Colts: Texans share thoughts on Matt Eberflus as rumors swirl

Colts DC Matt Eberflus (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Colts DC Matt Eberflus (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Texans players and coaches shared their thoughts on Colts DC Matt Eberflus after he interviewed for the head coaching job.

If the latest coaching carousel rumors have been any indication, it’s that the wait until the start of the new league year — when the Indianapolis Colts can officially start making roster moves — is going to drag on.

By that time, it wouldn’t be surprising if some of head coach Frank Reich’s most trusted assistants left for promotions with other organizations.

After all, both offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and defensive coordinator Matt Eberlfus have accepted requests to interview for head coaching gigs.

When it comes to the former, he has reportedly been tabled as a finalist for the Texans’ job after initially denying their request to interview him. We would personally hate to see him accept any potential offers in light of their perpetual dysfunction, but based on praise he’s received from key members of the organization, it sure sounds like he has the upper hand in the sweepstakes.

The likes of offensive coordinator Tim Kelley, wideout Brandin Cooks and Deshaun Watson have all recently spoke highly of Eberflus, both during the 2020 season and after they were made aware that he was being considered for the head coaching vacancy.

Here’s what Kelley had to say about him back in October of 2019.

"“First of all, they’re very well-coached. They’re very well-coached, they’re very disciplined, they’re very technically sound in all areas,” said Kelley. “We have our work cut out for us there and he does a good job of switching up the coverages from man to zone and all that. Like I said, they’re a very well-coached unit that flies around.”"

It’s worth noting that those comments came before Eberflus helped the Colts morph into one of the most complete defensive units in the league this past season, so you have to think Kelley’s evident fondness of him only increased since then.

Next up is Cooks, who was asked about facing Indianapolis’ suffocating defense prior to the team’s matchup in Week 13 and made it a point to highlight just how far the group has come since Eberflus took over as defensive coordinator in 2018.

"“They’ve been playing at such a high level throughout the year,” he said. “He’s been great in mixing up his calls. He has a lot of confidence in his players. They’ve got a lot of great players in the back and then with (Darius) Leonard leading that defense. When you’ve got a guy like that, you can do a lot. Lot of respect for what he’s doing with that defense and what they’ve been doing all year.”"

And finally, we have the man of the hour. As a result of the ongoing controversy in Houston’s front office, Watson has been the subject of trade rumors, and there’s growing belief within league circles that he’s played his last snap for the franchise. However, that didn’t stop him from praising Eberflus as recently as two weeks ago when he was first mentioned as a potential HC candidate.

"“From what I’ve heard and played against him, Matt’s been very, very disciplined. That’s the type that you want,” said Watson. “From the players and the scheme that I’ve been playing against, Indianapolis, they’re about what they do and they do it perfectly. They understand different concepts and what they want to do as an Indianapolis Colts defense. That’s why they’ve been successful.”“From what I’ve heard about him, he’s a great guy to play for. Of course, he’s a defensive minded coach and I think it’ll help Tim (Kelly), but we’ll see. It’s so much of the unknown and so much of this is the first time I’ve been through it, so it’s kind of hard to have vision without any experience and any guy that’s with it.”"

We obviously didn’t expect the Texans to castigate Eberflus, but the fact that they seemingly didn’t hesitate to sing his praises before they even knew he could become their next head coach is pretty telling.

It would be shocking if Watson were under center for Houston in 2021, but him approving of the Colts’ DC certainly bodes well for the team’s chances of keeping him, even if he wasn’t one of the names he endorsed to the front office.

Even if Watson doesn’t return, the fact that other key members of the organization respect Eberflus to this degree suggests he has a real chance at landing the job, and that should no doubt worry Indy’s fan base.