Colts’ coaching search won’t lack candidates

Chris Ballard (left) and Jim Irsay (right).

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts’ search for Chuck Pagano’s replacement is underway, and likely will continue for a couple of weeks.

A few issues seem undeniable, most notably that general manager Chris Ballard will “do the heavy lifting,’’ as owner Jim Irsay put it. It’s up to Ballard to form a list of primary candidates, vet them and handle the initial interview.

At the end of the process, Irsay is expected to sign off on Ballard’s decision.

“There hasn’t been a time where I haven’t followed the recommendations of what the general manager had recommended to me,’’ Irsay said.

The search, Ballard said, will be “wide open,’’ but any viable candidate must possess a “presence’’ and “be able to lead the room.’’

And one more thing: the Colts won’t be in a sharing mood during their search.

“We’re going to keep everything we do internal, including who we’re interviewing,’’ Ballard said.

That in mind, here’s a look at possible candidates:

JOSH McDANIELS

  • Age: 41
  • Current position: New England Patriots offensive coordinator/quartetbacks coach
  • Resume: Has been part of Bill Belichick’s staff for 13 seasons, the last six as offensive coordinator. . . . Possesses head coaching experience, although his two-year stint with the Denver Broncos (2009-10) ended with him being fired after a 3-9 start in ’10. Was 11-17 with Broncos.
  • Update: NFL Network reported McDaniels met with the Colts Thursday. He also has drawn interest from the New York Giants and Chicago Bears.

DAVE TOUB

  • Age: 55
  • Current position: Kansas City Chiefs special teams coach
  • Resume: In charge of the Chiefs special teams since 2013. . . . Held a similar position with the Chicago Bears from 2004-13. . . . Considered to be high on Ballard’s list because of the two being together in Kansas City (2013-16) and Chicago (2004-12).
  • Update: There has been no report of the Colts seeking permission from the Chiefs to interview Toub, although NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that is expected to happen.

MATT NAGY

  • Age: 39
  • Current position: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator
  • Resume: Chiefs offensive coordinator the past two seasons, and the team’s quarterbacks coach the previous three seasons. . . . He and Nagy were together in Kansas City from 2013-16.
  • Update: Nagy confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Teicher he will interview with the Colts and Chicago Bears. Rapoport reported Nagy will meet with the Colts Sunday.

STEVE WILKS

  • Age: 48
  • Current position: Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator
  • Resume: Was elevated to defensive coordinator in ’17 after serving as a Panthers’ assistant since 2012. . . . Coached DBs with San Diego Chargers (2009-11) and Chicago Bears (2006-08). . . . Stint with Bears coincided with Ballard (2006-08).
  • Update: Wilks confirmed the Colts were one of the teams that sought permission from the Panthers to interview him. The New York Giants and Detroit Lions also have expressed interest.

KRIS RICHARD

  • Age: 39
  • Current position: Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator
  • Resume: Seahawks’ defensive coordinator since 2015 after spending four seasons as defensive backs and cornerbacks coach.
  • Update: Rapoport reported Colts met with Richard Friday.

 MIKE VRABEL

  • Age: 42
  • Current position: Houston Texans defensive coordinator
  • Resume: The Texans’ defensive coordinator in 2017 after serving as linebackers coach in 2014-16.
  • Update: NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported the Colts will meet with Vrabel Saturday.

 FRANK REICH

  • Age: 56
  • Current position: Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator
  • Resume: Eagles’ offensive coordinator since 2016. . . . Previously with the San Diego Chargers (2013-15), Arizona Cardinals (2012) and Colts (2008-11. . . . Responsibilities with Colts included quarterbacks and receivers.
  • Update: There has been no report of the Colts asking for permission to interview Reich.

PAT SHURMUR

  • Age: 52
  • Current position: Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator
  •  Resume: Vikings’ offensive coordinator since 2016. . . . NFL experience includes two-year stint as Cleveland Browns’ head coach (9-23 record in 2011-12).
  • Update: There has been no report of the Colts asking for permission to interview Shurmur.

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