Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts will have some major decisions to make this coming offseason. After yet another disastrous season, it appears that Chuck Pagano will be on his way out of town. If that is indeed the case, the Colts will have plenty of coaches interested in taking their vacant head coaching post.
Pagano has had a rough past few years with the Colts. Whether it be due to injuries, lack of roster improvement under Ryan Grigson, or simply finding incredible ways to lose football games, he has not gotten the job done. Indianapolis has given him every chance to keep his job, but there are simply no more excuses that can be made for him.
Andrew Luck has missed the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury and was shut down in the middle of the season, as ESPN reported. It has been a rough season for the Colts without their franchise quarterback, but they have squandered so many opportunities to win games due to coaching errors.
Despite all of the health issues that the Colts have had, Ballard has put a lot of young talent on the roster. Indianapolis will be one of the most intriguing job openings if they do fire Pagano.
All of that being said, which five coaches should Ballard target to replace Pagano, assuming he does fire him this offseason?
Josh McDaniels, Offensive Coordinator, New England Patriots
Josh McDaniels did not do very well in his first NFL head coaching job with the Denver Broncos, but he has been groomed by Bill Belichick and is ready for another opportunity. Indianapolis could use an offensive mind like McDaniels. He would make a lot of sense for the Colts and could be a long-term fit in Indianapolis.
Matt Patricia, Defensive Coordinator, New England Patriots
Why not stick with the New England coaching staff? Matt Patricia has proven himself to be a defensive genius and the Colts could use some help on that side of the football. Indianapolis could upgrade their defense with the hiring of Patricia and he would bring smarts to the sidelines.
Matt Nagy, Offensive Coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis choose to go after a familiar face for Ballard in Matt Nagy, the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. He would be a very solid pickup and could help take Luck to the next level. Toub will land a head coaching gig elsewhere in the near future if the Colts decide to go another direction.
Jon Gruden, ESPN NFL Analyst
Jon Gruden has been a rumored candidate for the job in Indianapolis in the past and should be once again. Reports have stated that he wants full control of a franchise, but that won’t happen with Ballard being a safe bet to stay with the Colts longterm. Perhaps Ballard can convince Gruden that the Colts can offer him an ideal coaching scenario, especially with a quarterback like Luck on board.
Peyton Manning, Free Agent
This is not a likely scenario at all, but it is intriguing to think about. There is no question that Peyton Manning could be an NFL head coach and Jim Irsay certainly loves him. If Manning has interest in returning to football, the Colts’ head coaching gig would be a perfect opportunity, although the chances of him becoming the next head coach in Indianapolis is probably at less than one percent. So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?