Colts HC Chuck Pagano: ‘They Can Fire You, But They Can’t Eat You’

Chuck Pagano AP

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano talks like a glass-half-full kind of guy.

“They can’t eat you,” Pagano pointed out to reporters Monday. “They can fire you, but they can’t eat you. So if the worst thing is a year from now, let’s say I’m in Boise 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 go down that road.”

The Colts came out on the wrong end of a 51-16 blowout to the heretofore horrible Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The humiliation comes a week after the Pittsburgh Steelers demolished Pagano’s team 45-10.

More than half of analysts predicted the Colts to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The team appeared as a pick to get to the Super Bowl by pundits at the league’s website more than any other franchise. Jeff Chadiha and Colleen Wolfe even forecast their victory in Santa Clara. But that all happened before the Colts played in a regular-season game. Now that they have played in thirteen, their coach talks about breathing a sigh of relief because at least he won’t end up in Jim Irsay’s digestive system.

Even before Indianapolis lost All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts underperformed. They dropped the opening two games to the Jets and Bills, and later played tight with the Patriots before blowing the game in large part via a bone-headed swinging-gate punt formation utilized by Pagano that started the chorus calling for his dismissal.

But at 6-7 with a tiebreaker victory over the Houston Texans, the Colts remain atop the AFC South. Their three remaining opponents register combined records of 13-26, so Chuck Pagano can certainly save his job. The Colts control their own destiny, and host a wildcard game should they win out.

And even if Pagano does not win out, they can’t waterboard him, drop him off in the Antarctic naked and afraid, force him to participate in a threesome with Lena Dunham and Charlie Sheen, impale him on the obelisk at Monument Circle, or sit him between Rosie O’Donnell and Jon Taffer as they passionately debate the least important of the laws of thermodynamics, bimetallism, Coke vs. Pepsi,  whether the U.S. government performed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and competing interpretations of Twin Peaks for nine hours. Oh, yeah. They can’t eat him, either.