Indianapolis Colts: Is It Time to Put the Coaching Staff on the Hot Seat?

By Eric Smith
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It keeps getting more and more embarrassing for the Indianapolis Colts. For some reason, they go from being among the NFL‘s elite to losing to some of the worst teams in the league. For another Sunday, the Colts went home losers to a team they’re better than. They did it in embarrassing fashion yet again.

I know some of you Arizona Cardinals fans are going to say that the Cardinals are better because they won 40-11 — not true.

The Colts are better — they have more talent; they are better today, tomorrow, yesterday and next year. The Colts were beat in one facet of the game, and that’s coaching. It was a flat-out embarrassment to the organization that so many Colts fans traveled that far to see their team not even show up. I put more effort getting out of bed in the morning than this team showed yesterday afternoon in the University of Phoenix Stadium.

They allowed quarterback Carson Palmer to throw to wide open receivers all day. He had no stress on him whatsoever as every time there was a pass rush, he’d hit a one of his wideouts without a defender within five yards of them. Did Palmer just now decide to be a good quarterback, or did the Colts have breakdowns all over the field? That’s a pretty simple answer.

The Colts were atrocious offensive side of the ball. How in the world do the Colts’ top two running backs only have 16 yards on nine attempts? The Cardinals’ defense is decent, but they’re not that good. What happened to blocking?

That’s why it’s time to put this coaching staff on the hot seat. Chuck Pagano doesn’t have this team ready to play every week. How many deficits do they need to come back from? This is the fourth straight game that the Colts have trailed by a decisive amount in the first half (all since the bye). This has nothing to do about injuries, the offensive line or the lack of defense. This is all on coaching.

It’s schemes, breakdowns and heart. Pagano isn’t getting any of it out of this team. Why am I so hard on them? Do I have stats to back it up? Yes.

If a team was well prepared and cared about winning, the first-half score would be more even. That’s the easiest time to play any game. You should know what the other team is throwing at you if you watch film and do it correctly. This team looks puzzled for the entire first half like they’ve never seen their opponent play before.

27-3, 28-0, 24-3 — those are the halftime scores that the Colts trailed by against three of the last four opponents. None of those three teams will make the playoffs. If a team spends the entire week preparing, studying, knowing assignments and cares about winning, do you think you get a halftime score like that? I can grab 22 guys (11 on offense and 11 on defense), prepare for an entire week and go into halftime with a score closer than that.

This team is not prepared going into games, and that falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff. Pagano isn’t do his job, the coordinators aren’t calling the right plays and the positional coaches aren’t helping this team improve. Teams are supposed to be getting better by the week this time of the year, and the Colts are going backwards. That’s a big-time problem and usually signifies issues within the locker room.

The moral of the story is that this Colts team has over $100 million spent on upgrades, and they’re on pace to be worse than last year’s team. They’re currently 7-4 and had an 11-5 record last year. That means they have to win out to be better, and win all but one to stay the same. Improving teams don’t lose to the St. Louis Rams 38-8 or the Cardinals 40-11. Those two teams are going nowhere, and the Colts showed up to with little to no effort against them.

I don’t think that’s what Jim Irsay had in mind for 2013.

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