Colts Insider Gives Update on ‘Very Deliberate’ HC Interview Process

Jim Irsay

Getty Colts owner Jim Irsay was heavily involved during Round 2 of the team's prospective HC interviews.

The Indianapolis Colts hosted 22 interviews over two rounds in the team’s search for its next head coach. With eight second round interviews concluding on February 4, the Colts are done speaking to candidates, according to ESPN’s Stephen Holder.

“Here is what I know as of this moment: The interviews are over,” Holder tweeted on February 7. “I do not anticipate any additional meetings, though it’s possible that could change (though not likely).”

It was reported on February 2 that the Colts considered holding a “rare Round 3” of interviews with head coaching candidates, but Holder’s new Twitter thread now suggests otherwise. Holder added that the team was deliberate throughout the process, “largely to ensure that every candidate got a completely fair shake and full consideration.”

Some interviews lasted as long as 12 hours and 16 to 18 hours combined across two sessions.

“Owner Jim Irsay spent roughly three to four hours of individual time with all candidates during follow ups after not participating in the initial round,” Holder added. 

Latest on Colts’ Potential Coaching Changes

Head coach isn’t the only personnel position needing to be filled this offseason.

Scottie Montgomery was the Colts’ running backs coach for the past two seasons, helping Jonathan Taylor run for an NFL-best 1,811 yards in 2021. Montgomery, however, agreed to become the Detroit Lions assistant head coach and running backs coach on February 6, leaving a hole in the Colts’ coaching room.

Another Colts coach who could have been a potential coordinator candidate elsewhere this offseason is defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Bradley, however, has been blocked by Indianapolis from speaking to other teams

Luke Schultheis of SB Nation’s Stampede Blue wrote that Bradley can only be blocked from speaking to teams seeking lateral roles like defensive coordinator, not head coach or assistant head coach. In addition to Bradley, Holder revealed that Indianapolis’ entire defensive staff is prohibited from interviewing elsewhere this offseason, showing that the Colts’ front office holds defensive personnel in high regard.

“The Colts are not allowing their defensive staff (led by DC Gus Bradley) to interview elsewhere because some of the candidates being considered wish to retain them if hired,” Holder tweeted. “It’s unclear which candidates this applies to. It’s not ideal but not punitive.”

Colts’ Next Steps, Decision Timeline

Holder said the Colts will continue taking time to settle on top finalists for the head coaching job. It’s possible that the Colts could even wait until past the Super Bowl on February 12 to make an announcement.

Former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero joined the Carolina Panthers on February 5, automatically narrowing the Colts’ candidates from eight to seven. One coordinator who only interviewed in Round 1 with the Colts, however, remains up for the job.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed with the Colts just days after the team’s offseason began but was not brought back for Round 2. Despite that, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweeted on February 2 that Bieniemy is still in the running to become Colts’ head coach.

On February 6, The Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala tweeted a quote from Bieniemy where he included some details about his Indianapolis interview.

“I’ve only taken one interview, for a head-coaching position,” Bieniemy said. “Right now, I’ve interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts. I thought it went great. We’ll see where that goes.”

For now, though, Bieniemy’s focus is on his offensive coordinator duties with the Chiefs entering Super Bowl week.

“Now, as far as the offensive coordinator stuff, right now I am where my feet are,” Bieniemy said. “And right now I’m focused on helping us to win this game this weekend.”

The only other Colts head coaching candidate set to coach in the Super Bowl is Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. Steichen was the last candidate the Colts spoke to in Round 2 of interviews.

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