What Should Colts Be Looking For In Next Head Coach?
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INDIANAPOLIS – For Jim Irsay and Chris Ballard they must decide the pre-requisites they are seeking out as the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
With the firing of Chuck Pagano, the Colts are now embarking on a head-coaching search just one year after hiring a new general manager.
What should the Colts be looking for in the next head coach?
-Some High-Level Coaching Experience: Looking back on the hirings of 2012, the Colts made two moves on candidates lacking major NFL experience at the highest of levels. Pagano had been a coordinator in the NFL for just 1 season before being hired. He had never been a head coach at the collegiate level either. The Colts need to look for someone who at least has a longer tenure at the coordinating/head coaching rung.
-Adequate In-Game Management: This should be piggybacked off the one above. The Colts struggled woefully with in-game management, and the ability to adjust, under Pagano. In a league defined by parity, it’s paramount that your head coach has a tremendous grasp on how to handle timing situations. Pagano did not do that adequately enough. And over time, the Colts saw too many games spiral into massive defeats, with poor play in the fourth quarter defining the 2017 season.
-A Staff Ready To Develop Young Talent: One attractive piece to this situation in Indy comes from the Colts picking in the top 3 of next year’s draft. They are going to have the opportunity to select impact talent, which will be asked to play a lot early on. This past coaching staff struggled in turning early-round picks into major contributors. Names like Bjoern Werner, (1st round in 2013), Hugh Thornton (3rd round, 2013), D’Joun Smith (3rd round in 2015) and T.J. Green (2nd round in 2016) immediately come to mind as talents that hardly did anything in Indianapolis. For this franchise to get back to being a regular playoff contender, the new staff must do a better job of getting their young players ready to go and helping them develop.
-Coach Willing To Play To Roster Strengths: When Pagano was hired in 2012, he was steadfast in wanting to be a ‘running the football/stopping the run’ type of team. It sounded good at that time. But it never come close to fruition. Under a new GM and head coach, maybe the Colts can inch closer to that. However, when Andrew Luck is your quarterback, you build a passing attack around him and find enough of a defense to get the job done.
-No Need To Pigeonhole Defense: The Colts should not restrict themselves to a specific defensive philosophy when examining candidates. Yes, the Colts currently play in a 3-4 defense, but that better not keep them from evaluating all candidates, no matter the defensive system wanting to be implemented. Sure, it would take some roster adjustment in switching to a 4-3 scheme, but this defense is not talented enough to pigeonhole you to only 3-4 coaches. The defense has to get better. Period.