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Chuck Pagano's return may put Colts in awkward spot

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10:02 AM ET 12.30 | The story of the 2012 Indianapolis Colts could go from awesome to awkward in a flash. Chuck Pagano is back as coach after nearly three months of treatments for his leukemia, and there's scarcely a more inspiring sight in sports. His good friend, Bruce Arians, has dutifully stepped aside, having led the team on a wildly improbable march to the playoffs in Pagano's absence. But what happens this off-season, when head-coaching vacancies crop up all over the league? Arians, 60, has waited his entire career to be a head coach, and he's at an age where those opportunities are not plentiful. Rest assured, if and when teams come calling, he will listen -- especially those franchises with good quarterbacks (read: San Diego).

Los Angeles Times

Chuck Pagano, Michael Hickey/Getty Images Chuck Pagano, Michael Hickey/Getty Images
December 30, 2012  10:08 AM ET

You can't blame Arians for wanting to get his own head coaching gig. He's done very well with the Colts and helped brought Luck a long way. I hope he gets his shot.

December 30, 2012  10:13 AM ET

Arians should be COY and get his own gig. He's the real deal. You can bet Ben Rothlisberger misses him big time!

December 30, 2012  10:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Arians should be COY and get his own gig. He's the real deal. You can bet Ben Rothlisberger misses him big time!

Agreed, on all points. Arians should be at the top of the short list of COY candidates.

December 30, 2012  10:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Agreed, on all points. Arians should be at the top of the short list of COY candidates.

Yeah has to be on the list for sure

December 30, 2012  10:35 AM ET

So if you're Pagano, how long do you play your starters today?

December 30, 2012  10:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

So if you're Pagano, how long do you play your starters today?

With the Texans really needing this game...

Good question.

December 30, 2012  10:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

With the Texans really needing this game... Good question.

Always a tough one. If Luck gets hurt in the 4th quarter it's all your fault. If you sit him and they lose in the wildcard round it's all your fault

December 30, 2012  10:49 AM ET

Play the game to win, stop the speculation.

December 30, 2012  10:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Play the game to win, stop the speculation.

Yep, every time you back off either on a play or a game it comes back to bite you in the butt.

December 30, 2012  10:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Play the game to win, stop the speculation.

I have a hunch most Colts fans would agree - having been scarred from past "sit 'em" choices.

December 30, 2012  11:16 AM ET

So Bruce Arians knows the mindset of this team. Do you think Chuck Pagano looks over to Bruce during the game or talks to him to get his opinion on a crucial decision or do you think he goes completely solo to re-establish himself as the head coach?

December 30, 2012  11:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

So Bruce Arians knows the mindset of this team. Do you think Chuck Pagano looks over to Bruce during the game or talks to him to get his opinion on a crucial decision or do you think he goes completely solo to re-establish himself as the head coach?

I get a hunch that Chuck has the pulse of the team well in hand.

December 30, 2012  11:40 AM ET

Early games - Texans@Colts and Iggles@Giants

Late games - Chefs@Broncos and GB@Queens

December 30, 2012  11:48 AM ET

OBD you don't get to see the skins boyz game ?

December 30, 2012  11:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

I get a hunch that Chuck has the pulse of the team well in hand.

It's a complicated issue. On one hand you have compassion for Chuck's illness and on the other as an NFL football player you started your season with 1 win and 2 loses, and then your interim head coach led you to 9 wins and 3 losses. Now you're going up against a team you lost to two weeks ago and don't want to lose again. It's a tough situation for Chuck Pagano.

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December 30, 2012  11:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

That's the NBC game tonight.

Hail to the Redskins!!!

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