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Chuck Pagano to Colts: Why Indy Will Pay for Bizarre Hire

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIJanuary 25, 2012

If the Indianapolis Colts are going to fight their way back to being a Super Bowl contender, they will need a coach that has a strong working relationship with their quarterback. 

Chuck Pagano is not that man. But according to tweets from Pro Football Talk and Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, Pagano is the man the Colts have chosen to replace Jim Caldwell. 

His background is 100 percent defensive. Coming from the Baltimore Ravens makes that even more noticeable. Baltimore is a franchise that essentially discourages offense. 

Chris Mortensen of ESPN has reported that the Colts are going to take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick. How is Luck going to succeed on a team with a head coach that's 100 percent defensive? It is a tall order, and terribly unrealistic. 

Luck is really who this boils down to. If the Colts were a team that had an established veteran quarterback, then the hiring of a defensive-minded head coach would not be that big of a deal. Realistically, the Colts don't have that veteran quarterback. Peyton Manning is on the roster, but it would cost the Colts too much money to keep Manning and draft Luck. 

Indianapolis needs a guy that can put together game plans best suited for the development of the quarterback. We don't need to look any further than Indianapolis in 1998 to know that when a quarterback is in place, the rest of the franchise will follow suit.

But that quarterback needs to be put into a situation to be great. When Manning was selected by the Colts, they had an experienced coach in Jim Mora, a young receiver in Marvin Harrison and talented players like Edgerrin James and Reggie Wayne on the way. That environment allowed Manning to be the best possible quarterback he could be. 

But now, the offensive talent isn't there in the same way. The coach will be a defensive-minded rookie. If you're looking for a parallel, think about Mike Nolan and Alex Smith in San Francisco in 2005. Smith didn't succeed until he had an offensive head coach in Jim Harbaugh. That season didn't come until 2011.

That is not giving Luck his best chance for success. This is a decision the Colts will come to regret.

 

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