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Chuck Pagano: They can fire you but they can't eat you

This has been a difficult season for Colts coach Chuck Pagano, a man coaching for his job and running out of time to make things right.

On Monday following a dispiriting 51-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pagano was asked how he's holding up during this time of extreme scrutiny.

"When I spent 26 days in the hospital in 2012 (during cancer treatment), that was tough. That was tough. This is nothing," he said. "I'm holding up great. My weight's a little bit up cause you don't get as much time to work out a little bit so I've got a few extra pounds on me ... that's what big clothes do for you. My wife is taking great care of me. I'm doing great.

"They can't eat you. They can fire you but they can't eat you," Pagano added. "So if the worst thing, a year from now, let's say I'm in Boise this time next year playing with my granddaughters, I'm going to be fine. That ain't going to happen but I'm going to be fine if I have to go down that road."

The future looks bleak for Pagano -- as an NFL coach, anyway. His team is in the midst of what has the appearance of a December free fall, outscored by 70 points over the past two weeks. If the Colts can't claim the unsightly AFC South, team owner Jim Irsay might feel the need to act.

The good news? The Colts still have time -- and a favorable schedule -- on their side. Next Sunday, they'll host a Texans team most likely piloted by T.J. Yates. Games against the 5-7 Dolphins and 3-10 Titans follow. And don't forget about Andrew Luck, whose return could be on the horizon.

Pagano is in trouble, sure. But let's not rush to put him on the Island Of Damned Coaches just yet.

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