As you may have known by now, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano will miss at least the next six-to-eight weeks now as he was diagnosed by the leukemia cancer Monday, as announced by the franchise. Pagano will be hospitalized and will undergo chemotherapy. However, the cancer Pagano has is treatable.
Several of the Colts staff announced the sudden news Monday in an emotional press conference. For such a young, new team having this happen to their new head coach is a big heartbreaker. It’s tragic.
“I am optimistic. I feel with every fiber of my body and I know Chuck feels the same way that he can beat this thing,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said.
Pagano was originally the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, until being called up to be the new leader of a franchise heading into a completely different direction after they ended the Peyton Manning era. So far, Pagano hasn’t been too shabby and is doing well leading a bright, new team with potential.
However, with him out, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will serve as the interim head coach. Arians says he won’t try to change up how he coaches and that it’s just a bigger role. He’ll still be calling the offensive plays, and that’s final. Luckily for this team, Pagano will likely return sometime this season before it comes to an official close.
“I think it’s unlikely he’ll be all-in as the head coach the rest of this season,” Irsay said. “He may be able to come back and be in the press box or something.”
For the Colts, this may be very tough to deal with. The defense rides under him and they’ve been very energetic and have been a major highlight of the new team this season with big plays from players like Robert Mathis, Antoine Bethea, Jerrell Freeman, Kavell Conner, Antoine Bethea and more.
Using this latest string of news should not be handed as an excuse for this roster. Instead, using it as motivation can go along way going forward for these next one-to-two months, and they will have to give it all that they got. I can see the Colts transforming quickly, playing with more heart and determination to punch out more victories, all for Pagano.
Turning this into motivation and playing for coach can work. Up next week are the Green Bay Packers at home.
Expect a lot of heart and will from this Indianapolis.