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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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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