According to The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, the Houston Texans have narrowed their head coaching search down to two finalists: Leslie Frazier or David Culley—which most likely means Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who was previously considered “an early favorite”, is now safely out of the running.
Now, stranger things have happened, such as Eberflus initially declining an interview opportunity with the Texans before re-considering and later interviewing.
However, it looks as though the Colts coaching staff will ultimately retain Eberflus for at least the 2021 season.
Eberflus helped coach one of the league’s most improved defenses this past season, as his ‘Cover 2’ derivative featured a unit that was fast, athletic, and swarmed to the football.
The Colts were tied for the 5th most takeaways (25) and had the league’s 2nd best run defense—only surrendering 90.5 rushing yards per game. The unit also allowed the 10th (tied) fewest points at 22.6 avg. ppg.
Eberflus has also been instrumental in the development of Colts defensive standouts such as Darius Leonard, Kenny Moore, Khari Willis, Bobby Okereke, Julian Blackmon, and Grover Stewart among others.
Prior to joining the Colts in 2018, he served as the Dallas Cowboys linebackers coach and passing game coordinator (2016-17), linebackers coach (2011-15), and Cleveland Browns linebackers coach (2009-10).
It’s a big development for the Colts defense, as even though Indianapolis would’ve presumably replaced Eberflus with another ‘Cover 2/Cover 3 disciple,’ the 50 year old is one of the best coaches in the business currently deploying such defenses.
Had Eberflus departed to Houston, a Colts scheme transition would’ve been highly unlikely given the time it takes to overhaul a team’s defensive personnel to better fit a new scheme.
It also means that the Colts don’t have to face off against Eberflus twice a season for the foreseeable future within the AFC South—which if Houston could’ve ‘made up’ with superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson, he might’ve had a strong defense eventually backing him up. That would’ve made the Texans a very dangerous team in-time.
The Colts defense was borderline elite at times during 2020, so Eberflus will look to build off that success for a more consistently dominant unit next season—while Indianapolis keeps one of its top coaches on staff (having already lost defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon to the Philadelphia Eagles).