Pagano says “this is absolutely the best day of my life”

AP

In an upset that Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com calls an upset bigger than Super Bowl III, coach Chuck Pagano has reached a deal to remain with the Colts.

“Guy walks into office to get released, walks out with extension,” Kravitz said.

Making the upset even bigger is the fact that both Pagano and G.M. Ryan Grigson will remain in Indianapolis, despite multiple reports from last week (including a damning one from Kravtiz) suggesting a high degree of dysfunction between the front office and the coaching staff. But now, according to owner Jim Irsay, the two men are “tied at the hip,” with Grigson being “contractually tied” to Pagano.

This suggests that Grigson, who had one year left on his deal, now has a three-year extension.

For Pagano, who has multiple children and has beaten cancer, it was an occasion for hyperbole; “I’ve had a lot of great days in my life but none better than today. This is absolutely the best day of my life,” Pagano declared at a press conference with Irsay and Grigson. (For a guy who is married, has multiple kids, and has beaten cancer, that’s saying something.)

It ultimately was a confusing day, and it’s hard not to wonder whether Irsay at least explored the possibility of bringing in someone like Nick Saban before renewing vows with Pagano and Grigson. Irsay mentioned on a couple of occasions that he could have made a “big splash,” with an “eight-figure” coach.

Ultimately, Irsay seems to have backed away from the “Super Bowls or bust” mentality he previously had displayed, justifying continuity and consistency by pointing out that Pagano and Grigson have done more in their first four years than the team accomplished in the first four years with Hall of Fame G.M. Bill Polian and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

It’s an encouraging sign for the Colts. The owner has realized something that others haven’t. It’s far more important to keep swinging the bat consistently than to flail for the fences.

Irsay nevertheless hasn’t lost sight of the goal. “I’m convinced we have the right stuff to win a world championship,” Irsay said.

At least he’s not insisting on multiple Super Bowl championships. Maybe he has realized that there’s no quick fix in the NFL, and that things could be a lot worse with someone else than they’ve been with Grigson and Pagano.

90 responses to “Pagano says “this is absolutely the best day of my life”

  1. Consistency and continuity may not be sufficient, but they are certainly necessary conditions for building a solid team. What amazes me is that Irsay actually understands that. Until now, there was no indication of that kind of football maturity.

  2. After watching the final episode of Making a Murderer on Netflix, this is uplifting news. Irsay went a long way in restoring faith in HIS humanity tonight. Here is to hoping
    Luck, Pagano, the Colts & Irsay rebound in 2016/17.

  3. “Extensions?!? Chuck, Ryan… I was high when I said that yesterday!! Get the hell out of my office!”

  4. Pagano seems to be a really good guy from everything I’ve seen, and in my opinion certainly deserved to be extended. That said, I have to agree with the author (for once). This is a married man with kids who has recently beaten cancer. Seems like the “best day of my life” stuff should probably be reserved for that stuff. But hey, congrats, Chuck.

  5. Grigson is garbage. Dude played OL and neglected to give a once in a lifetime QB protection. Fire him

  6. The rest of the AFC South thanks you for going to bat for Ryan Grigson. You’ve ensured another decade of happy mediocrity for the Texans, who will lord over a crappy division and still barely go above .500 for another decade.

  7. I’m a lifelong Pats fan and I genuinely like Chuck as a human being. Felt all along he was headed for a raw deal so if he’s happy, I’m happy. But good god what has the man done wrong to be stuck with that loser Grigson? There is no justice if that guy still has a job.

  8. Yeah, you can’t help but root for Pagano. He beat cancer and guided the Colts to two divisional titles. How do you hate on that (except in the Deadspin comments section of course).

  9. Well, Grigson and Pagano better work together because it’ll be a nasty 4 years if they don’t. It sounds like Irsay laid down the law here, and there looks to be some consistency for the next couple, at least.

  10. Wow, the media really screwed up on this one. There must be some really bad “sources” out there. Today is a great day for the Colts. Grigson and Pagano took over a 2-14 team and had them in the AFC Championship in just 3 years. That’s a very rare accomplishment. This is one of the best organizations in pro sports, and Jim Irsay deserves a lot of credit.

