Colts Interview Baylor Head Coach Matt Rhule
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INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Ballard promised a “wide open” head coaching search for the Indianapolis Colts.
Well, Matt Rhule definitely fits that description.
ESPN has reported that the Colts interviewed Rhule, the first-year Baylor head coach, earlier this week.
SOURCES: Baylor coach Matt Rhule interviewed for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching vacancy earlier this week. Rhule, who completed his first season with the Bears in November, spent the 2012 season as the New York Giants offensive line coach. He is... https://t.co/5w6H7o0aqJ— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 10, 2018
Rhule and the Baylor Bears were just 1-11 this past season.
Before coming to Baylor, Rhule resurrected the Temple program with two 10-win seasons, compiling a 28-23 record there in 4 seasons.
But with just 1 year of coaching in the NFL (a 2012 assistant offensive line coach with the Giants) and 1 year at a major college program, Rhule qualifies as a surprise candidate.
Looking for any direct connections with Rhule and the Colts won’t lead you very far.
The 42-year-old coach, who has spent just one year in the NFL, has nowhere near the resume that would indicate a NFL head coach.
At Temple, Rhule helped build a program which reached impressive heights, and produced several NFL prospects, including Colts cornerback Nate Hairston.
It’s difficult to see a scenario though in which Rhule should be viewed as a serious candidate for the opening in Indianapolis, or any in the NFL.
A guy who has only ever been an assistant position coach at the NFL level for one year, and a major college coach for one 1-11 season, certainly doesn’t add up to being a realistic option.
Nonetheless, Ballard is sticking to his statement last week of being open to any and all candidates.
Rhule is the first college coach reported to receive an interview during this NFL coaching cycle, which has included 6 openings (4 left).
While Rhule is an emerging name in the college game, and worked under Tom Coughlin with the Giants, he's still at least a year or two away from being a legit NFL name.
Here’s a look at the other Colts head coaching candidates:
- Josh McDaniels (New England offensive coordinator): The interview for McDaniels came last week, with New England on their bye. Unless the Patriots lose this week, no team can interview the New England offensive coordinator again until Super Bowl bye week. So we might not hear much more on McDaniels for the next two weeks. McDaniels is a coveted name and has been extremely selective in turning down jobs in recent years. If the Colts really want McDaniels, they might have to be patient, similar to what we saw from Atlanta (Dan Quinn) and San Francisco (Kyle Shanahan) when their coaching candidates made Super Bowl runs in the past few years. The Giants reportedly have interest in McDaniels, too.
- Kris Richard (Seattle defensive coordinator): With Seattle missing the playoffs, Richard could make some interview rounds late last week. Richard’s interview with the Colts came after McDaniels. The 38-year-old Richard has been a rumored candidate in other stops besides Indianapolis. Richard was one of three people the Colts interviewed last week.
- Dave Toub (Kansas City special teams coordinator): Things are really quiet on the Toub front. Some thought Toub was the favorite for this job. But hardly anything has been reported on an interview for him since New Year’s Day. Of course, with the Chiefs in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, the Colts could not have interviewed Toub until this past weekend. With the Chiefs’ season now over, will we see Toub’s name resurface with long-time colleague Chris Ballard?
- Steve Wilks (Carolina defensive coordinator): Carolina’s loss on Sunday evening means Wilks can go into full interview mode this coming week. Several teams have interest in Wilks, with the Colts one of those seeking out an interview, possibly coming Thursday. Chris Ballard worked with Wilks for three years in Chicago. This is an interview that should come at some point this week.
- Mike Vrabel (Houston defensive coordinator): Like McDaniels and Richard, Vrabel was able to interview with the Colts last week. On paper, any team that hires Vrabel will have some explaining to do as the resume does not add up to him being head coach ready. Vrabel has been the defensive coordinator for just one season in Houston.