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Colts Mailbag Part I: Why is Chuck Pagano getting a pass?

Mike Wells: It’s not about taking coach Chuck Pagano’s side. You’re right, quarterback Andrew Luck is a major reason why the Colts have won 11 games in each of the past three seasons. And you’re also right about the Colts defense under Pagano. Pagano came to Indianapolis from Baltimore, where he was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator. To say the defense has struggled under Pagano would be an understatement. They’ve been a disappointment. They finished 11th overall last season, but they were 18th when it came to stopping the run. GM Ryan Grigson doesn’t get a free pass, though. He signed safety LaRon Landry (gone), defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois (gone) and drafted linebacker Bjoern Werner and defensive lineman Josh Chapman, two players who have yet to live up to expectations. So the blame can be spread around.

Wells: I’d say it’s unlikely now that the Colts have signed veteran Dwight Lowery, but you never know when it comes to Ryan Grigson. Collins is the only safety projected to be selected in the first round, and the Colts at some point have to get younger at that position because Lowery is 29 and Mike Adams turned 34 last month. I’m sticking with it being unlikely that the Colts move up to land Collins.

Wells: The Colts are big fans of the depth at running back in the draft. They believe it goes way deeper than just Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman. Boise State’s Jay Ajay, Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Miami’s Duke Johnson are other running backs to keep an eye. Getting a young running back is a necessity for the Colts because Frank Gore is turning 32 next month. The young back can get some snaps and learn from Gore until the veteran is no longer on the team. It’s a win-win situation for the Colts.

Wells: The Colts would have re-signed Reggie Wayne if they felt like he could still help them. They obviously didn’t feel that way. Wayne likely wouldn’t have been any more than the No. 3 receiver for the Colts next season. He said while in town to judge the college slam dunk competition that he wasn’t healthy last season because of knee and triceps injuries. Wayne had an incredible career with the Colts, but they upgraded by signing former Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson last month. Wayne definitely sounds like he is not ready to call it a career. Wayne has motivation because he didn't have a reception in the Colts’ final two playoff games.