#ChuckStrong Movement Over?


Now we all know that Chuck Pagano battled leukemia, the same disease that took the life of Joey (Something For Joey, great book/movie), and that is how the hashtag “#ChuckStrong” began, and he eventually got better and overcame that obstacle to resume his duties as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts that following season. As a matter of fact, he was diagnosed with leukemia at the beginning of his first season as an NFL head coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Bruce Arians, who won a head coaching job over in Arizona, was the interim head coach during this time period.

But recent reports have come out that this is a “make or break” year for Chuck Pagano, as NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport has come out to say. And interestingly enough, the same was said last year about then-Niner head coach (key word is “then”), Jim Harbaugh. Despite making the playoffs and being competitive, his job was on the line, basically being told “Win a Super Bowl, or go do bluer things”. { Here is where I was going to put a winky face, but that’s so unprofessional.  :) }

Pagano is credited, including that lost season, with a 33-15 record and a 3-3 postseason record, all in just 3 years, winning the weaker AFC South two of those years. And I happened to look at the winning percentage he’s credited with, which if you took out the entire 2012 season, it’d still be 68.8% at the helm, in the last two full years. I then wanted to compare it with the other head coaches currently in the NFL, and of the 25 who have coached more than 1 game (Tomsula interned once in 2010, so didn’t include his 1-0 record), then Pagano has the 3rd-best winning percentage in the NFL (Bill Belichick and Jim Caldwell)… Actually, Caldwell and Pagano are tied percentage wise.

I keep going back to Jim Harbaugh, and if he was still the 49ers head coach, he won nearly 70% of his games, and he’d be behind Belichick in this list.

The big question is, why? Why would an NFL owner get rid of a head coach who has proven to be more than successful season to season, and the players clearly buy into? Well, let me know when you figure it out…

 

The best I can do, is when the front office isn’t happy, nobody’s happy (it’s like momma in a household). Colts general manager Mike Grigson and Chuck Pagano are reported, by numerous places, not to seen eye-to-eye on certain topics on-the-field. One of those is Grigson felt rookie 3rd-round pick Donte Moncrief should’ve been playing ahead of Reggie Wayne last season (Wayne’s now in New England).  Another is Chuck Pagano wanted to instill a run-first mentality when the team acquired Trent Richardson (Richardson’s unemployed after being cut from Oakland).

Many felt the more coveted job was the 49ers, with the amount of talent there, but I was not in that crowd. I felt that would be the worst job to go towards, because I not only looked at the roster and the talent the heir would be getting, but instead, I was trying to look at the bigger picture. When there’s cancer, you have to look at the entire body to see where else it may be, or how it may have spread, so I look at the front office. If the front office did not appreciate Jim Harbaugh, not only winning 70% of his games, but taking them to a Super Bowl, then how long would they tolerate a new guy installing his system? That’s what I think about when I think of the Indianapolis Colts… If they cut Pagano, who will want to go there? Yes, there’s Andrew Luck, and there’s a star receiver in TY Hilton, and you have some attractive pieces. But would you want to go to a team you’d have a short leash with, and who would want to be dipping their hand into your duties for the organization?

So if the Colts can’t get past the AFC/Patriots and into the Super Bowl, expect Indianapolis to part ways with Chuck Pagano, and there to be a huge buzz about the new coach there. Just remember this perspective on the situation. (now I can wink, considering I just surpassed 700 words) ;)

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