Earlier today we shared a report from Michael Lombardi where he confidently claimed to know that the Colts interviewed a candidate for the open head coaching position. He purposely stopped short of sharing any additional information about the candidate.
This afternoon, it has been reported that Baylor head coach Matt Rhule interviewed earlier this week.
SOURCES: Baylor coach Matt Rhule interviewed for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching vacancy earlier this week. Rhule, who completed his first season with the Bears in November, spent the 2012 season as the New York Giants offensive line coach. He is... https://t.co/5w6H7o0aqJ— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 10, 2018
This report confirms a few things that are relevant to the coaching search.
It might confirm Stephen Reed’s hunch that the interview must have been with a college coach. This would aid in keeping the process secret and would provide the coach with the incentive to keep things under wraps.
It confirms that Ballard is handling the interview process very carefully and is keeping things in house. While it is unclear where the leak originated, it seems quite unlikely that it would have come from West 56th Street.
This might confirm Lombardi’s comments on Tuesday. The only issue with this theory is that there is no confirmation on when Rhule interviewed. It is entirely possible that Ballard has interviewed numerous candidates over the last few days and that Rhule was not who Lombardi was referencing. There is no way for us to know that until he, the team, or Lombardi confirms it.
This also is consistent with the philosophy Ballard espoused during the year-end press conference. He made it clear that he intended to interview coaching candidates from many backgrounds and that he everything was on the table. This interview would fall well within this grouping.
Rhule led Baylor to a disappointing 1-11 finish in 2017. It is safe to say that he was well off of the radar and a surprising name to be linked to the Colts or any other NFL head coaching position.
Most of Rhule’s coaching career has been with Temple and he has only one year of NFL coaching experience, as an assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants in 2012. While it is likely that he has some connections from his NFL exposure, he has to be seen as the biggest long shot candidate for the job at this time. It’s possible that Ballard brought him in for the interview primarily to learn more about him as he and the new head coach look to fill positional coaching positions over the next few weeks.
We will keep you posted on new developments.