Updated Look: Candidates Who Have Interviewed For Head Coach Of The Colts

Jim Irsay

Getty Owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts.

When Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, spoke with the media on the impending search for a head coach. Irsay promised to search from a “deep pool” of candidates, and Irsay has certainly delivered on that aspect. To date, the Colts have completed 14 interviews. Only one candidate has turned down the request with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans pulling his name from consideration on Sunday, January 22.

“There’s a lot of great candidates out there. I think there’s a lot of great candidates in college. 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 hiring process.

Irsay has certainly broadened the pool of candidates, and while he has yet to bring in a college coach for an interview, Irsay and the Colts have cast a wide net. Of the interviewees, all have NFL coaching experience, and all are currently employed as a coordinator across the league, with multiple offensive coordinators, multiple defensive and two special team’s coaches.


Bubba Ventrone –Special Teams Coach, Colts

Bubba Ventrone is a special teams coach currently under contract with the Colts. On January 11 it was reported that Ventrone had completed his interview for the position. Ventrone has an extensive NFL background. He played in the NFL for ten seasons, won a Super Bowl as an assistant with the New England Patriots.

In November of 2022, NFL Networks Tom Pelissero listed Ventrone as one of the young coaches to watch in the NFL, with Pelissero calling Ventrone “worthy of an audition [for head coach].”

Ejiro Evero –Offensive Coordinator, Broncos

Evero is fast becoming a hot candidate among NFL circles this offseason. Evero has worked in the NFL since 2007 and has worked for five different NFL franchises. In 2022, Evero coached a defensive unit for the Broncos that finished tenth in defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders.

Evero has the support of his former players as well. Broncos safety Justin Simmons had this to say about his coach getting a shot at a head coaching gig:

“He is just a tremendous leader. I could be up here for hours just talking about how amazing of a coach and a man he is. I’m just really appreciative of him, and he deserves it.” Simmons said.

Eric Bieniemy – Offensive Coordinator, Chiefs

Bieniemy has been on the radar of NFL front offices for years, having completed dozens of interviews over the last four hiring cycles, but has yet to land a head coaching job. Beiniemy brings a wealth of offensive experience to the job and in 2022, helped guide the Chiefs to the best offensive in the league according to Pro Football Reference.

Head coach of the Chiefs, Andy Reid, showed his support of Bieniemy in a December 28 press conference.

“I know what he can do, I’ve said it 100 times and I haven’t changed my opinion on that,” Reid said. “I hope he gets an opportunity.”

Raheem Morris – Defensive Coordinator, Rams

Raheem Morris conducted his interview with the Colts on Friday January 13 according to NFL Networks Ian Rapoport. Morris is the only former head coach on the current list of candidates who have been interviewed, and is reported by Rapoport to “fit the mold” for the Colts.

Morris was previously the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-2011) and has worked for three different franchises over the last ten years. Morris has been the defensive coordinator for the Rams for the last two seasons and helped guide a unit that won the Super Bowl in 2021.

In November 28 press conference, Jalen Ramsey, All-Pro cornerback, spoke on Morris, defended his play calling and his ‘greatness’ as a coach.

“Rah [Raheem Morris] fire. Y’all don’t even understand. I’m cool with Rah being my defensive coordinator for the rest of my career. Ramsey said of his coach.

Ben Johnson – Offensive Coordinator, Lions

***UPDATE – Pulled name from consideration ***

Ben Johnson began his coaching career with Boston College before jumping to the NFL in 2012 as an offensive assistant. Johnson has vast experience on the offensive side of the ball with stints as quarterback coach, tight ends coach and wide receiver’s coach. Johnson was promoted in 2022 as the offensive coordinator under head coach Dan Campbell, and the Lions went on to have on of their best offensive outputs in the last two decades according to Pro Football Focus.

After the Detroit Lions defeated the New York Jets on December 18 on go ahead touchdown late in the game,  Jets cornerback D.J. Reed had high praise for the play calling of Johnson.

“Credit to their OC, their head coach, whoever calls their plays. They gave the ball to their tight end, who normally doesn’t get the ball in those situations,” Reed said of the play called against his team by Johnson. “So obviously we’re all devastated, but give credit where it’s due. That was a good play.”

Aaron Glenn – Defensive Coordinator, Lions  

Upon completing the interview with Lions DC Aaron Glenn on January 17, the Colts went 2-for-2 in interviewing the Lions top play callers on offense and defense. Glenn has a long career in the league and was a cornerback for 15 years in the NFL after being drafted by Jets in 94. Glenn transitioned to coaching in the 2013-2014 season with the Cleveland Browns as a defensive backs coach and has built himself a strong resume since. Joining the Lions prior to the 2021, Glenn joined the Lions staff as the defensive coordinator

In an interview with Mark Cannizaro of the New York Post, Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcels spoke on Glenn’s coaching success with the Lions and his future in the league.

