Hot Seat Index: Pagano falling out of favor in Indy

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We're at the point in the season when every team has played at least seven games. At this juncture, you can clearly tell whether a team is underachieving or performing better than expected.

The NFL averages just over six head coaching changes per season, and we've already seen two fired (Joe Philbin and Ken Whisenhunt) this season.

Who could be next? Here's a look at where coaches stand in the view of executives around the league.


Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts

In my first update shortly before the season began, I had Pagano on the list under the "Hot" category. Unfortunately, things have not gotten much better for the veteran coach.

Despite a 35-18 record to this point and three straight AFC South championships, Pagano's hold on the job is tenuous at best. Even with a record of 3-5, the Colts are tied for first place in the worst division in football.

There have been no scheduled contract talks, and before the season, Pagano turned down the team's low raise for a one-year extension. Things could always change at the end of the season, but as it stands now, nothing suggests both sides want to complete a deal that would keep the coach with the team for years to come.

And keep in mind, GM Ryan Grigson's contract runs through the 2016 season, while Pagano's runs through the end of this season. As one veteran personnel man said, "[Owner Jim] Irsay made a mistake in not having the coach and GM end their contracts at the same time. I've never understood why some teams do that." The feeling with some execs is that if you have the GM's deal longer than the head coach, you're basically saying the GM is more important.