This coming offseason, the Indianapolis Colts will search for a head coach and their search couldn’t have come at a better time.
On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts fired Frank Reich and hired Jeff Saturday as interim head coach. The firing of Reich wasn’t that shocking considering the team’s disappointing start but the move to bring in Saturday as the interim coach left the NFL world stunned as everyone wondered if team owner, Jim Irsay, had any hidden motives for this surprising move. However, in a Monday night press conference, Irsay was adamant in his belief of Saturday to lead this team.
While Saturday is the interim head coach for the next eight games, the Colts will conduct a full coaching search during the offseason. Jeff Saturday will likely be a part of that search but so will many other promising head coaching candidates. In fact, Indy’s decision to move on from Frank Reich probably couldn’t come ahead of a better offseason because this coaching cycle will be filled with young and promising candidates that are expected to be the next great wave of coaches in the league.
Likely coaching candidates on the Colts’ radar
The league is currently rich with brilliant coordinators waiting for the right opportunity to lead an entire team. Behind every dominant defense, explosive offense, and disciplined special teams unit is a special coordinator that will soon be elevated to head coach somewhere throughout the league. While those kinds of candidates will make up the majority of the coaching pool, Sean Payton is a veteran option who will surely warrant a lot of interest.
After retiring as coach of the New Orleans Saints, it’s been no secret that he’s willing to return for the right team. Could that team be the Colts? Similar to Payton, one of the other more experienced options that have been a head coach before is Dan Quinn. After things went downhill with the Atlanta Falcons, Quinn rejuvenated his career by coordinating an elite Dallas Cowboys defense. While Payton and Quinn are solid options, this coaching cycle will be about the young coordinators seeking their first head coaching job.
There’s the defensive-minded coaches like DeMeco Ryans, the defensive coordinator for the 49ers, Ejiro Evero, the Broncos’ DC, and Jonathan Gannon, the defensive coordinator for the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles also have one of the most intriguing offensive coordinators in Shane Steichen. Other offensive minds like Kellen Moore, the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, Frank Smith, the Dolphins’ OC, and Ben Johnson, the coordinator for the Lions’ offense, will also draw interest.
Not to mention, there’s also Eric Bieniemy, who is due for a head coaching job, and many other intriguing candidates throughout the NFL and the college level. The Colts even currently have one on staff in Bubba Ventrone, who’ll surely draw interest whether it’s from Indy or another franchise. Ultimately, Indy will give Jeff Saturday a test for the next eight weeks of the regular season but then the Colts will be able to dive deep into a pool of talented coaches.