Why Matt Eberflus leaving may actually be good for Colts

Jan 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is the new head coach for the Chicago Bears and that might be the first of many good things to come for Indianapolis.

Today, the announcement of Matt Eberflus becoming the next Head Coach of the Chicago Bears made big headlines. It was the second hiring of head coaches this offseason, which will likely spark a fury of new announcements.

Eberflus was brought to the Indianapolis Colts as part of the legendary Josh McDaniels tenure with the Colts back in 2018. He signed his contract and then shortly after, McDaniels decided he was going to stay in New England.

During his tenure as the defensive coordinator, opponents averaged fewer points per game in all but the 2019 season. The opposing offenses also had less than a 50% 3rd down conversion rate as well.

Now, Matt gets to take his talents to Chicago and beef up a defense that has all of the right players. He’s never had a pass rusher like Khalil Mack in Indianapolis, which will give him a strong pass rush when Mack does return to the field.

Colts fans rejoice in the departure of Matt Eberflus

Is it a bad sign for Chicago that many Colts fans were thrilled that their defensive coordinator was leaving? The main concern for the Colts defense was their relaxed approach late in games with a lead.

Eberflus often got conservative when there was no reason the Colts defense should be playing a soft zone. But they were frequently and Indy gave up many first downs because of it.

In the Week 18 Jacksonville Jaguars game, the defense wasn’t even five minutes into the game before playing relaxed coverage on third down. Can you guess what happened? First down that led to a touchdown on the opening drive.

With Eberflus now out of Indianapolis, Frank Reich has the ability to hire his own defensive coordinator for the first time.

There are a lot of good names out there right now that could come to Indianapolis, including former head coaches that were recently let go by their teams this year.

It is thought that Indianapolis could be a good career builder for a coach that needs to prove that their system works and they are deserving of a new head coaching position.

Colts candidates that would push this defense even further

The top guys on the list should be Brian Flores and Mike Zimmer. Two head coaches have had success with the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings. Both coaches have a great defensive mindset that could shine with them really focusing on just one side of the ball.

Flores is coming off a 9-8 season in Miami that originally started at 1-7. The quick turnaround was led mostly because of the defensive play. Media around the organization believe that Flores was never put in a good spot in Miami and the real issues lie with the general manager.

With the opportunity to coach one of the best and most talented defensive units, Flores could make his mark in the AFC. It’s a tough challenge, but he’s been able to figure out how to sweep New England and slow down Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.

Zimmer is coming out of a situation that cleared the entire front office. During his time in Minnesota, Zimmer has had a top-tier defense that was often overshadowed by poor offensive play. Zimmer is a great defensive-minded coach and is likely going to get another head coaching job very soon.

Where Flores is likely going to get right back into coaching, Zimmer is more than likely going to take a year away from football before entering the market next year.

Some new faces that could make a leap

John Butler is an interesting name that could come from Buffalo, one of the best defensive units in the NFL. He has served as the Cornerbacks Coach for the Bills since 2018.

The Bills have been known to have one of the best secondary units over the last few years and that starts with the coaching staff. Butler would be a great addition to the Colts considering they have two emerging young corners.

Butler would increase productivity out of a unit that has been hurting the Colts for a few years now. With young guns like Isaiah Rodgers and Rock Ya-Sin being the two most likely to start next season, he’s got the ability to mold them into stars.

Kris Richard is another name that has been circulating on Colts Twitter as well. Currently, he is the New Orleans Saints cornerbacks coach, but like Butler, could come to Indy to improve a weak secondary unit.

Chris Ballard and Frank Reich must make this right

Whoever the Colts front office brings into Indianapolis, needs to be the right person for the job. The Colts’ defense cannot struggle late in games as they did in 2021.

If the Colts want to make a push for a Super Bowl next season, they are going to need to have a top-five defense, and that starts with this position.

Hiring from within is likely not going to be the move the Colts need here. Indianapolis needs a new system that is not so predictable. Promoting a current position coach is only going to continue what is being done now.

There are a lot of changes coming to the defensive coaching staff. This is one of many this offseason.