According to Stephen Holder of Indystar.com, veteran leadership of the Indianapolis Colts called a players-only meeting last week.
The goal of the meeting was reportedly to keep the team galvanized, and to block out all the noise stemming from the ongoing feud between general manager Ryan Grigson, owner Jim Irsay and head coach Chuck Pagano, who is rumored to be on his way out.
Per Holder, multiple players spoke on the condition of anonymity and outlined “a number of concerns.”
“Chief among them: coach Chuck Pagano and his staff are being directed to follow lineup decisions — usually the coaches’ prerogative — made by the front office, something numerous NFL sources confirmed,” Holder wrote.
Players also confirmed the coaching staff had its hands tied with regard to implementing any changes suggested by the players “because of forces beyond their control.”
The players are also reportedly unsettled by the tenuous contract situation of head coach Pagano, who was unsuccessful in negotiating a favorable long-term extension this offseason — something that has been reported by multiple NFL insiders as a big problem.
The team’s decision to cut offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who was replaced by Rob Chudzinski, was also a huge shock to the players, and Holder notes “presumably some won’t like it.”
Indianapolis, at 3-5, remarkable still lead the AFC South, tied with the Houston Texans. However, given the level of turmoil within the organization, and given the unbelievably bad season quarterback Andrew Luck is having, the 2015 campaign might be a lost cause.
We’ll find out soon enough if the efforts of these veterans will pay off in the win/loss columns as the second half of the season begins. A victory in Week 9 isn’t exactly easy to dream up, as the undefeated Denver Broncos and their league-best defense come into Indianapolis to take on Luck and the Colts on Sunday.
At this point, one wonders if Pagano will even make it until the end of the year, the way things are going.