Colts’ coaching search begins with Josh McDaniels, Steve Wilks


Left: Josh McDaniels, courtesy of Maddie Meyer/Getty Images; Right: Steven Wilks, courtesy of Getty Images

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts are wasting no time seeking a replacement for Chuck Pagano.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Colts have asked permission to talk with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks confirmed Monday the Colts are one of three teams – the New York Giants and Detroit Lions are the others – that have asked for permission to interview him.

The coaching search officially began Sunday evening when owner Jim Irsay fired Pagano after the Colts’ 22-13 win over the Houston Texans.

NFL rules allow assistant coaches from playoff teams that earned a first-round bye to interview during that week. That would enable McDaniels to discuss a head coaching position this week. The Patriots earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a 13-3 record.

Colts’ quarterback Jacoby Brissett has a history with McDaniels. The Patriots selected him in the third round of the 2016 draft and he developed under McDaniels before New England traded him to the Colts Sept. 2.

“It’s no surprise,’’ Brissett said. “He’s a great coach. He’s been a head coach before. He’s had success. It’s no shock.’’

McDaniels, 41, has been the Patriots’ offensive coordinator since 2012. He also was on Bill Belichick’s staff from 2002-08 and served as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2006-08) and quarterbacks coach (2004-05).

McDaniels would offer head coaching experience. He posted an 11-17 record with the Denver Broncos in 2009-10.

Wilks, 48, is in his first year as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator and sixth season as an assistant. His past includes a stint as the Chicago Bears defensive backs coach in 2006-08, at which time he and Colts general manager were together.

If Wilks decides to talk with the Colts, it won’t happen until next week. The Panthers, 11-5 and the No. 5 NFC seed, meet the New Orleans Saints Sunday in a first-round playoff game.

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