Whoever gets the Defensive Coordinator job in Indy will inherit some great talent
After 4 years as the Defensive Coordinator of The Indianapolis Colts, Matt Eberflus is going to Chicago to become the new Head Coach for the Bears after New GM Ryan Poles decided who his guy was.
Now here’s the question everyone on W 56th st is asking. Who will be the Defensive Coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts? While this article won’t focus too much on ‘who’, I will spend some time talking about ‘what’ our new DC will have once he arrives.
I’ll start by saying This job is one of the most attractive openings out there currently. Why you may ask? 2 words. Support and Talent.
Support- It is no secret Chris Ballard supports and backs his coaches at all times and he hasn’t been the one to publicly criticize coaches either. The new DC will have a GM who will test and challenge him to be better especially with developing and getting production from pass rushers which The Colts have lacked every since Robert Mathis tore his Achilles in 2014 during a 4 game suspension. The previous year in 13’ was the last year the Colts had elite pass rush when Mathis went for 19.5 sacks.
Frank Reich will finally get to choose who will run his defense and how he will run it. The Candidates list is endless with top names like Alan Williams (Safeties coach), Kris Richard (Saints CB coach), Lovie Smith (Texans DC), and John Butler (Bills DB coach). Per Stephen Holder of The athletic “this will be a full search process” for Reich and Ballard. Finding the right guy is critical to the Colts success after an epic collapse at the end of the 2021 season. It is critical Reich finds someone with a similarly aggressive approach instead of the soft and passive approach from Eberflus. Whoever gets the job will have a great teacher, advisor, and listener alongside him in Reich on the sidelines.
Talent- There is talent everywhere on this defense. The secondary may need a couple more pieces but having Julian Blackmon, Khari Willis, Kenny Moore, Rock Ya-Sin and Isaiah Rodgers will be a great setup. Kenny Moore just had a Pro Bowl year while Isaiah Rodgers took another step forward. A bigger deal will be Rock Ya-Sin doing a complete 360 and turning his career around all under the coaching of Cornerbacks coach James Rowe.
Linebackers- I hope this person is ready to coach a Maniac. The Linebacker room seems to be set for years to come. Chris Ballard has done an excellent job of drafting linebackers. This room consists of All-Pro Will Linebacker Darius Leonard, Mike backer Bobby Okereke with backup EJ Speed who showed growth. Another Linebacker who was voted Special Teams Captain is Zaire Franklin who most likely will be back. Zaire is one of the most respected voices in the locker room and is an ST’s ace and leader.
Defensive line- This one may be the most underwhelming of this side of the ball but still boosts with potential. All-Pro DT DeForest Buckner will be back along with one of the best 1-tech payers in Grover Stewart. 2nd-year players Kwity Paye and Dayo flashed potential in their rookie years. Developing those guys will be a fun prioritized project for the new staff. Can they tap into Ben Banogu like the previous staff failed to do?
Final Thoughts- Let me ask again. Who wouldn’t want this job? There’s no rebuild or roster shakeup necessary for this side. Outside of a few pieces, The new DC has everything he will need to put a successful championship-winning level defense on the field. A chance to boost their resumes and have a tremendous group of players to coach. A great organization that has structure from the top down is very desirable among coaches. With that being set. Whoever will be the next Defensive Coordinator in Indy will be set up for success immediately in 2022 with this roster. My No.1 favorite is Kris Richard. These players fit who he is as a coach and fits the Colts organization. The search for a New DC is just getting started though and let’s hope they knock this hire out of the park!