INDIANAPOLIS -- Hope you’re in no rush for the Indianapolis Colts to name a new coach.
That’s because you’ll be waiting for at least two more weeks as New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels continues to be the front-runner for the job. The Patriots are headed back to the Super Bowl, which means the Colts can’t hire McDaniels until after the Feb. 4 game.
The Colts originally interviewed McDaniels on Jan. 3. Indianapolis, according to a source, has asked the Patriots permission for a second interview this week since it’s the Super Bowl bye week. The Colts have their sights on hiring McDaniels, but the two sides have some issues that still need to get resolved, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
McDaniels has already started putting together his staff. Dallas linebacker coach Matt Eberflus is expected to be McDaniels’ defensive coordinator, according to ESPN Cowboys reporter Todd Archer. There’s a chance the Colts, as long as McDaniels is able to finalize everything with Indianapolis, will go from a 3-4 defense under former coach Chuck Pagano to a 4-3 defense under Eberflus. Oakland quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz is reportedly expected to be McDaniels’ offensive coordinator.
The Colts have already waited this long -- three weeks -- so what’s another two weeks for them to potentially wait for a coach whom they can hopefully pair with quarterback Andrew Luck for years to come?
And if anything, McDaniels, who is likely headed to his second head-coaching job, is worth the wait. He proved it again in the second half of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against Jacksonville when the Patriots trailed by as many as 10 points.
The Patriots lost tight end Rob Gronkowski, New England’s second-best player, in the first half due to a concussion. And they had to try to move the ball against one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses. McDaniels’ playcalling -- and having Tom Brady at quarterback -- helped the Patriots overcome a turnover in Jacksonville territory and 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.
In the quarter, Brady threw for 138 yards by completing five passes for at least 15 yards and throwing two touchdowns against a Jacksonville defense that gave up an NFL-low 170 yards per game through the air in the regular season.