American Football Ranks the Colts’ Job as the Third ‘Most Enticing’ Head Coach Opening in 2023


Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Colts job may not be the most glamorous, but there are still some things to work with for the franchise’s next head coach. (And hey, they’re still not the Texans!)

According to’s Judy Battista, the Indianapolis Colts have the third ‘most enticing’ NFL head coach opening in 2023—out of the four teams still looking to fill their respective vacancies:

Rank 3. Indianapolis Colts

2022 record: 4-12-1

A season of chaos and upheaval — multiple coaches fired, multiple quarterbacks benched — has blotted out the Colts’ long history as one of the most stable franchises in the game. Owner Jim Irsay clearly ran out of patience, but the biggest issue has been the same for years: Indianapolis still hasn’t recovered from Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement in 2019. The Colts have the No. 4 overall pick, and they will have to find their next quarterback of the future this offseason after successive one-year marriages with Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan all fell short. The new coach, whoever it is, will also have to address a spate of injuries and subpar seasons from some of the team’s best players — Jonathan Taylor, Shaquille Leonard and Quenton Nelson among them.

Irsay’s impatience this season may turn off some candidates, although until now, he had been a patient — maybe too patient — owner. Still, if the Colts make the right hire and land the right quarterback, they play in a division without a dominant team. That means a quick turnaround is possible, but Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard have to nail the big decisions.


Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator (completed)

Rich Bisaccia, Packers special teams coordinator (completed)

Brian Callahan, Bengals offensive coordinator (completed)

Ejiro Evero, Broncos defensive coordinator (second interview scheduled)

Aaron Glenn, Lions defensive coordinator (completed)

Ben Johnson, Lions offensive coordinator (staying with Lions)

Mike Kafka, Giants offensive coordinator (completed)

Wink Martindale, Giants defensive coordinator (second interview scheduled)

Raheem Morris, Rams defensive coordinator (second interview scheduled)

Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator (staying with Cowboys)

DeMeco Ryans, 49ers defensive coordinator (scheduled)

Jeff Saturday, Colts interim head coach (second interview completed)

Shane Steichen, Eagles offensive coordinator (completed)

Bubba Ventrone, Colts special teams coordinator (completed)

In my option, the Colts are not quite as bad as their final record (although arguably no one was playing worse football to close out the season)—as with the proper head coaching and more consistently good starting quarterback play, this team has a chance to quickly rebound—much like the Jacksonville Jaguars just did in the AFC South during 2022.

That being said, the Colts will have to shore up left tackle (whether that’s sticking with 2nd-year man Bernhard Raimann or at least bringing in veteran insurance for his competition) and find a starting caliber right guard going forward. There’s also the issues of more pass rush and whether another big weapon is still needed offensively (thinking aloud, tight end?).

Their top players such as Quenton Nelson, Shaquille Leonard, Braden Smith, and Kenny Moore II will also need to return to their prior NFL All-Pro caliber forms (and if the team retains former All-Pro center, Ryan Kelly, him too).

However, with the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Colts should be able to land a top rookie quarterback prospect and have the means to fill the other holes—if they so choose, with $17M of extra available cap space expected to be freed up by releasing veteran quarterback Matt Ryan some time early this offseason.

The fact that the Colts are ahead of the Texans (*fourth here), who have the #2 overall pick and actually went 1-0-1 against Indianapolis this past season, speaks to the fact that Battista believes the Horseshoe is still further along talent-wise than their AFC South rivals.

In any case, the Colts will have to get this hire right and among the top candidates, appear to be Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, and perhaps even Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan (*if he now receives a second interview request, with Cincy just eliminated).

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