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More talk that Jim Irsay may fire Chuck Pagano, hire Nick Saban

Alabama Football Monday Saban Presser Nov. 9


Colts owner Jim Irsay may be preparing to fire head coach Chuck Pagano and make a move for Alabama coach Nick Saban in two months.

Longtime Indianapolis journalist Bob Kravitz said on Mad Dog Sports Radio that Irsay isn’t satisfied with Pagano simply making the playoffs, as he has done every year he’s been the Colts’ coach. Instead, Irsay wants to see the Colts win multiple Super Bowls with Andrew Luck, and Irsay just doesn’t think Pagano is up to that task.

“Jim Irsay does not believe that Chuck Pagano is the guy who can take him to where he wants to go,” Kravitz said. “He’s talking about not just one Super Bowl, but multiple Super Bowls in the Andrew Luck era.”

Kravitz believes that Irsay wants Saban, and if Saban demands full control of the Colts’ personnel, Irsay would fire General Manager Ryan Grigson to give Saban the authority he wants.

“Jim Irsay is going to make the next coaching hire,” Kravitz said. “If he brings in a guy who demands full power, like, say, a Nick Saban, who I think he’s going to go after, if he brings in a Nick Saban, he’s going to have full power and that means that Ryan Grigson will either be kicked to the curb or he’ll have a different role in the organization.”

Kravitz said Grigson getting fired is “a 50-50 proposition” and will depend mostly on the type of coach Irsay can get: If it’s a big-name coach who wants total control, Irsay will show Grigson the door. If the Colts can’t attract a big-name coach, Grigson will stay and work with the new coach.

It sure sounds like Irsay wants Saban, and the only real question is whether Saban wants to coach the Colts. Saban has already won three national championships at Alabama and his team is currently No. 2 in the country. That could mean he has a good thing going and wouldn’t want to leave, but it could also mean that he’s accomplished everything he wants to accomplish in college and wants to take on a new challenge in the NFL. Saban’s previous tenure in Miami didn’t go well, but Saban has hinted that if he had full control of a roster and a franchise quarterback, he’d like to coach in the NFL again. Irsay may give Saban what he wants, and Saban may head to Indianapolis in two months.