INDIANAPOLIS – ESPN.com NFL Insider Mike Sando has an interesting piece in which he talked to different officials around the league and ranked all 32 head coaches.
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano didn’t crack the top five, not the top 10 or the top 15, either.
League officials have Pagano ranked as the 16th-best coach in the league.
That may seem low when you take into account that Pagano is 22-10 in his two years as coach (he missed 12 games because of his battle with leukemia in 2012) and has been to the playoffs in each of those seasons. The Colts also beat San Francisco, Seattle and Denver last season.
"One of the things I thought about is getting your players to play for you," a voter said. "Even though Bruce Arians was running the show [in 2012], I think his players played for [Pagano]. It was a little personal and emotional, but I felt that was a group of players doing whatever they had to do to play for him. This past year, when Bruce was gone, they wound up winning in the playoffs without having an overly-talented team. They played their butts off for their coach more than anyone else. He did a great job of motivating them."
Some question Pagano’s coaching because he’s had franchise quarterback Andrew Luck and they play in the AFC South, the weakest division in the league.
"I think he is a good coach, but some contributing factors make me want to see more against better competition," one executive said.
The coach you can question on whether he deserves to be ranked higher than Pagano is Philadelphia's Chip Kelly.
New England coach Bill Belichick and Seattle’s Pete Carroll were named the top two coaches.