After taking the time during his press conference to hold back the waves of panic that were threatening to overflow and smash on top of Colts fans looking for a glimmer of hope, Ballard walked off the stage with the best mic drop line in my memory for a general manager, “The rivalry is back on.”
"The rivalry is back on"— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 7, 2018
Colts GM Chris Ballard with the walk-off pic.twitter.com/X4KHGdAWuH
He not-so-subtly let the football world know that while he was ready to move on from the McDaniels debacle, he is not about to forget it. If I am being totally honest, I loved it. He exuded confidence while setting the tone for the franchise. Just what a GM should do.
Then he walked off stage and got to work. Shortly after, it was reported that the Colts would seek interviews with Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich and Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell.
Colts are expected to request permission for HC interviews with Eagles OC Frank Reich and Saints asst HC Dan Campbell, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2018
Update: Frank Reich will reportedly interview Friday for the open head coaching position. Dan Campbell will interview Thursday.
Source says Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich is scheduled to interview Friday for the Colts' still-vacant head coach position. https://t.co/bsf7GW6Koa— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 7, 2018
Saints’ asst HC Dan Campbell will interview for Colts’ HC job Thursday, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2018
Frank Reich has a history with the Colts, working for the team as a staff assistant, quarterback coach and wide receivers coach from 2008-11. The last time the Colts brought in a former Manning quarterback coach, it worked out pretty well. Bruce Arians was loved by the city and helped Luck kick off his rookie season in excellent fashion. The hope is that Reich could do the same. His work with Carson Wentz and then Nick Foles on the Eagles offense was impressive. What might be more impressive is that he is a man of noted good character who could be a great fit with Ballard’s mentality.
As for Dan Campbell, he is a guy I feel less sure about. Campbell has been a relatively fast-rising prospect in coaching. He started as an intern with the Dolphins in 2009 before moving to tight ends coach. He took over as the interim head coach when Joe Philbin was fired in 2015 and was hired as the assistant head coach/tight ends coach for the Saints in 2016. For his part, he has been a part of a Saints offense that has flourished, and the role working with Sean Payton as an assistant head coach would give him a lot of experience with running an NFL team from the head coaching perspective.
More candidates will undoubtedly come to light, and likely will do so quickly. If today’s press conference tells us anything, it is that Chris Ballard is not panicking, but he also is not messing around.