Just when we thought the Indianapolis Colts could put their miserable 2017 campaign behind them and look forward to a brighter 2018, Tuesday happened.
The horseshoe fired Chuck Pagano before the guys were able to gather their belongings and get out of the locker room, following their 22-13 victory over the Houston Texans in week 17 to finish the season a dismal 4-12.
Owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard started their quest to find the right guy for Indy. Their search took them right to their arch enemy, and their nemesis, the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
The two sides agreed that following the Patriots ouster of the playoffs, which we would all agree, we were happy to see the Philadelphia Eagles beat them in the Super Bowl, he would become the head man.
After that announcement, many of the coaching dominoes started falling around the league. Mike Vrabel, a former Patriot player and head coaching candidate in Indy, was named head coach at AFC South rival Tennessee. Viking Defensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was hired by the Giants. The Cardinals, who fired Bruce Arians, yes, the same one that stepped in and led the Colts to the playoffs while Pagano was fighting cancer, hired Steve Wilks, and New England’s defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, took over for former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. I’m starting to see a trend here??
Tuesday was the day the Colts were going to name their man, McDaniels, as the new head coach. Then Tuesday afternoon rolled around and their guy informed them that he was keeping his Offensive Coordinator job with the Patriots, and the Colts were left hanging, as their head coaching position was once again vacant.
There are plenty of rumors going around about McDaniel’s change of heart. Conspiracy theorist think it was Bob Kraft’s ultimate mission to outbid the horseshoe and stick it to the franchise that brought about “Deflategate” and caused their franchise quarterback to miss the first four games of the 2016 season. Or, did Mr. Kraft promise McDaniels the keys to the Rolls Royce once Coach Darth Vader, err, Bill Belichick decides he’s had enough of the emotional roller coaster of being an NFL coach (oh wait, you’re right, the man shows no emotion) and decides to hang up the hoodie and retire. In either case, I’m sure the Patriots ownership loved “sticking it to” the Colts.
So, who are the horseshoe’s leading candidates? In my opinion, there are truly only two. KC special teams coordinator Dave Toub, whose name was touted before McDaniels was hired to be the front runner the first time around. He was interviewed Thursday.
I think the true front runner may be Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, Frank Reich. The former Buffalo Bill quarterback helped second year QB, Carson Wentz, to a stellar season in which his name was tossed around in the MVP conversations. Wentz threw for 33 touchdowns to just 7-interceptions before being hurt in week 13. His interview is with the Colts brass today.
In either case, the new coaches need a healthy Andrew Luck, who we also found out, still isn’t throwing a football. As Duke Tumatoe always sings, “Lord help our Colts!”
Scott Smith is a Sports Writer for The Paper and has enjoyed covering Montgomery County sports for about three years. What started out as simply attending his son’s baseball games turned into a passion for writing about all different games and players. Scott’s “From the Cheap Seats” can be found in The Paper every Friday.