  11. I’m no Irsay or Colt fan but he actually got this one right. By contractually tying the coach and GM together, that ensures that they will have to work together in order to be successful, and if they don’t they will both be fired together. It basically means if one tries to get the other one out they will both be gone.

  12. “…according to owner Jim Irsay, the two men are “tied at the hip,” with Grigson being “contractually tied” to Pagano.

    This suggests that Grigson, who had one year left on his deal, now has a three-year extension.”

    Or, it suggests that Pagano’s contract means Grigson now has less than full power over the roster and draft picks.

    Which would make this a “best day” for Colts fans, too.

  13. I’ll be the first to admit that I was calling for his head at the beginning of the year. But I couldn’t be happier about this extension. No rookie HC has ever won a SB. He gives us the best chance. And did an outstanding job this year given the circumstances. Plus Chudzinski’s system seems to be working much better than Pep’s. Now let’s just hope Grigson will give Luck a line that can protect him.

  14. Irsay has serious juice!
    Cleveland listens to their sports talk radio station dolts and blows things up every few years.
    Irsay is committed to making it work.
    I believe his efforts will be rewarded and the ruderless Browns will continue to flounder.

  15. tonebones says:
    Jan 4, 2016 11:17 PM

    Wow, the media really screwed up on this one. There must be some really bad “sources” out there. Today is a great day for the Colts. Grigson and Pagano took over a 2-14 team and had them in the AFC Championship in just 3 years. That’s a very rare accomplishment. This is one of the best organizations in pro sports, and Jim Irsay deserves a lot of credit.
    ——————————————————
    if tonebones isn’t Jim Irsay using a pseudonym I’ll eat my shorts.

  16. doublebro says:
    Jan 4, 2016 11:17 PM
    Thank you!
    -Texans Fan

    Enjoy being the first chiefs win in almost a quarter century

  17. Grigson consistently misses on high draft picks, Pagano is consistently outcoached outside the AFC South, and Luck is consistently the most hit QB in the NFL. Consistency isn’t everything.

  18. Pats fan here, and I think this is good news from a Foxboro perspective. Pagano seems like a decent guy, but Grigson is an awful, terrible GM and this will ensure that Indy has the wrong personnel for at least another year. The Trent Richardson trade alone should have gotten him fired, but when you include his insane disregard of upgrading the offensive line (and the need to protect Luck), I thank Irsay for keeping him there. Consistency is good in general, but when one person is clearly in over his head, consistency should yield. In this case, I’m perfectly happy to see the Colts flounder with the wrong personnel.

  19. I think what happened is he called in Chuck and Ryan for a round of spin the bottle to see who gets fired. The bottle kept pointing at himself, or at least that was where it was stopped when he saw it. So he decided why not and kept them both.

  20. I’m sorry; but, as a Pats fan, I have to say ‘Yes!!!’ Glad for Pagano, he seems like a good guy (although I can’t understand how he thinks things will be different next year)—but scared for Luck, he can’t take another year like this one and with Grigson sticking around as G.M….wow!

  21. I agree with the other commenters – Pagano’s fine, but how the heck does Grigson still have that job? I think we all know that Pagano would easily land a job within 30 days of getting canned by the Colts. As for Grigson, I’m not so sure about that.

  22. .
    Pagano : “If you fire me, I tell everything I know about framegate.”

    Irsay : ” Fire? Who said anything about that? We’re prepared to give you an extension, albeit with a iron clad confidentiality clause. ”
    .

  23. Why would pagano want to reaup with Grigson still in the fold? They have basically been pointing the finger at each other for the failure of this team for the past 2 years. This is going to end badly. After going 8-8 next year, irsay is gonna have to fire both these guys and pay out the rest of their deals. I was surprised that pagano stayed, even more so that Grigson was retained and they would continue to work with one another. It’s pretty much a certainty that one or both these men won’t see the completion of their new deals. But good luck to the, in any case.

  24. Just like the Patriots are impossible to root for because of their coach, quarterback and their cheating ways, the Dolts are also impossible to root for because of their drug addled owner, their egotistical clueless gm and “inspiring” but strategically challenged head coach who must have a way with words at times.

