The Indianapolis Colts have announced that Chuck Pagano will be the team’s new head coach. But Chuck Pagano won’t be available to the media until 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday.
In the interim, the Colts have made available to the media Chuck Pagano’s brother, John, who happens to be the new defensive coordinator of the Chargers.
John Pagano, who reportedly won’t be joining Chuck in Indy (the fact that John is under contract with the Chargers may have been a factor in that), spoke via conference call, and the Colts have sent out the quotes from the Chargers defensive coordinator in an email bearing an oversized version of Indy’s horseshoe logo.
Yes, it all seems a little bizarre. But at least there were no song lyrics in any of John Pagano’s answers. (We think.)
“I think they are going to respond really well,” John Pagano said as to the reaction of the Indianapolis fans to his brother. “I think he’s a defensive-minded coach with fire and passion. He’s going to bring a different energy to the city of Indianapolis.”
As to the biggest strategic question — whether Chuck Pagano will install a 3-4 defense — John Pagano said that both 4-3 and 3-4 elements likely will be used.
“It’s funny because I got the same types of questions when I took the [job] in San Diego,” John Pagano said. “They said I was a 3-4 guy, but I’ve coached in a 4-3 and a 3-4. We do multiple fronts and we have multiple looks. Baltimore was a 4-3 and a 3-4. They play those different types of hybrid defenses that really are game-changing types of defenses. Whatever your personnel suits you, you’re going to be in certain types of fronts and certain types of coverages whether it’s a 3-4 or a 4-3.
“The biggest difference between a 4-3 and a 3-4 is that you have a lot more linebackers in a 3-4 and you have a little bit bigger linebackers who can standup and come off the edge, which are just like 4-3 defensive ends. When you go to a sub package or a nickel package look, our outside linebackers here in San Diego are defensive ends. They are used to standing up and playing with their hands down. I would suggest multiple looks and multiple fronts.”
John Pagano also answered a question regarding the status of impending free agent defensive end, who technically remains under contract with the Colts until March 13. “When you have an impact rusher like Robert Mathis, you can see the presence he brings off the edge,” John Pagano said. “In anybody’s defense, in anybody’s scheme, Robert Mathis would make a difference. To be able to have him coming off the edge, I think [Chuck] would most welcome that.”
Another Colts player’s name wasn’t mentioned at all during the John Pagano conference call. It’ll likely be mentioned a few times this afternoon.