Is Uncertainty Around Health Of Andrew Luck Hurting Colts Search For A New Head Coach?
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INDIANAPOLIS – At first glance, it reads like a team leaking information to a local member of the media in trying to strengthen how their new head coach looks to the public.
But even if the information is not totally accurate, the message cannot be totally ignored as the Colts embark on Week Two of their head coaching search.
On Tuesday morning, longtime Chicago radio personality David Kaplan fired off this tweet about new Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
Source tells me the Indianapolis Colts were all in on hiring Matt Nagy. Uncertainty on health of Andrew Luck vs Mitchell Trubisky + Nagy’s belief the Bears roster is much better made decision for him. “Pace landed him by convincing him sunny days are ahead for the Bears.”— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 9, 2018
Nagy was a rumored candidate for the Colts, with Chris Ballard and the former Kansas City offensive coordinator having worked together from 2013-16.
But with the Chiefs’ season ending in humiliating fashion last Saturday evening, the Bears moved quickly in nabbing the young coordinator.
Debating Kaplan’s information leads you down a couple of paths.
First, the health of Andrew Luck most certainly is going to impact the desire for some candidates to come to Indy.
Even though Ballard wants to greatly downplay the appeal of Luck solely attracting candidates, potential coaches should have concern over the health of No. 12.
This was Ballard last week on taking a stance firmly opposite from Owner Jim Irsay in talking about ‘Luck the recruiting chip.’
“I want somebody that wants to come to the Indianapolis Colts,” Ballard said last Monday. “I don’t want them to come here just for Andrew Luck. I want somebody who wants to build something special and build a team that’s special, and if a candidate is coming here just for Andrew, then he’s probably not going to be the right fit.”
Ballard was adamant that a candidate coming to Indy just because of Luck is “not the right fit” for what the Colts are seeking in their next head coach.
Second, the Colts still have some compelling angles to pitch for head coaching candidates, non-Luck related.
They have 80-plus million in cap space this coming offseason. They are drafting 3rd or 4th overall in every round of April’s NFL Draft. The QB stable, if the worst-case scenario happens with Luck, is not completely barren, with the young Jacoby Brissett having shown some flashes in 2017. And the reputation of Chris Ballard around the NFL is very strong.
Third, Ballard made it clear that the Colts would be playing this coaching pursuit close to the vest, which is another reason to question the complete validity of Kaplan’s initial report. Were the Colts really “all in” on a guy with little high-level coaching experience?
But one would be naïve to think the ambiguous nature surrounding Luck’s health isn’t making some candidates pause at the situation in Indy.
Luck’s new throwing program is expected to begin soon, but it is not known whether answers to his progress will be available by the time a hire comes.
Will the cloud over Luck impact the Colts any more with 4 head coach openings remaining?