According to SI.com’s Albert Breer, he’s heard that Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan ‘did well’ in his recent second round, in-person interview with the Indianapolis Colts—along with a few other finalists:
“The other thing that I’ve heard that’s interesting? Every candidate coming out of there, or at least the second-rounders, sincerely seem to think they absolutely crushed it,” Breer writes. “I’ve heard that Rams DC Raheem Morris, Bengals OC Brian Callahan and Lions DC Aaron Glenn did well, with Eagles OC Shane Steichen having gotten the last crack at it over the weekend.”
“There is background here, too, that’s worth noting. 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 (Chris) Ballard was a receiver there in the early 1990s.”
This one is worth noting because while we’ve previously heard positive buzz regarding Morris’s and Glenn’s recent interviews, this blurb from Breer also highlights Callahan’s standout follow up interview.
The 38 year old Callahan just finished his fourth season as the Bengals offensive coordinator, coaching a unit that ranked 4th best in team offensive DVOA during 2022.
He previously served as the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach (2018), the Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach (2016-17), and an offensive assistant for the Denver Broncos (2013-15) among his other coaching positions.
He’s the son of former Washington interim head coach and Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan—who was also a longtime NFL assistant coach.
Of course, it’s not the first time we’ve heard of the ‘Manning connection’ providing the younger Callahan some momentum during the Colts’ ongoing interview process:
It's definitely worth noting that among Callahan's advocates is Colts legend Peyton Manning. Which I'd think would carry weight with Jim Irsay. https://t.co/WQeRfZUtIZ— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 30, 2023
Right now, Callahan looks like one of the frontrunners for obtaining the Colts open head coaching position.
In my opinion, with the recent success of offensive minded head coaches, and the fact that the Colts will presumably be selecting a top rookie quarterback prospect with the 4th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, it makes a lot more sense to hire a young offensive mind like Callahan or perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles Shane Steichen, another finalist.
Unless the Colts get it right at quarterback—and ensure that young player’s continued growth and success, as we’ve just seen, nothing else will really matter. Both Callahan and Steichen would seemingly provide a leg up in that regard without having any turnover, as losing a gifted offensive coordinator from a defensive minded head coach’s staff eventually would.