According to Kevin Bowen of Colts.com, the Indianapolis Colts have elected to part ways with their running backs coach in David Walker:
As mentioned, Walker had previously spent the 4 past seasons with the Colts, as a member of their coaching staff. However, the Indianapolis Colts experienced a disappointing ground game from their running backs overall, particularly as it related to former starting running back Trent Richardson.
Dec 28, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) carries the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
As the 3rd overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Richardson has struggled mightily in his 2 seasons with the Colts after being acquired by the Cleveland Browns and his future with the team is in serious doubt. While that’s not necessarily a direct reflection on Walker’s coaching job, it likely doesn’t bode well for someone whose title is “Runningbacks coach” to have a former top pick flounder under your tutelage.
Additionally, while Dan “Boom” Herron actually largely excelled rushing in a significant role after formerly being listed as the team’s 3rd string running back, he had major ball security issues. After getting the start in Week 12, Herron had 4 fumbles (3 of which were lost) during the rest of the regular season and playoffs. Fair or unfair, his fumbling issue is likely something that is expected to be fixed by a running backs coach, which Walker may not have been able to successfully solve.
However, in his defense, Walker wasn’t actually given a whole lot to work with regarding the Colts running backs group this past season. It looks like Trent Richardson was traded for a reason from Cleveland because the Browns saw with Richardson what the Colts are now seeing, that he’s a bust. The team’s best and most effective running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, was lost for the season in Week 11 because of a broken ankle. Boom Herron played well given that he was a 3rd-string running back to start the season, but he’s probably a back-up running back on a contending team. The team also lost running back Vick Ballard in training camp to a season-ending torn achilles, who was expected to play a significant role this past season.
At this juncture, it’s unclear who the Colts have targeted to replace David Walker. However, it will be interesting to see if this is the first of a few changes that may be made to the Colts coaching staff. Earlier, Horseshoe Heroes suggested the idea of bringing in former longtime Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau in as a defensive advisor or linebackers coach.
September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) and running back Trent Richardson (34) talk before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. The Colts defeated the 49ers 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports