The Indianapolis Colts have decided to move on from offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo.
Stunner: The #Colts are letting OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo go, sources say. That line made tremendous leaps this season. But Frank Reich wants his own guy. DeGuglielmo was the only offensive coach Josh McDaniels had hired. Reich is actually recommending him to other coaches.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 15, 2019
The move comes as bit of a shock as the line group drastically improved throughout the season and DeGuglielmo had a huge part in the development of Mark Glowinski, Braden Smith, and Ryan Kelly. Regardless, the Colts will be looking for a new offensive line coach this offseason.
There are many potential reasons for this move. He was a McDaniels hire and Frank Reich may want to find his own guy for the position. There was also the story that came out midway through the season about how DeGuglielmo allegedly berated and harassed Denzelle Good for the death of his brother. Add on top that Reich was one of the main contributors to the pass protection plans each week and the decision to move on from Guges makes more and more sense.
Regardless of the reasoning though, the Colts are in the market for a new OL coach and there are plenty of names out there. This will be a guy hand picked by coach Reich so I tried to look for connections there too.
Bill Callahan (Redskins OL Coach)
Going for the home run with this first option here. Callahan is one of the top offensive line coaches in football with a remarkable reputation. An experienced coach with 39 years of coaching under his belt, Callahan could push this very good offensive line group into elite status. Although he does not have any connection with Reich, he did coach with DC Matt Eberflus in Dallas.
Speaking of his days in Dallas, Callahan improved upon an already stellar reputation with lineman with the work he did there. Having a major hand in the development of Zach Martin and Travis Frederick, the Cowboys went from a bottom tier line unit to one of the best in football. As a result, Callahan was offered a huge contract by the Redskins and has played a major part in the development of Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier, and Morgan Moses.
With reports out of Washington looking like Callahan may be on his way out, the Colts would be wise to poach this experienced coach to really help their already dominant offensive line get to the next level.
Eugene Chung (Eagles Assistant OL Coach)
Looking at the Frank Reich connection, the most obvious candidate is likely Eugene Chung. A former first round pick in the 1992 draft, Chung’s playing career was fairly unremarkable. After retiring in 2000, Chung began working under Andy Reid in Philadelphia as their assistant offensive line coach. When Reid left to go to Kansas City, he followed and became the offensive line coach for the Chiefs— working with Chris Ballard as well— until 2015.
Chung returned to the Eagles when Doug Peterson was hired as head coach and worked alongside coach Reich when the team won the Superbowl last season. Apart from coaching offensive lineman, Chung also is a tight end coach for the Eagles which could help with the potential development of Mo Alie-Cox if he was hired here.
Outside of the obvious ties to Ballard and Reich, Chung also played for the Colts in 1997. There are so many connections for him in this building that I’d say Chung is the likely favorite to land the job.
Andrew Dees (Bills Assistant OL Coach)
Another very experienced OL coach, Dees has been coaching lineman for 30+ years. After spending 15 years coaching college lineman at schools like Temple and UMASS, Dees made the jump to the NFL in 2012 as the Bills’ assistant offensive line coach.
In 2013 he was hired over to the same position with the Chargers where he was on staff with then offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterback coach Nick Siriani. Dees remained in that position until 2015 when he was brought back to the Bills to again be their assistant offensive line coach.
Dees is very experienced and if Reich developed a good relationship with him in San Diego, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Dees get the job. He built quite a reputation in the college game as well in those 15 years.
Bobby Johnson (Colts Assistant OL Coach)
Another experienced coach who wouldn’t have to travel far to take this job. Coming over from Oakland when Reich took the head coaching job, Johnson formerly coached tight ends for the Raiders from 2015-2017. In his entire career, Johnson has 23 years of coaching offensive lineman and tight ends and no doubt played a big part in the development of Cox and Ebron this season.
Johnson would be a very interesting hire as he seems to be very well liked and well respected in the Colts’ locker room. Something really cool that I would like to see is if Johnson gets the job, I’d love to see Matt Slauson brought back as the assistant line coach— if he decides to retire.
Slauson has reportedly been a great mentor to the young lineman of the Colts— and Chargers prior to his arrival here— and I think the line potentially under Johnson and Slauson would be just fine.
Luke Butkus (Illinois Offensive line coach)
This one is a bit under the radar and even I admit that it is very unlikely to happen. If Reich decides to potentially listen to some names from Ballard however, Butkus’ name may pop up. A younger offensive line coach with fairly little experience, Butkus played for Ballard’s Bears for a season in 2002. He returned to the Bears after retiring from football as an assistant offensive line coach from 2007-2010.
After bouncing around from a few other teams, Butkus took the offensive line coaching job at Illinois in 2016. Butkus helped improve the group drastically this past season as they jumped up from 3.3 yards per carry rushing to 7th in the nation in yards per carry with 6.1.
Butkus may not be an obvious hire but with his connection to Chris Ballard— and defensive line coach Mike Phair from his time at Illinois— the nephew of legendary linebacker Dick Butkus could be in play for the Colts’ offensive line coach position.