I’m a Colts fan but when Peyton Manning went to Denver, I also became a Broncos fan until the day he left. I loved that dude, so my fandom would follow him wherever he played. The same principle applies here. If these two guys pair back up to coach the Browns…I’m all in!
Bruce Arians provided color commentary for CBS in the Chiefs win over the Browns last Sunday. During a break Arians was asked by the Canton Repository if he would consider being a head coach again. His response was “Cleveland is the only job I would consider.” Then he went on to say that if he got that job, Chuck Pagano would be his choice for Defensive Coordinator. Holy Shit!!! Is this possible?!
I have to think as soon as GM John Dorsey read this, phone calls were made. Colts fans loved these guys when they were together here. I think the only problem was, most of us would’ve preferred Arians as the head coach and Pagano as defensive coordinator. In 2012, this duo led the Colts, who were 2-14 the year before, to a record of 11-5. That’s the year Pagano was battling Leukemia and had to turn the reins over to Arians in week 5. We were 2-2 at that point and under Arians, went 9-3. Many of us think Chuck Pagano was a bit conservative and that Arians’ “let it eat” attitude better suited an offense led by Andrew Luck.
The Ravens defense was 3rd overall when Pagano was there and after the Colts fired him, it looked like the Ravens were very interested in bringing Pagano back.
Obviously, he didn’t become the defensive coordinator for the Ravens. I couldn’t find a report that explained why. Maybe it’s because the Colts’ defense finished 30th in the last two years that Pagano was head coach. But the Ravens knew that before they reached out to him so I’m going to put my detective hat back on say it’s more likely that he told them he wasn’t interested. If that’s the case, it’s possible he just wasn’t ready to jump back in the game yet and wanted to take some time off to spend with his family.
But what if he and Bruce Arians, who had just retired as head coach of the Cardinals, met for drinks and discussed what the future would hold for each of them? Neither of these guys are starving, so if they wanted to return to coaching they could each afford to wait for the right opportunity to come along. Even a schmuck like me was aware that if Cleveland didn’t turn things around this year, Hue Jackson was getting the boot. So, let’s assume both these former head coaches were aware of that as well.
So, when you add that to the fact that Bruce Arians just announced his desire to take over as head coach at Cleveland and to bring Pagano with him…it’s not unreasonable to assume that he had communicated that information to Pagano before he leaked it to the press.
Now, Hue Jackson is gone and the Browns will have to make a decision for next year. If they decide to go with an experienced head coach that has a proven track record and a talent for getting the most out of a quarterbacks that are #1 draft picks…I’d say Bruce Arians and Chuck Pagano are in a pretty good spot.