? After all, their relationship isn’t unlike many other GMs and HCs around the league, it’s just far more publicized. The defense still isn’t completed healed, but Luck is supposed to have a full arsenal of weapons back to keep the offense rolling which should help ease the tensions slightly.

Rumors can be hard to ignore, though. Tennis star Venus Williams put it best, once saying “Everyone makes their own comments. That’s how rumors get started.”

Well last night, Jon Weiner of ESPN Radio took a five-gallon bucket of gasoline and poured it directly on the flames encompassing all the Colts problems by “predicting” that Jim Harbaugh would return to Indianapolis next year as head coach.

To be fair, Weiner is a goofball who throws around stuff just for fun and normally in a harmless way. However, his comments on the Le Batard Show last night haven’t been taken lightly with mounting pressure on both Pagano and the Colts.

I reported earlier this week on Vontae Davis being cleared for today’s action when I discovered that Marcus Mariota has the highest passer rating in the NFL thanks to the Indy Star’s Zak Keefer. Therefore, it would be easy to say that another road game for Indy against a hot quarterback won’t be the best environment to ease tension. However, a win would take this team in the exact opposite direction as a loss – it would provice momentum and a building block for the rest of the season, ease some of the immediate pressure on Pagano, Grigson, and the Colts, and give everyone a chance to step back and survey the situation from the right heights.

Despite what Pagano has to say, it’s way too early to be assessing options for next year when Indianapolis has yet to right the ship just three weeks in, but I get his point. He’s betting against himself now and that’s either a jab at Grigson (meh) or a statement against his self-confidence (maybe), but either way both Pagano and his crew have more present, important issues to deal with than 2016.

The Colts kickoff in Nashville against the Titans at 1 pm ET.

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