KRAVITZ: List of Colts’ head coaching candidates continues to grow

(from left) Kris Richard, Steve Wilks, Josh McDaniels, Dave Toub, Mike Vrabel and Matt Nagy were all taken under consideration to take over for Chuck Pagano as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts after the 2017 season. (file photos)

The list of Colts’ head coaching candidates will most surely expand as the days and weeks go on, but here is the current list of men who the Colts reportedly plan to interview:

  • Josh McDaniels – The good news is, McDaniels has head coaching experience, having led the Denver Broncos from 2009-10. The bad news is, he struggled mightily there. After winning his first six games with the Broncos, he went 5-17 and was fired. His relationship with Jay Cutler quickly soured, McDaniels trading the quarterback to the Bears. He also got sideways with several other players and members of the Denver front office, and was roundly criticized for the way he handled the videotaping incident by his director of video operations. McDaniels is the long-time Patriots’ offensive coordinator and has been viewed as a hot candidate for several years. He is reportedly scheduled to interview with the Colts Thursday.
  • Dave Toub – Heading into the interviews, Toub, the Kansas City Chiefs special teams coach, appears to be the leader in the clubhouse for the Colts’ head coaching job. He has a long relationship with Colts’ general manager Chris Ballard which stretches all the way back to their days with the Chicago Bears. Special teams coaches rarely get head coaching jobs, but the Colts hope he can become a new-age version of Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, himself a former special teams coach.
  • Matt Nagy – Every team is looking for the next Sean McVay, the young first-year head coach for the playoff-bound Los Angeles Rams. The Colts hope the 39-year-old Nagy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator, fills that bill. Nagy comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree, having worked under Reid since he was an intern in Philadelphia from 2008-09. After four years in Philly, Nagy became the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach from 2013-15 and became the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2016.
  • Steve Wilks – After 10 years of bouncing around in the college ranks, the Carolina Panthers’ current assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, has cut his teeth with the Bears, Chargers and now Carolina. He, too, has a connection with Ballard going back to their time together in Chicago. Carolina perennially has one of the best defenses in the NFL.
  • Kris Richard – A former NFL player, Richard was the defensive backs coach during the creation of the Legion of Boom, and has been the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator since 2015. Richard has a strong connection with the Colts, having worked with Colts’ vice president of player personnel Ed Dodds during their time in Seattle.
  • Mike Vrabel – The former Ohio State and New England Patriots’ star has become a very hot coaching commodity in a very short time. He spent last season as the Houston Texans’ defensive coordinator and Houston had the worst scoring defense in the league. That said, they were decimated by injuries, losing two of their best defensive players, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. He was highly respected as a player and as a clubhouse leader, and is being interviewed by a number of teams with coaching vacancies.

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