Chuck Pagano on rough season: ‘They can fire you but they can’t eat you’

By Rachel Wold
Sep 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano watches the Colts warm up before the game against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts and head coach Chuck Pagano are having a rough go of it this season, and the embattled coach may be working to literally keep his job come next year.

After a down game that saw Matt Hasselbeck exit with an injury in a horrific loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 51-16, Pagano was asked about how he is handling the stress of his job.

“They can’t eat you. They can fire you but they can’t eat you,” Pagano added, via “So if the worst thing, a year from now, let’s say I’m in Boise this time next year playing with my granddaughters, I’m going to be fine. That ain’t going to happen but I’m going to be fine if I have to go down that road.”

Having endured what is truly rough in life, when he underwent cancer treatment, Pagano put things into perspective.

“When I spent 26 days in the hospital in 2012 (during cancer treatment), that was tough. That was tough. This is nothing,” he said. “I’m holding up great. My weight’s a little bit up cause you don’t get as much time to work out a little bit so I’ve got a few extra pounds on me … that’s what big clothes do for you. My wife is taking great care of me. I’m doing great.”

Right now, the Colts (6-7) are hanging on by a thread in the AFC South with the Houston Texans only a half of a game behind. And what already has been a difficult team situation with quarterback Andrew Luck sidelined just got worse with the recent injury to Matt Hasselbeck.

To top things off, the Colts have been outscored their past two games by 70 points. For all the woes the Colts are dealing with, Pagano’s future with the team could certainly be at risk. With the exception of 2015, Pagano has managed 11-5 seasons from 2012-2014 during his four years coaching for Indianapolis.

Therefore if the Colts don’t finish the season as the leaders of the AFC South, the team’s owner Jim Irsay could take action.

For the final stretch of the season, the Colts at least have a friendly lineup of opponents including the Houston Texans with T.J. Yates possibly starting, the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans.

And with any luck, the team might get their Luck back which really couldn’t come at a more-needed time.