“He’s going places,’’ Parcells said, “his team’s improving. They could use a few more players on defense right now, but he’s got them playing hard and they’re starting to show a little consistency.’’

Shane Steichen – Offensive Coordinator, Eagles

Shane Steichen completed his interview on January 14 for the Colts and has fielded multiple interview requests from several teams across the NFL, including the Panthers and inter-divisional rival, the Houston Texans. Steichen got his start in the NFL as wide receivers coach or the then-San Diego Chargers before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2020. Steichen moved over to the Eagles in the same role prior to the 2021 season and has helped establish the Eagles as one of the dominant offenses in the league. According to Pro Football Reference, the Eagles finished the 2022 season averaging the second most points in the NFL with 28.1.

Reuben Frank, Eagles Insider, credits the relationship built between Steichen and his quarterback Jalen Hurts as one of the keys to the Eagles success this season, and that will be a relationship the Colts will want to emulate with the expectation that they will be drafting a quarterback of the future.

[The] relationship between Steichen and Hurts has really been at the heart of the Eagles’ early success.” Frank wrote.

Jeff Saturday – Interim Head Coach, Colts

Jeff Saturday took over the role as interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts on November 7, after the former head coach, Frank Reich was fired. Saturday had a rough tenure at the helm, with the Colts finishing the season with a record of 4-12-1, going 1-7 under Saturday. Despite the rough end of the season, Irsay noted that Saturday was an “outstanding candidate” in a conversation with ESPN’s Michelle Beisner-Buck and on Thursday January 17, Saturday got to present his case.

“Head coach is unknown until the interview process goes forward. Jeff [Saturday] I believe is an outstanding candidate.” Irsay said.

Don ‘Wink’ Martindale – Defensive Coordinator, Giants

The day after the New York giants were eliminated from the 2022 Playoffs, Colts interviewed  Wink Martindale, the defensive coordinator. Martindale has an extensive history on the defensive side of the ball. Martindale was the Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach from 2012-2017 before being promoted to the defensive coordinator for the team through the ’21 season.  Martindale joined the Giants staff in 2022 and along with the head coach Brian Daboll, helped lead one of the most impressive turn around in the NFL. According to Pro Football Reference, under Martindale the Giants had the 17th ranked defense in the league.


Mike Kafka – Offensive Coordinator, Giants

In their second interview with a member of the 2022 New York Giants staff, the Colts completed an interview on Sunday January 17 with Mike Kafka, the offensive coordinator of the Giants. Kafka is the youngest candidate yet to be interviewed at just 35 years old, and is garnering attention from multiple clubs across the league for open head coaching positions. Kafka is a former quarterback from Northwestern University who was drafted by the Eagles in 2010.  Though his playing career never took off, Kafka spent five seasons under on the staff of Andy Reid with Kansas City. In his first year as the Giants offensive coordinator, he took over play calling duties and helped quarterback Daniel Jones to one of the best seasons of his career.

Rich Bisaccia – Special Teams Coordinator, Packers

On Friday, January 15, the Colts completed an interview with the Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bissacia. Bisaccia is one of the most experienced candidates to have interviewed for the job, with coaching experience going back to the 2002 season. Bisaccia is a longtime special teams coordinator, and has coached for the Buccaneers, Chargers, Cowboys, Raiders, and Packers in his career. Bisaccia does have some experience as head coach as well. In the 2021 season Bisaccia took over as interim head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders, and in a stunning turn around went 7-5 down the stretch on route to the Raiders first playoff birth since 2016.

Brian Callahan – Offensive Coordinator, Bengals

Brian Callahan had a big weekend. On Friday January 15, Callahan completed his interview for open head coaching role with the Colts. On Sunday he helped coach the Bengals to a victory over the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Callahan began his career as an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos, and went on to work with the Lions and Raiders before taking the job as the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Under Callahan the Bengals have had one of the top offenses in the league. The Bengals offense has been in the top ten in scoring in the last two years according to Pro Football Reference.

Dan Quinn – Defensive Coordinator, Cowboys

Dan Quinn is a one of the hottest candidates this hiring cycle, and on Friday, January 15, he completed two interviews, one with the Broncos and one with the Colts. Quinn is not just an experienced defensive coordinator, but an experienced head coach. Quinn was the head coach for the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-2020, and helped lead the team to Super Bowl LI.

For the past two seasons Quinn has helped lead a defensive unit for Dallas that has finished fifth in points allowed and 12th in yards allowed according to Pro Football Reference.


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