While the Colts coaching search has been mysterious over the last week, this weekend information is starting to come out and it’s possible we’re getting a glimpse at the likely coaching staff in 2018.
Earlier in the week, we learned that Chris Ballard brought in collegiate head coach Matt Rhule and that he will return to Baylor. We also learned that one of the most experienced and highly regarded head coaching prospects in the 2018 cycle, who was scheduled to interview in Indianapolis on Thursday, would not be interviewing for the Colts opening.
#Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has no plans to interview with the #Colts for their HC job at this time, as they appear more focused on offensive candidates.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 12, 2018
In the report about Wilks not interviewing for the job was the interesting morsel indicating that Ballard is “more focused on offensive candidates.” Simple deduction based upon the known interviews would leave only Josh McDaniels as an offensive minded candidate who had not already taken another position.
Yesterday, we learned that the Colts have narrowed the candidates to McDaniels and Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel.
Per sources, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels and Texans DC Mike Vrabel have emerged as finalists for the Colts job. Indy could still add a candidate, I’m told. But those are the 2 in it now.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 13, 2018
If the earlier report during the Wilks revelation is to be believed, this would leave McDaniels as the clear favorite as he is the offensive candidate for the job.
Today, reports are heating up. Ian Rapoport has provided us with two pieces of information that would make it a huge surprise if McDaniels didn’t end up as the next head coach for the Colts.
#Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has indicated to potential assistants to wait for him. The belief is he takes the #Colts job, as he's the clear favorite, sources say. Indy's other finalist is Mike Vrabel.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2018
Not only is McDaniels the clear favorite for the coaching job but he is indicating that he will be leaving New England by reaching out to potential assistants who he might want to bring on to be a part of his staff. Of course this is reported as a “belief” because there can be no official deal made until after the Patriots’ season ends. Still, there’s so much smoke forming here that it seems all but certain that there’s fire somewhere.
Shedding more light on the possible future of the Colts coaching staff is Rapoport’s latest report.
One name to watch with #Patriots OC Josh McDaniels and his next destination (likely #Colts): #Cowboys LBs coach Matt Eberflus is his top choice as DC. Eberflus is a free agent.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2018
If all of this is true, we might see be witnessing a new coaching staff taking shape. We know that McDaniels has had a great deal of success heading up the Patriots offense with Tom Brady. We know that he would install a drastically different offensive scheme than the Colts have run under Bruce Arians, Pep Hamilton, or Rob Chudzinski.
As for Matt Eberflus, he is easily one of the most sought after and highly respected potential defensive coordinators in the league. Blogging the Boys suggested that he might be the best coach on the entire staff in Dallas. He is the linebackers coach for a unit that has done very well under his tutelage and even picked up additional responsibilities in 2015 as the passing game coordinator. Needless to say, his opinion is respected by the Cowboys coaches and he has been quickly moving up the ranks in NFL coaching circles (he currently is not under contract).
What position could possibly use a great influx of coaching talent for the Colts than the linebacker position? This could be an exciting hire if all of these reports become a reality.