Even Colts owner Jim Irsay had to admit that he was not sure if Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson would both be retained following the dysfunctional 2015 season. Now we know how both head coach and general manager settled their differences and not only avoided the axe, but received contraction extensions in the offseason.
Irsay says Paganao and Grigson each wanted their fates tied together. That might sound odd considering the rift that reportedly existed between the two, but the way Irsay describes his January 4 meeting with coach and GM to Zak Keefer for the Indianapolis Star, this was their decision as much as it was the owner’s.
“There was no question that going into it … I had to vet it through and hear it thoroughly where we were at,” Irsay said. “Once I heard that, you have to understand this, both men, both men insisted upon the other man to be hitched to them. Not at my demand, by any stretch. At their request. Strong request.”
Whatever was said behind closed doors must’ve been very intense, even heated at times.
Irsay detailed a 90-minute, one-on-one meeting between Pagano and Grigson this way: “Let me tell ya — tears fell, voices were raised, but they both came out different people.”
Heading into the offseason, few thought both men could survive, with coach Pagano seemingly on his way out. Yet according to Keefer, Irsay had not made a decision heading into the big meeting, allowing for the possibility for Pagano and Grigson to patch things up. Apparently it worked, because it sounds like they’re best buddies now.
In all seriousness, it sounds like Pagano and Grigson at the very least respect each other and will make a conscious effort to work together moving forward. The stability could be a great thing for the Colts, as they were on the doorstep of the Super Bowl little more than a year ago.