Colts: Will 2021 be Matt Eberflus’ final year with Indy?

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

The Indianapolis Colts were dealt a swift reminder of the hazards of flaunting an elite coaching staff earlier this offseason, as they lost a number of Frank Reich’s most trusted assistants to promotions with other organizations.

Of course, the most significant departure came in the form of Nick Sirianni, who was surprisingly hired as the Eagles’ new head coach after he spent the last three seasons doing an excellent job serving as the Colts’ offensive coordinator.

Luckily for Indianapolis, they were able to retain defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who was a hot commodity during the head coaching carousel this offseason and even interviewed for the Texans’ now-former head coaching vacancy.

While Eberflus was right to withdraw his name from consideration, we can’t help but speculate whether the upcoming season will be his last with the Colts.

Is Matt Eberflus approaching his final year with the Colts?

In a recent article highlighting potential 2022 head coaching candidates, Pro Football Network listed Eberflus as a name to keep an eye on.

It’s easy to see why that would be the case. Not only is Eberflus one of the best pound-for-pound defensive coordinators in the league, but nearly every team with a vacancy this offseason formally requested to interview him. That can’t be a good sign for Indy.

The Colts didn’t make any marquee additions to their defense in free agency, but they’ll be returning largely the same core from last season. That group finished second in the NFL against the run, eighth in total yards allowed, and 10th in points per game.

Eberflus’ arrival in 2018 has been a godsend for the Colts, whose defense was a laughingstock under former head coach Chuck Pagano.

To put it simply, Eberflus’ aggressive, hard-hitting approach and general manager Chris Ballard’s keen eye as far as identifying players, like Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner, who fit that profile, have been a match made in heaven for Indianapolis.

Though fans should have full trust in Ballard to hire a capable replacement, Eberflus departing would be a crushing blow for the Colts. He’s been coaching in some capacity since 1992, spending 17 years in the college ranks with Toledo and Missouri before moving to the NFL in 2009.

The former Cowboys linebackers coach no doubt loves being a defensive coordinator, but at 51 years old, we’re kind of getting the feeling — and he might be, too, — that it’s time to take that next step in his coaching career.

If that ends up being the case, the Colts could be looking to replace yet another coveted coordinator next offseason.