The Colts have found their man, as the team has hired Chuck Pagano as their new head coach. The team made the announcement on its website.
Pagano, who was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator in 2011, replaces Jim Caldwell, who was fired last week.
The Ravens tough D allowed the third-fewest yards and points in the league last season, a major reason they advanced all the way to the AFC Championship Game.
Pagano is the most recent defensive assistant in Baltimore to use that as a springboard to a head job. Others include Jack Del Rio, Marvin Lewis, Mike Smith, Mike Nolan and Rex Ryan.
The Colts surrendered the fifth-most points and ranked 25th overall defensively in 2011.
However given the assumption that Indianapolis will select Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the first pick of the draft, the choice of the defensive-oriented Pagano is an interesting one.
Pagano’s hiring is the latest chapter of an offseason overhaul for the Colts, who have already parted with Caldwell, vice chairman Bill Polian, GM Chris Polian and many of their assistant coaches. Ryan Grigson was hired as the new general manager earlier this month.
The biggest decision is yet to come as owner Jim Irsay must decide whether to retain four-time MVP QB Peyton Manning, who sat out the team’s 2-14 2011 season amid multiple neck surgeries.