Pagano: ‘I don’t have any reason to believe I wouldn’t be [back]’

Pagano Dec 21

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano spoke at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Pagano recapped the season, saying of players: “We know these guys are fighters. It’s in our DNA.”

With the win over the Jaguars Sunday, Indianapolis (8-8) narrowly avoided its first losing season since Pagano took the job in 2012.

Insisting they must learn, grow and do better, Pagano said, “It’s a winning culture. It’s a winning organization.”

Usually, teams are willing to stick with coaches who have records of 49-31, three playoff appearances, two division titles and one AFC championship appearance. But after missing the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 1997-98, fans have soured on Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson.

Fans have largely split over who is more culpable for the Colts’ plight and some want both gone.

Pagano said he hasn’t met with Jim Irsay yet but expects to be back next year. “That’s the plan,” said Pagano.

Pagano said the last time he spoke to owner Jim Irsay was after Sunday’s game. “We were enjoying the moment,” Pagano said.

“I don’t think it’s stuck in neutral. I think it’s moving forward,” Andrew Luck said when asked to assess where the Colts are headed. “Obviously, it’s about having a better record and getting into the playoffs.”

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