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With Ron Meeks gone, who replaces him?

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Ron Meeks is gone. Rather than out-and-out fire him, Caldwell allowed him to resign. I tend to lean this way because no real explanation is given on Colts.com as to why Meeks resigned. I personally believe Dungy had more to do with the defense playing well than Meeks, but that does not mean Meeks sucked as a coach or anything. He interviewed for two head coaching jobs the last two years, and he has a Super Bowl ring.

But, in all honesty, we all saw this coming. This is why many of us wanted Rod Marinelli brought into the fold after Detroit fired him. Already, Bears fans are signing Marinelli's praises. But with Meeks gone and Marinelli employed in Chicago, Indy needs a new DC and the list of candidates are limited.

Here are the likely candidates for the job:

  • Alan Williams (defensive backs coach for Colts). Williams has been with the Colts for 7 years, and came to Indy with Tony Dungy from Tampa Bay. The Colts have a long history of promoting from within, with Jim Caldwell being the most recent example. Williams knows the Tampa-2 system very well, and was considered for the Vikings DC position in 2007 when Mike Tomlin left to be the head coach for the Steelers. His work with Bob Sanders, Antoine Bethea, Marlin Jackson, and Kelvin Hayden helped Indy set an NFL record this past year for fewest TD passes allowed in one season. He is well respected by the players.
  • Ron Rivera (defensive coordinator for Chargers). This one is a little more far-fetched, as Rivera is already the DC for a pretty good San Diego team. However, he could be lured away if Indy offers him more money and possibly the title "Assistant Head Coach." Rivera was the DC for the Bears when they went to the Super Bowl in 2006. He was a candidate for several head coaching jobs in 2007, but was never hired. He eventually landed a job as "Inside LBers coach" in San Diego. After Chargers DC Ted Cottrell was fired at the mid-point in the 2008 season, Rivera was promoted to DC. His coaching revived the Chargers defense and got them to the playoffs.
  • Herm Edwards (head coach of the Chiefs). Herm is still employed by the Chiefs, but likely not for long. Herm has never been a coordinator at any level of coaching, but he knows Caldwell and loves the Colts.
  • Donnie Henderson (secondary coach for the Jaguars). Henderson built a great Tampa-2 defense with the Jets when Herm Edwards was still head coach. He was fired from both the Jets and Lions. Still, he has a strong knowledge of the Tampa-2 way of coaching defense.
  • Leslie Frazier (defensive coordinator for the Vikings). This is an extreme long-shot because Frazier is the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach in Minnesota. He is more highly regarded there than current head coach, Brad Childress. The only possible reason Frazier could leave Minny and come to Indy is because he loves the Colts organization.