So as many of you know by now, Jim Caldwell was let go by the Colts today via here. That leaves the Colts in an interesting position having just interviewed a former head coach and defensive coordinator in Steve Spagnuolo with Jim Caldwell as the active head coach.
So what then, do the the Colts do? The most high profile free agent coach, Jeff Fisher, just signed with the Rams. The remaining level of talented available coaches is quite small, and does not offer many choices for the Colts. At least, none that jump out on paper.
I wrote about this very thing in my most recent Devil's Take posted over the holiday.
As I stated in my last Devil's Take, I felt the Colts made a bungling of not hiring Fisher. He was the most established and well respected coach available at the time Irsay canned the Polians. In discussing it with a few of the Stampede Blue faithful as well as some friends, it's quite possible the new GM and Fisher would have been oil and water. Ultimately, if that was the case, I could see why Irsay would not have gone for it.
So that leaves us with a few decent names, one or two crazies, and perhaps an off the wall left field choice. Please keep in mind my choices are based on the fact I think the Colts will want an established guy this time around, to prevent the whole Caldwell backlash. Not to mention, I think the Colts really need a coach willing to play the game.
- Steve Spagnuolo - Was recently interviewed for the DC position while Caldwell was still HC. Given the keys to the kingdom so to speak in St. Louis and while he did an okay job, the franchise is just such a joke in terms of problems, I don't think he was ever going to survive. He got some good pieces, had those guys willing to play, and say what you want but his sorry ass Rams did beat the Saints a week after the Saints pasted up 60+ on us. I don't see the Colts wanting to hire him as a head coach, but I would be shocked if he isn't hired as a defensive coordinator.
- Hue Jackson - Was recently canned by the new Davis in charge of the Raiders. He lost his starting QB and managed to swing a trade for Palmer, a protege of his in Bengaldom. Managed to produce some quality offensive firepower in Cinci as well as get the Raiders rolling the last 2 seasons. I don't see him being the answer at HC here in Indy, but expect a token interview to fulfill the Rooney Rule.
- Todd Haley - Fired by the Chiefs, and I just can't see the Colts bringing him in. He's exactly what I feel the Colts don't want.
- Brian Schottenheimer - A great offensive mind like his father, he put together some of the better Jets offenses in years. Their rushing attack was absolutely fantastic, and had their QB play been better, they would have gone to the SB twice in back to back years. Still, he's never been a head coach and he's best suited as an offensive style guy. Would he be okay with taking a back seat role to Manning? Would Luck work well with this guy?
- Marvin Lewis - His days in Cinci are pretty much done, and he's endured some of the worst crap ever being a coach there. He's a capable defensive oriented coach, and he's not one to really interfere on the offensive side of the ball. From a scheme and a personality standpoint, he would work well with the Colts. However, I think if he does get let go or leaves the Bengals, I see him taking a break from the game.
- Bill Cowher - Of all my choices for HC for the Colts, this has been my choice by far. I thought as much when Dungy left, I still think it now. The problem is he's too established in the analyst role and I just think with the loss of his wife, he's done with this part of his career. I think he's the best fit for the Colts, but I honestly deep down know it's not an option.
That's my short list. I really think that if it's not one of those guys, there is pretty much only one other name we could truly come up with. And yeah, he's a pretty big one....
Yes, I think of anyone who's still interested in coaching, he makes the most possible sense for the Colts. Whether it's Manning or Luck, he provides the most bang on offense. His desire to work with Manning is well documented, and the opportunity to school Luck would offer significant enticement as well. He's also had head coaching experience and has been to the SB and won it. Does he have faults? Absolutely. However, his failures in Tampa Bay weren't due to his coaching, it was the fact he had a team that was in decline and had made bad decisions chasing after that last ride to glory. Even the guy behind him (Raheem Morris) only managed one decent year out of his 3 seasons as a HC.
Do I think the Colts will hire him? I think he's a good decision as a potential dark horse. The question is whether or not he's even considered. If I can't get Cowher, I'd want Chuckie...
What do you think? Lemme know..