For team owners deciding to replace their coaches, optimism often runs high. That seems to be the case in Indianapolis.
Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Chuck Pagano is likely coaching his final game with the Colts on Sunday despite 33 regular-season wins in the three seasons prior to 2015 (Pagano missed 12 games in 2012, replaced by interim head coach Bruce Arians).
And by the sound of it, owner Jim Irsay is looking for a show-stopper to take the reins.
Rapoport floated the likes of Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Saints head coach Sean Payton, both of whom would be considered among the most inquired names this offseason. Saban, on the cusp of yet another national championship at Alabama, could be looking for a new challenge, and to erase the memory of a disappointing two-year stint with the Dolphins back in 2005-06.
Payton was previously mentioned as a coach keeping his eye on other options in case change is afoot in New Orleans.
The one reason Irsay has reason to think this way? Andrew Luck. Inheriting a franchise quarterback, especially the best pro prospect to come out in roughly a decade, is a Godsend for new coaches who are scrambling to secure every aspect of their new gig. Luck could be a kingmaker, assuming he returns 100 percent from a lacerated kidney issue that kept him out for most of 2015.
Don't expect these to be the only two blockbuster names crawling out of the woodwork. This may be the most sought-after opening of the offseason should it become available.