Colts Scheduled To Interview Coaching Candidates
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INDIANAPOLIS – The names are already being floated around.
More than a handful of head coaching candidates have been reported as interviewees for the Colts.
Here are the 6 reported candidates scheduled to interview with the Colts (so far).
McDaniels will have to interview this week, reportedly Thursday, because of New England having a bye in the postseason. After this week, the next time the Colts would be able to interview McDaniels is the week before the Super Bowl (Jan. 22), unless the Patriots lose before then.
Possible interviews with Nagy, Toub and Wilks cannot take place this week because of those coaches taking part in Wild Card games this coming weekend. The Colts can interview this trio next week though, even if their teams win over the weekend.
Richard and Vrabel can interview at anytime as their respective seasons having already concluded.
As Chris Ballard stated earlier this week, the Colts clearly have little preference to a particular side of the ball or a coach with head coach experience (McDaniels is the only one with that). Five of these six coaches are also under the age of 49.
Currently, the Colts are one of 6 teams with an opening at head coach (Giants, Bears, Lions, Raiders and Cardinals are also open).
Ballard has stressed that the Colts will be taking their time with this “wide open” coaching search.
A closer look at the 6 early names in this lengthy process:
-New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels: Again, one of the biggest names out there this coaching cycle is McDaniels. The long-time New England assistant will reportedly interview with the Colts on Thursday. McDaniels was the head coach in Denver from 2009-10, compiling an 11-17 record. The Patriots have not won a Super Bowl without McDaniels on staff.
Biggest Question: Would McDaniels and Chris Ballard mesh? There are questions on how much control McDaniels would want as he seeks out another head coaching job in the NFL. Of course, some would debate whether Tom Brady has made McDaniels or if the coach himself has played a major part in the development of the future first ballot Hall of Famer? This hire would be another try by an NFL team in trying to tap into the Patriots’ dynasty.
-Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy: Is this the Sean McVay-type candidate that teams will inevitably be trying to uncover in 2018? Nagy is 39 years old and has been with Kansas City since the 2013 season. He was the QB coach from 2013-15 and has been the OC the last 2 years, including some play-calling duties this past year. Obviously, Chris Ballard has seen Nagy work up close.
Biggest Question: Does Nagy still need high-level coaching experience before he becomes a viable head coach candidate? Nagy has been a position coach for 3 seasons and 2 years as an offensive coordinator. That is not much experience at all for an NFL head coach.
-Seattle defensive coordinator Kris Richard: The Seattle connection to the Colts makes sense. Colts current Vice President Player of Personnel Ed Dodds came over to Indy after more than a decade in Seattle. Dodds watched Richard helped construct the “Legion of Boom” secondary before fully taking over the Seattle defense in 2015.
Biggest Question: Does Richard have enough experience to become an NFL head coach at the age of 38? How young is Richard? He actually played with Frank Gore in San Francisco. Richard, like Matt Nagy, could be the Sean McVay-type candidate in this coaching cycle. The Seahawks, under Pete Carroll, have had past defensive coordinators Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn move on to head coaching gigs.
-Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub: From 2004-16, Chris Ballard and Dave Toub worked for the same teams (Chicago from 2004-12, and then Kansas City from 2013-16). Ballard knows Toub better than any other candidate. The attraction to special teams guys comes from them having coached players on both sides of the ball and used to the complexities involving in-game management and field position.
Biggest Question: Is a special teams coordinator enough? Toub is easily the name most closely associated with Ballard/and the Colts. But there is that looming question of a guy who has only coached special teams since 2001 now taking over an entire NFL team.
-Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks: Chris Ballard has watched Wilks work before in Chicago. Wilks was the DB coach of the Bears from 2006-08. He has since moved on to Carolina, where he’s been the assistant head coach to Ron Rivera since 2015, and took over as defensive coordinator this past year.
Biggest Question: Does Wilks have enough coaching responsibility to offer him a head role? Wilks has been an NFL coordinator for one year and has only been a head coach at Savannah State University in 1999.
-Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel: This isn’t a Chris Ballard connection, but Vrabel was highly thought of when he played in Kansas City (2009-10). Vrabel was the linebackers coach in Houston from 2014-16, before ascending to the coordinator role this past year. The long-time Patriots linebacker has seen the Colts up-close in the AFC South the last 4 seasons.
Biggest Question: Is Vrabel still a year or two away from being a serious head coaching candidate? This is a guy who coordinated the worst scoring defense in the NFL this past year. It’s a resume that certainly doesn’t equate to head coaching quality, but Vrabel is a hot name around the league.