Make your home page

Chuck Pagano’s take on why Shaq Leonard was released

Pagano on Shaquille Leonard

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts released four-time All-Pro linebacker and team captain Shaquille Leonard.

Sunday on “Countdown to Kickoff,” Indy’s only hour-long Colts pregame television show, former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano explained why Leonard was released.

“Shaq did so many great things and made so many great plays for the organization,” Pagano said. “It was well documented that he was frustrated over the lack of playing time… It was a really hard decision, obviously, because of who this player is, but it is a performance-based league. You have to produce, and it isn’t based on what you’ve done in the past.”

Pagano, the head coach in Indianapolis from 2012-2017, believes that the early release could be a positive for Leonard as he tries to find his next home.

“I think this is a good move for both sides,” Pagano said. “With seven weeks left in the season, this gives Shaq an opportunity, if he was going to be limited in playing time, go catch on with another team- hopefully a contender – and continue his career.”

Watch the video below to hear the full conversation from Pagano in the segment “Chuck Checks IN.”

In addition to the Leonard topic, Pagano and News 8 Sports Director Anthony Calhoun talk about the magnitude of the Tampa Bay game for the Colts, as well as what Colts quarterback Garnder Minshew needs to do today to secure the win.

Pagano also explains why he is LIVE from Lucas Oil Stadium as opposed to his typical setup in Boise, Idaho.


Pagano Full Segment on CTK

Hear the former Colts coach every Sunday during the NFL season on WISH-TV. The weekly feature will air live at 11 a.m. on “Countdown to Kickoff.” Immediately following the final whistle of games, switch back to WISH-TV for the Colts’ postgame show, hosted by Calhoun and the Emmy-award-winning sports team.

Stay up to date with Colts news at

Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, and on Facebook for updates on the Horseshoe all season long.