According to SI.com’s Albert Breer, the Indianapolis Colts are blocking incumbent defensive coordinator Gus Bradley from interviewing for other opportunities elsewhere—despite an expected new head coach hiring coming soon:
“There is background here, too, that’s worth noting,” Breer writes. “Callahan is close with Peyton Manning (he was with Manning in Denver), and Manning’s word still carries a lot of weight with the Irsays; and Callahan’s dad, Bill, was on the coaching staff at Wisconsin when Ballard was a receiver there in the early 1990s. Morris’s ties to Indy are logical ones, too—DC Gus Bradley (whom Indy’s blocked from leaving) was with Morris in Tampa from 2006 to ’08; and Ballard’s NFL upbringing in Chicago was with former Bucs people (Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith).”
Under current NFL rules, the Colts can block Bradley, who’s still under contract, from interviewing for a lateral role elsewhere (i.e., another team’s defensive coordinator position), but cannot block him from a coaching promotion such as head coach or assistant head coach with another NFL team.
While a potential Raheem Morris head coaching hire would assuredly lock Bradley in again for the Colts, this appears to be encouraging news for the veteran defensive coordinator’s chances of remaining in Indianapolis for at least another season across the board.
It’s obvious the Colts still think very highly of Bradley, whose defense ranked 14th in team defensive DVOA in 2022, but theoretically would’ve fared better, had they not had to stay on the field for entirely too long of stretches and with inopportune starting field position because of a consistently struggling offense.
Right now, it appears that Bradley’s chances of returning in his current role are on the upswing, regardless of who’s ultimately hired as the Colts next head coach.