From what I've gathered, at this point, the plan is for Ballard to lead the Colts' coaching search. https://t.co/7vKSvfkkfw— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 9, 2023
More details may come forward on Tuesday morning, but it appears that Ballard will not only return as general manager, but be in charge of selecting the head coach he works with (which probably isn’t encouraging news for interim head coach Jeff Saturday’s chances, who Ballard reportedly never wanted to have hired as head coach near midseason in the first place).
The 53 year old Ballard as the PFWA Executive of the Year in 2018 has at times been lauded for his scouting acumen, professionalism, and candor with the media. However, he’s also been criticized for his conservative team building philosophy and the inability to find elite talent at the NFL’s premium positions, instead highly paying less valuable positions.
While losing Andrew Luck to abrupt retirement no doubt set the franchise back a few years, under Ballard’s six season tenure, the Colts have zero divisional titles and just one playoff win.
You can preach patience all you want, but at a certain point, results have to matter—especially when other NFL franchises have done a lot more in considerably less time.
The Colts cannot slow play this thing into a decade of team building, and look more than a starting quarterback away right now from seriously contending (*although maybe not as bad as their final 2022 record with the proper coaching and offseason improvements).
Ballard has shown the ability to build a formidable defense, but he’ll need to learn from his prior mistakes and make some adjustments regarding his construction of a modern day NFL offense.
In any case, it’ll be interesting to see who all Ballard digs up in his updated top head coaching candidates binder, a group that already includes Aaron Glenn, Ben Johnson, Raheem Morris, and Shane Steichen—with Saturday also expected to interview.