  25. Its disgusting that Grigson can be so atrocious as a GM and keep his job. they are one of maybe 8-9 other NFL teams with a true, bonafide franchise QB and hasnt protected him and havent given him a legitimate 1000 yd rusher to take the pressure off him. Hes been terrible as a GM…and thats an understatement.

  26. Very perplexing when a 2-time Super Bowl winner, such as Tom Coughlin, gets kicked to the curb. And Todd Bowles now wants Ryan “Fizzle”-patrick back, despite costing the Jets a playoff berth. What a crazy league, this has become.

  27. Good luck to the lot of ’em. Colts just went up a few notches after a terrible 12 months or so. Maybe Joe Thomas for a 1st rounder. That’s a win win win all round

  28. Can’t believe Irsay pardoned that putz Grigson; Maybe the most hateable G.M. in the NFL. Ugh, I truly loathe him as a human being. Seems like Irsay identifies with seedy, slippery, squirmy individuals….

  29. Grigson must be sweating. Six months ago, about 10% of us knew his name, now he is as under the microscope as anybody in the NFL.

    Seriously, name 6 other NFL GMs. Maybe 10% of us can but 90% of us know Ryan Grigson’s name and are watching his every move.

  30. Who’s Irsay kidding? Grigson must have evidence that Irsay was the true mastermind behind DeflateGate. Why else would a dysfunctional, inept GM be rewarded with another four years?

  31. If keeping your job was the best day of your life you work way, way too much. How about when you got married? Or when your kids were born? His family never sees him. I can only imagine how they felt hearing that.

  32. I am happy for Chuck Pagano. Everything is back to ‘Chuck Strong’ again.

    as I drove north on West Street past Lucas Oil Stadium last night, I prayed for a full house of victories.

  33. Very odd that a guy who kicked cancer’s butt said being resigned by the Colts was the best day of his life.

  34. Best news ever for Pats fans! Maybe another fake punt play?! Bet the Jags are happy too, what was the score 51-16??
    How anyone who beat cancer thinks that this is the best day of his life tells a lot, who the hell thinks that after beating cancer?

  35. This was probably more unexpected than being told his cancer was in remission, so he may have a point

  36. coltzfan166 says:
    Jan 4, 2016 11:22 PM
    I’ll be the first to admit that I was calling for his head at the beginning of the year. But I couldn’t be happier about this extension. No rookie HC has ever won a SB.
    ____________________

    Leave it to a ‘coltzfan’ to not know even their own team’s SB history. Don McCafferty Baltimore Colts, won Super Bowl V in his first year as a HC. Seifert did it with the Niners as well

  37. I just want to know who will be making the personnel/draft calls and who will be having input as to those decisions and how much input. If it’s all Grigson then look forward to more crappy O and D lines and no pass rush.

  38. they should put up a banner that says “On this day the colts made the stupidest GM rehire in NFL history”

    Oh wait I’m a titans fan. wtf still put up the darn banner.

  39. How can Pagano figure 3-4 more yrs of the players Grigson will acquire consider this to be the best day of his (professional) life?

  40. razzlejag says:
    Jan 5, 2016 5:17 AM

    Grigson must be sweating. Six months ago, about 10% of us knew his name, now he is as under the microscope as anybody in the NFL.
    ———————-

    One year ago, Ryan Grigson was a key figure in the biggest fraud ever perpetrated by the NFL, so if you didn’t know his name, you were in a coma, living under a rock, don’t follow football, and/or don’t follow any news whatsoever.

  41. The only thing I care about all of this is allowing Arians to interview for the Cards HC job. Thank you Colts! You want to talk about a coach who turned a franchise around? 5-11 seasons, 4-12 seasons and now since Arians came to AZ, 10-6, 11-5 and now 13-3. Go Cards and thanks again Colts!

  42. Never having worked for multiple millions of dollars and not knowing his wife or kids, I’m not going to question Chuck’s “best day of my life” comment.

  43. Pagano just got an extension for 1 of only 32 jobs that exist in the world.

    I’d say that was a pretty good day.

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