The Colts had been closely linked to Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy throughout their search for a new head coach after firing Chuck Pagano. Nagy’s former colleague Brad Childress revealed that Nagy felt more comfortable during his interview in Chicago than he did when he met with the Colts’ front office.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard worked in the Chiefs’ front office from 2013-2016 before taking over as the GM in Indianapolis last offseason. Many people around the league felt that Ballard would target a coach on Andy Reid’s coaching staff in Kansas City when searching for a head coach to succeed the fired Chuck Pagano.
Ballard did interview former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy for the position, and there were conflicting reports as to whether the Colts offered him the job or not. Nonetheless, Nagy was one of the top candidates for the Colts’ job before accepting the head coaching position with the Chicago Bears this week.
Brad Childress has just retired after spending five years coaching with Matt Nagy in Kansas City. He joined ESPN Chicago’s radio show to discuss the Bears’ new head coach, and he had some interesting words to describe the process Nagy went through in deciding to take the Chicago job.
"The radio host asked Childress, “We had heard reports that he could have had the Colts job but he looked at this Bears situation and went: I like the young quarterback. I feel like I have a partnership with my General Manager, we’re going to grow together and build this thing. What is your take on, there were other suitors out there, on how he went about this decision-making process?”"
"Childress replied, “Well, I know for a fact — I wasn’t in the room — I know who he talked to first, who he talked to second. I know for a fact that this is a people business and that he felt entirely more comfortable [in the Bears] interview with the people who sat around there for four and a half hours than he did when he came out of the Colts interview. It’s quite a statement because the guy who is at the Colts was with us for five years at Kansas City. You know, a lot of times you go with your gut. At the same time you are interviewing Matt Nagy, Matt Nagy is interviewing you. He is seeing what he is throwing in with and who he is getting in the car with and just like when you do a deal it has got to get something from both sides and I felt from him[fully] that they were two completely different kind of interviews and that he was enthralled with the people at the Bears, with the Bears situation, to jump in that boat.”"
There could be a million different reasons why Nagy chose the Bears over the Colts, and we don’t even know if he even had the choice to take the Colts’ job.
However, I would like to know a lot more about what went on in Nagy’s interview in Indianapolis. Was Jim Irsay involved? Did Nagy and Chris Ballard not see eye-to-eye? Was Nagy worried about Andrew Luck’s health moving forward?
Hopefully we can get some answers to these questions soon. In the meantime, the Colts’ list of head coaching candidates gets shorter, and they are forced to move forward in their hiring process.