Colts Adding Former Head Coach, Another Assistant to Defensive Staff: Reports

Indianapolis Colts coaching staff

Getty Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich is adding a two-time conference champion to the coaching staff.

The Indianapolis Colts hired a former head coach this offseason who at one of his NFL coaching stops helped establish the most dominant defense of the 2010s. The Colts are now set to add another ex-head coach who has two conference championships on his resume.

Senior writer Stephen Holder of The Athletic reported on March 28 that the Colts are hiring John Fox as a senior defensive assistant.

Fox, who has 16 seasons of head coaching experience in the NFL, led the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos to Super Bowl appearances during the 2003 and 2013 seasons, respectively.

Most recently, Fox was the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 2015 to 2017.

Senior national college football reporter Matt Zenitz reported on March 27 that the Colts are also expected to hire University of Oregon defensive backs graduate assistant Brent Jackson as the team’s new defensive quality control coach.

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Fox Brings Experience, Success to Colts’ Defensive Staff

Fox’s stint in Chicago did not go well — he went 14-34 in three seasons — but he brings a lot of experience and success to Indianapolis. He owns a 133-123 all-time mark as an NFL head coach.

In fact, he has more than twice as many wins as an NFL head coach than Colts head coach Frank Reich and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley (a former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach) do combined.

Fox also has eight playoff wins as a head coach, which is not far behind the 14 victories Bradley posted in four regular seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fox won five of those playoff games in 2003 and 2013 on his way to the Super Bowl. He recorded three seasons of at least 11 wins in Carolina and then three straight 12 or more win campaigns in Denver.

This will be Fox’s first job since the Bears fired him following the 2017 seasons. Chicago went 5-11 during quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s rookie season in 2017.

Fox began his NFL coaching career with the Pittsburgh Steelers under four-time Super Bowl winning coach Chuck Noll in 1989. He served as defensive coordinator for the then-Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders from 1994-95 and the New York Giants from 1997-2001.

In addition to his Super Bowl appearances as a head coach, Fox and the Giants advanced to the 2001 Super Bowl.


Colts to Add Brent Jackson as Defensive Quality Control Coach

Although less notable, the Colts are also expected to hire Jackson to the defensive staff.

This will be Jackson’s first NFL gig. He began his career at Louisiana, where he spent four seasons. He also worked two years at Illinois and one season at Auburn.

Zenitz reported Oregon was hiring Jackson to be a graduate assistant defensive backs coach on Feb. 19. So he leaves Oregon about five weeks later without having coached a game.

The Colts defensive staff will look different this year with the departure of Matt Eberflus and other defensive assistants to Chicago. Indianapolis hired Bradley as defensive coordinator on Feb. 6.

Since his head coaching experience in Jacksonville, Bradley has served as defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders. As defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, Bradley helped establish the Seahawks as the No. 1 scoring defense for four straight years.

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