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Chuck Pagano’s “Open Door” Policy A Favorite Of Colts Players

Posted Jul 8, 2014

Intro: Chuck Pagano is about to embark on this third NFL season as a head coach. Many times, the label “players’ coach” has been thrown around in describing Pagano. What makes the Colts head coach so appealing to his players?



INDIANAPOLIS – Not much is known about head coaches' offices around the NFL.

To most, the office associating so often with head coaches is on a sideline each week, for sixty minutes of constant critiquing from those watching.

Bruce Arians gave us a glimpse into Chuck Pagano’s actual office back in 2012.

During Pagano’s fight with leukemia, Arians asked for the light to remain on in the head coach’s office until he returned to work on Christmas Eve.

There’s one more thing we now know about Pagano’s office.

His door will always remain open.

“Coach Chuck (Pagano) is the man,” Arthur Jones, who played for Pagano in Baltimore, said when meeting the media for the first time in Indianapolis. “He’ll come at you like a man and tell you what you need to do and that’s something you respect as a player and you want to work hard for a guy like that.

“It’s always good to know someone in unfamiliar territory that you can get familiar with very fast. It’s very comforting to know someone and to have someone as a resource I can go and talk to at any time.”



The open door policy that Pagano practices is something that attracted Jones during the free agency process.

A little bit further down the Colts locker room is Ricky Jean Francois.

When free agency began for Francois in 2013, he had just wrapped up playing another season for Jim Harbaugh.

While Pagano and Harbaugh vary in what fans see on the sidelines each week, Francois sees a common similarity that has led to each of their early coaching successes. 

“If you got a coach that will open his door to anybody, anytime, no matter what the situation is whether it’s good or bad, you’re going to start winning your locker room, hands down,” Francois says.

“Once you get that type of coach that wants to hear you, take your opinion, see where you’re at in your mind or just want to check up on you, if you get that type of coach…you will do anything on the field, anything off the field for this man. That’s the best coach to have.”

And Pagano fits that description?

“Yes, hands down,” Francois says.

“I can sit down, clown around with him, talk about football. We can talk about things away from the field. To have a coach like that is a blessing.”

When Pagano was hired in 2012, a popular trip in getting to know the new Colts head coach was made towards the locker of Cory Redding.

It was pretty clear that Pagano’s relationship with Redding is what helped draw the veteran defensive end to Indianapolis during that entertaining 2012 offseason.

Redding is a 12-year veteran of the NFL and he knows how much players appreciate Pagano’s willingness to listen.

“Not a lot coaches in this league have that policy,” Redding says.

“To have a coach like Chuck who values the opinions of his players and really take heap to what they’re saying, and mediated on it and use it is huge because at the end of the day we are in this thing together.”

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