The Indianapolis Colts are deep into their head coaching search and according to reports from Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Colts will be moving into the second phase of the hiring process over the next two weeks.
With a vast number of candidates interviewed, the next step in the process for the Colts will be to review the top candidates and invite them back for a second round of interviews with the organization. In a December 26 conversation with Michelle Beisner-Buck of ESPN, owner of the Colts Jim Irsay, spoke on the pending hiring process.
“I think the pool needs to be broadened somewhat more. There’s some great college coaches that may be capable. There’s some unknown coaches that may be capable.” Irsay said on the process.
The interviewing process so far
As of Tuesday January 24, the Indianapolis Colts have conducted 14 interviews from candidates across the NFL The candidates have been pulled from a variety of roles with six interview offensive coordinators, four defensive coordinators, two special teams coordinators and two interim head coaches. According to Pelissero, Irsay has not been a part of the first round of interviews, and noted so far, every interview conducted has been virtual.
“This entire first round of interviews has been virtual, and I’m told owner Jim Irsay has not been in any of those interviews. The plan is in the next couple of days, to pare down that list of 13 and set up a second round of interviews later this week that will be in person with Irsay involved.” Pelissero said.
While the Colts are expected to begin second round of interview this soon, according to Zak Keefer of the Athletic, the team will have to wait until January 30 to interview any coaching candidate that is still in the NFL playoffs.
Narrowing down the candidates
Of the 14 candidates previously interviewed, only Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, Shane Steichen offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Brian Callahan, offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals would be unable to complete a second interview until January 30.
The Colts are expected to bring back up to five candidates for the second round of interviews, according to reporting from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“The second wave of interviews likely will begin next week, with the final list depending on whether the finalists are available to be interviewed again.” Florio wrote.
Of the candidates being considered, Bieniemy is one name Florio believes will be on the list, despite the restrictions this week. Calling the Colts the “one team” he is most likely to get an offer form this hiring cycle.
Another candidate all but guaranteed for a second interview is the 2022 Indianapolis Colts interim head coach, Jeff Saturday. Saturday completed his interview on January 17, and remains a strong candidate according to Pelissero, despite finishing the season with a record of 1-7, including finishing on a seven-game losing streak.
“Jeff Saturday remains a candidate for this position. Irsay believes in him and wants him to have a chance despite his 1-7 record as the interim head coach. However, I’m told Irsay will be open-minded in this process.” Pelissero said.