Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano enters a make-or-break 2015.

Two sources briefed on the situation say the team is not expected to work out a contract extension with Pagano prior to the season, the final year of the four-year contract he signed when he was hired in 2012.


Similar to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett this year, Pagano will see through his deal with no financial safety net in this huge season. What Pagano hopes is to cash in eventually as Garrett did, leading the Cowboys to the playoffs and earning a five-year, $30-million deal.

The Colts reached the AFC title game this past season before losing to the New England Patriots by 38 points. The run to the AFC championship was their best playoff showing under Pagano, but he said this week of the loss’ lopsided nature, “Did we want to be more competitive? Absolutely.”

The Colts have made the playoffs in each of Pagano’s three seasons, though he missed most of 2012 while battling cancer, as interim coach Bruce Arians won Coach of the Year honors. Pagano has impressed the team’s brass, but in part because of his illness, there have been only two full seasons on which to judge his prowess as a coach. The team will utilize 2015 to continue to evaluate him, while Pagano hopes to use it to achieve as much team success as possible, which would increase his value.

Pagano — and quarterback Andrew Luck — did receive some reinforcements during a big free-agent period. The Colts signed running back Frank Gore and receiver Andre Johnson, among others.


“It’s always good to be able to add some veteran guys who have some years under their belt into the locker room,” Pagano said this week during the NFL Annual Meeting in Arizona.

The Colts also looked to address a run defense that gave up a combined 423 yards on the ground in two losses to the Pats by adding veterans Trent Cole and Kendall Langford.

“It’s our Achilles heel right now,” Pagano said this week, per The Indianapolis Star. “We either get it fixed or it will be somebody else getting it fixed.”

The hope is that the moves will help get the Colts past the AFC’s elite during a critical season.

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