The Colts' stint of being without a head coach ended today after eight days, when it was announced that Chuck Pagano had taken the job. Pagano's most recent employment was with the Baltimore Ravens, where he was the defensive coordinator for the 2011 season. His other NFL experience includes a stint as a secondary coach for the Cleveland Browns and defensive backs coach for the Oakland Raiders.
Pagano should be a great fit in the team. The Colts' defense, besides a few standouts, is pretty dismal. They ranked 28th in points allowed (28.9 per game), 25th in total yards allowed (370.9 per game) and 29th in rushing yards allowed per game (143.9).
Obviously, they need some assistance, and someone who led one of the best defenses to the AFC Championship game this season can hopefully spark a much-needed change. I would anticipate, outside of Andrew Luck, that many of the Colts' picks in the 2012 NFL draft will be defensive positions.
So, with the hiring of Pagano, is this the last big change we will see amongst coaches and staff this offseason in the Colts' organization? It will be interesting to see if OC Clyde Christensen retains his job for the 2012 season when you consider the Colts averaged 15.2 points per game in 2011 (28th in the NFL).
Could Peyton Manning be the next offensive coordinator for Indianapolis?
Probably not. But it is something to think about. If Manning's health doesn't return to playing standards, then what better position would there be for Manning to take than the offensive coordinator job? The man has pretty much already ran the Colts' offense throughout his 14-year career in Indianapolis, so the move wouldn't be that drastic.
Regardless, the time is ticking for Jim Irsay to decide Peyton's future with the Colts, whether he retains Manning for the 2012 season or we see Manning play elsewhere. I personally think that, if Manning is questioning his health at all, then maybe he should re-structure his contract...into one for an offensive coordinator.
I think the Colts' community would stand behind that decision, rather than lose him all together. Unfortunately, Peyton is not done with his career, and we will just be left hoping Irsay keeps him on the roster.
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