Chuck Pagano Reportedly Hired as Indianapolis Colts' New Head Coach

Tyler WardAnalyst IJanuary 25, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Chuck Pagano of the Baltimore Ravens poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Baltimore,Maryland. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Reports have just broken that the Indianapolis Colts have found a replacement for the recently departed Jim Caldwell—and who is it? Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.

Pagano spent just one season with the Ravens as their defensive coordinator, as he had been their secondary coach for three seasons. Pagano helped lead the Ravens defense that placed third in points allowed and yards allowed.

His first stint in the NFL came in 2001 when he was hired by the Cleveland Browns to be their secondary coach. Pagano would also go on to hold the same position with the Raiders. He spent one season as North Carolina's defensive coordinator before coming back to the NFL as the Ravens secondary coach.

The Colts had met with Pagano a couple of days ago and it appears certain that he will become the team's fourth head coach of the 2000s—a list that includes Jim Mora, Tony Dungy and Caldwell.

The hiring of Pagano practically spells the end for quarterback Peyton Manning, who the Colts took with the No. 1 pick in 1998. It also means that the Colts will likely try to become a defensive team and could very well switch from the Tampa 2 defense to the 3-4 defense that the Ravens have historically run.

Indianapolis holds the No. 1 selection in April's draft and will likely take Stanford's Andrew Luck as its future franchise quarterback.

The Colts are clearly in a rebuilding stage and it will take time for the team to become contenders again.

Owner Jim Irsay has gashed the coaching staff this offseason, firing general manager Bill Polian and his son, Chris. The elder Polian was replaced with Ryan Grigson, a member of the Eagles' staff that made the biggest splash in free agency last summer.

It is abundantly clear, though, that the Colts will need to make a big splash in free agency, unlike what they've done in the past—their biggest free-agent signing of the 2000s is probably Adam Vinatieri, and that isn't saying too much.

With many quality free agents and the likely cutting of Manning and his $28 million option, the Colts could do some damage in free agency. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, defensive end Robert Mathis, wide receiver Pierre Garcon, tackle Ryan Diem and center Jeff Saturday are all free agents and it isn't certain who the Colts will re-sign in this group.

The hirings of Grigson and Pagano and the selection of Luck may begin a bright future in Indianapolis/ Hopefully everything goes right.