INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The pieces seem to be falling into place before the puzzle officially can be finalized.
With the Indianapolis Colts in the final stage of hiring New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their next head coach – a source confirmed to Indy Sports Central a multi-year deal is “close’’ – it appears two integral parts of his staff have been determined.
Various reports indicate Dallas linebackers coach Matt Eberflus will be McDaniels’ defensive coordinator while Oakland quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz will serve as his offensive coordinator. Eberflus’ wife even confirmed her husband’s pending relocation by affixing a Colts logo to a posting on her Facebook page.
Despite the speculation, it’s worth keeping in mind everything is fluid and nothing is official until…it’s official.
Earlier this month, general manager Chris Ballard stressed the importance of the Colts’ next head coach surrounding himself with a quality staff.
“They’ve got to be able to hire a first-class staff that can teach and develop players,’’ he said. “That’s very important.
“You want a staff full of teachers that can develop not only players but develop men, and that’s what we’re on the look for.’’
A capsule look at Peetz and Eberflus, just in case the speculation is accurate:
- Age: 47
- Most recent position: Cowboys linebackers coach/passing game coordinator; contract expired after the season.
- History lesson: Coached Cowboys’ linebackers since 2011 and assumed passing game coordinator role in ’16. . . . Cleveland Browns linebackers coach in 2010. . . . College experienced included eight years at Missouri and nine at his alma mater, Toledo. . . . Three-year starting linebacker at Toledo who was two-time first-team all-conference selection.
- Worth noting: Eberflus was considered a valuable member of Jason Garrett’s staff, and will be missed. Linebacker Sean Lee emerged as an upper-tier linebacker on his watch. The Colts defense should anticipate a change in approach as Eberflus likely will bring a 4-3 scheme to Indy. He has studied under veteran defensive whiz Rod Marinelli, who’s part of Tony Dungy’s coaching tree.
As passing game coordinator, Eberflus oversaw the “backend’’ of Dallas’ defensive, intermixing the work of linebackers and defensive backs.
- Age: 34
- Most recent position: Raiders quarterbacks coach.
- History lesson: Was in charge of Raiders’ quarterbacks in 2017 after two seasons as an offensive assistant. . . . Coached Washington Redskins’ receivers and was an offensive quality control aide in 2014. . . . Prior experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2008-12), Alabama (2013), UCLA (2007) and Santa Barbara (Cal.) City College.
- Worth noting: Considering McDaniels’ deep resume, he undoubtedly will apply a heavy hand to whatever the Colts do on offense. That’s his wheelhouse. It remains to be seen the level of input and influence the new coordinator will enjoy.