A Fighting Chuck Pagano Earns Colts Contract Extension

Intro: With the clock approaching midnight on Monday, Chuck Pagano got his final victory of the 2015 season by agreeing to a contract extension with the Colts.

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INDIANAPOLIS – The man said he wasn't going down without a fight.

Boy, was he right.

Last week, with his team's playoff hopes microscopic, Chuck Pagano said he was going to fight his ass off to stay in Indianapolis.

On Monday night, a grinning Pagano happily sat his butt down in front of the media, fresh off agreeing to a four-year contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts.

"I've had a lot of great days in my life, but none better than today," Pagano said with the clock ticking towards midnight Monday

"This was absolutely the best day of my life."

Monday was a long day of meticulous consideration for Jim Irsay in how he wanted to move forward at a "crossroads" for his organization.

In the end, continuity and a winning pedigree early in a regime led to the Colts moving forward with Pagano and Ryan Grigson working as one.

"Something Chuck brings every day, even with the season we had this year, is just hope," Grigson said on Monday night.

"That hope, even through all the different quarterbacks (in 2015), that's something he brings to the locker room. We never feel like we are dead. We always feel like we have life. And that's something you can't replicate. That's something that is a gift and Chuck is a guy that can get us to the mountaintop."

The Colts renew contract with Head Coach Chuck Pagano.

With Pagano's four-year deal and Grigson's three-year contract extension, the two are contractually together through the 2019 season.

It was something Pagano wanted on Monday, when the head coach sat down one-on-one with Irsay.

That meeting was one of several the Colts brass had in the day after their adversity filled season ended at 8-8.

Monday meetings following Week 17 are commonplace in the NFL, but Irsay knew the vital importance these ones were going to carry to his franchise's future.

Irsay spoke separately to head coach and GM, before the Owner wanted the two to meet on their own.

"We've talked about many, many times. We've been candid. We agree to disagree," Pagano said of him and Grigson's relationship on Monday night.

"At the end of the day, we leave every meeting with a handshake and a hug and you say, 'Okay, it's about one thing and one thing only and it's about team. It's about making decisions that are best for the Horseshoe.' It's not about me. It's not about Ryan. It's not about any one person. Since Day One, I've talked about team first, self second. We are both here and are honored and privileged to able to serve this organization, Mr. Irsay, his family and this community for another four years."

The numbers that stood out to Irsay when reviewing the men to the right and left of him on Monday night came down to the Ws.

This regime has amassed 41 of them in their first four seasons together.

Three 11-win campaigns, following an "empty cupboard" in 2012, includes three playoff victories---a number the previous era did not reach until more than a half dozen years together.

In 2015, the Colts finished 8-8 with the team winning a league-best six games when reserve quarterbacks were thrust into duty.

Pagano's .640 winning percentage through four seasons places him fourth among all active head coaches.

Although Irsay made it clear the out crying of support from fans and players voicing their opinion for Pagano didn't impact the Owner's decision on Monday, it was hard to ignore.

January 4ths have been special for Chuck Pagano.

There was the miraculous playoff comeback win over Kansas City two seasons ago.

A year later, on the fourth day of January, the Colts started their playoff run to the AFC Championship with a home win over Cincinnati.

With the calendar still reading January 4th in the final hours of this Monday night, Pagano celebrated his finest win yet.

"Back in 2012, I wasn't on the job but a few months, before my circumstances, (and) the way this community embraced me during that time, they didn't know me from anyone, it was Hoosier hospitality at it's finest," Pagano, still smiling wide, said heading into his fifth season in Indianapolis.

"I found out early on in my tenure here just how the people, of this state, this city and this community just how good they are and how big of hearts they have. It just speaks volumes of this community and these fans. I'm blessed and this is a great, great day for all of us. Moving forward, we are very, very excited."

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