By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Indianapolis Colts have signed head coach Chuck Pagano to a contract extension. It’s a shocking turn of events as it looked like he was all but gone.
Pagano and General Manager Ryan Grigson had a toxic relationship, but maybe after the players’ showed their support for Pagano, the team decided to keep him. After yesterday’s game, Robert Mathis gave Pagano the game ball.
“It wasn’t fan pressure, player pressure,” Colts Owner Jim Irsay said on his reasoning for bringing back Pagano. “It was that Chuck’s won 44 games in the last four years.”
Mathis was emotional when he was talking about Pagano. He even said he loved his head coach.
Pagano will be entering his fifth season with the Colts. Before the season, he turned down a one-year extension worth between $3.7-3.9 million, which would have be the lowest in the NFL.
The official length of his new contract hasn’t been released.
“I wouldn’t trade this season for nothing,” Pagano raved. “And we’ve had some good ones … but this one, you are going to look back on this one and say, ‘all the adversity, all the obstacles and you never quit. You fight, you fight, you fight — because of the grit, because of the character, because of the men and the leaders in this locker room right now.’
“6-3, 5-3 with a 40-year-old (Matt Hasselbeck). A guy that comes in, a country western star with a bad hammy (Charlie Whitehurst). He tried to tap out but couldn’t. He couldn’t, because he loves his teammates. … We told you that we would get those guys ready in three days. The Coney Island Thrasher (Josh Freeman)! He served soft-serve ice cream at halftime and goes out and still wins football games. … Guys I’ve never been more proud because there are a bunch of teams who — a long, long time ago in the season — would have mailed it in. … And I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for fighting.”
The Colts finished with an 8-8 record this season. They had to rely on Matthew Hasselbeck when Andrew Luck when down with his injury. In the season finale, the team had to go with Josh Freeman, who didn’t play a single snap in the season prior to the game to replace Luck, Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst, who were all injured.
The Colts should be a top contender next season again. Last season, they played in the AFC Championship game before losing to the New England Patriots.
Shortly after the game, it was reported that the Patriots deflated footballs and the “Deflategate” drama unfolding months later.
The 55-year-old has gone 40-23 during his tenure. His first three-years, the Colts went 11-5 each season before the decline this season.
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