5: Mike Kafka
Mike Kafka is a young Offensive Coordinator for the New York Giants. Kafka was a quarterback at Northwestern University where he was a 4th round draft pick that went on to have a 6-year career in the NFL with multiple teams. I mention that because I’m of the belief that when you get a chance to spend time with multiple organizations it makes you a better coach. Getting a chance to see different ways to do things and figuring out what works best for you is always an advantage over someone who sees things only one way due to a lack of experience. Mike Kafka, as a coach, has spent the bulk of his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. He had several roles with the team from 2017-2021. With Chris Ballard leaving in 2017 as Mike arrived, you would have to believe that they have a ton of mutual friendships and relationships and are very familiar with one another. Kafka spent time with one of the greatest offensive minds in football, Andy Reid. He soaked up a lot of knowledge that he was allowed to put on full display this season with the Giants. The Giants' offense, who are very talent deficient, are playing at a borderline top 10-15 level because of the creativity that Kafka and head coach Brian Daboll have brought to this offense. Kafka would instantly be able to get the most out of this Colts' offense. His experience of seeing firsthand the development of Patrick Mahomes would make him a great guy for the new Colts quarterback to learn from.
4: Ejiro Evero
Ejiro Evero is a talented coach that spent his last season as Defensive Coordinator for the Denver Broncos. Evero walked into that job replacing a defensive legend and a man he spent a lot of time learning from early on in his career, Vic Fangio. Evero was on staff with the 49ers during the Harbaugh and Fangio era, thus making him the perfect guy to lead a defense in this modern-day age when most teams are trying to run some variation of a Fangio-style defense. Evero was also on staff for the Rams' recent super bowl run where he was the Secondary Coach and the Passing Game Coordinator. Evero would instantly transform this Colts defense into a modern one, from a schematic standpoint. It’s likely that they’d adopt principles that would allow them to fare better against the new passing attacks that are plaguing the league. Making a jump to head coach would be a lot for Evero, but people also thought the same thing for him when he stepped into the DC role for the first time in his career. He not only flourished he exceeded expectations leading the Broncos to a top 5 defense.
3: Shane Steichen
A guy I’m thoroughly impressed with is Shane Steichen, the Offensive Coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. At 37 years old, Shane has earned a reputation in NFL circles as one of the brightest young offensive minds in the league. He spent the majority of his coaching career with the Los Angeles Chargers spanning the Philip Rivers era to the Justin Herbert era. Shane has a strong relationship with current Eagles Head Coach (and former Colts Offensive Coordinator) Nick Sirianni as well as former Colts Head Coach Frank Reich. That puts this one in doubt a bit for me, which is why he’s number 3 on my list. Casting those doubts aside, he could have easily been number 1 with what he has done on the field. Over the past two years, he has been instrumental in Jalen Hurts' development and in turning this Eagles offense into one of the best in the league today. In his first year with the Eagles, they started off awful for the first half of the season. They went into the bye week, and when they returned, the Eagles' offense was completely revamped. He helped build a proficient run game that catered to the strength of the roster. Steichen is just what this Colts roster needs when it comes to molding an offense to the strength of its players which is how modern offenses should be built. This year, the Eagles have a great Passing and Rushing attack that can be dominant consistently depending on the matchup. Steichen, paired with a guy like Anthony Richardson, could be flat-out spooky for the NFL.
2: Ben Johnson
A favorite for Colts fans that I see pretty much everywhere I look is Ben Johnson. I’m just going to say it: What Ben Johnson has done with the Detroit Lions offense this season has been flat-out amazing. Ben Johnson is the Offensive Coordinator for the Detroit Lions. In his first year as Offensive Coordinator, he has led the Lions to a top 5-10 offense in the NFL. What’s more impressive is what he has been able to do with Jared Goff, basically reviving his career. He has Goff playing at a Pro Bowl level. That’s amazing for a guy that was considered a cast-off just two years ago. The Detroit offense has been one of the most exciting to watch this season. The play design, the explosiveness in the passing game, and the creativity in the run game have truly been fun to watch. A mind like Ben with this Colts’ offense has the potential to be special, especially with a young quarterback like CJ Stroud, who has drawn some comparisons to Goff already. A Colts offense that struggled with High School concepts on offense could really use a shot of adrenaline, and Ben Johnson could be just that for them. From a passing game and offense creativity standpoint, I think he would be the best hire they could make this cycle.
1: Jim Harbaugh
Let’s be honest here, number 1 was always going to be Jim Harbaugh. The story basically writes itself and the fit makes way too much sense for the Indianapolis Colts. This isn’t a move that’s about schematics and planning for the future. This decision would be about bringing in the big fish and bringing a sense of stability to an organization that truly needs it. Jim would immediately be a big boost to the morale of an Indianapolis Colts team that’s coming off of one of the most disappointing seasons in its history. Harbaugh has quite a resume so this wouldn’t be just a PR move. Harbaugh is a proven winner (even though the “big one” has slipped through his grasp so far) and he has an outstanding record as NFL and Collegiate Head Coach. He also has shown the ability to coach and develop good quarterbacks from Andrew Luck at Stanford to Colin Kapernick with the 49ers. The thing I like most about this hire is the staff he could potentially put around him. The thought of Harbaugh bringing in a guy like Vic Fangio (who spent several years as Harbaugh’s dc in San Francisco) to Indy as his DC would literally be a dream come true. The connection to Irsay is obvious, and I think he and Ballard can actually form a pretty good duo based on their shared core principles regarding the way they believe the game should be played. The Colts should be doing everything they can to make sure Captain Comeback does just that, and indeed comes back to the Colts.