During the 2022 offseason, his offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell took the head coaching reins with the Minnesota Vikings. O’Connell has since guided the Vikings to the NFC’s second-best record at 7-1. In 2019 both Matt LaFleur and Zac Taylor took new opportunities to lead the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively. LaFleur took the Packers to back-to-back NFC championship game appearances his first two seasons while Taylor guided the Bengals to the AFC title last season.
Finding someone from a successful winning coaching tree is often a job description for any vacant NFL head coaching job. Now that the Indianapolis Colts opened theirs on Monday, November 7 by firing Frank Reich, the Colts have already been linked to a brand new fast-rising former McVay assistant.
Gifted Coordinator From McVay Tree Listed Among Candidates
The Colts may have moved swiftly and lured back franchise legend Jeff Saturday away from ESPN. However, the Super Bowl winning center and six-time Pro Bowl selection is considered a temporary hire after being given the interim head coach tag. Unless Saturday, who has never coached at the NFL level, somehow guides the Colts to the playoffs, the franchise could still look into a more seasoned coaching option for 2023.
And that’s where CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr brings in former Rams assistant Ejiro Evero as a coach Indianapolis should consider.
Evero is no longer on the Rams staff as he’s since spearheading the Denver Broncos defense. While Denver has been one of the league’s top disappointments with an identical record to L.A., Evero’s coaching as defensive coordinator has been a highlight in the first eight games.
“The Denver Broncos are a mess on offense, but their defense is arguably the best in the NFL,” Kerr writes. “Denver has allowed the second-fewest points (16.5) and yards (288.4) per game in the league, while allowing the fewest yards (24.9) and points per possession (1.35). Denver also allows the fewest passing yards per game (165.8) and fewest passing touchdowns (four).
“Evero, the Broncos defensive coordinator, was safeties coach on the Los Angeles Rams for four years before being promoted to secondary coach. Evero has thrived in year one with the Broncos and his rising up the head coach prospects list. The 41-year-old may get a few interviews this hiring cycle, and would be another underrated hire if he can impress Jim Irsay.”
Who Has Benefitted From Evero’s Coaching
Again, Evero has been a bright spot for what’s been a rough start in the Rocky Mountains for the Broncos.
There are five veteran defenders who have benefitted greatly from his coaching and play-calling.
Linebacker Alex Singleton — who once starred near the Rams at Thousand Oaks High — put together his first 20-tackle game of his career under Evero. Singleton leads Denver with 62 tackles. He was even a gap plugger against the Colts earlier this season.
The edge rusher Dre’Mont Jones has already matched his sack total from a year ago at 5.5. He’s also one tackle for a loss away from matching his previous best total of nine, also in 2021. The 6-foot-3, 281-pounder has been equally stout in goal line situations under Evero.
Also in the trenches, the former San Francisco 49ers interior standout D.J. Jones has delivered a career-high three pass breakups with Evero as the DC and has become effective on designed stunt plays — making Jones an Aaron Donald-type for Evero.
On the back end, 34-year-old safety Kareem Jackson is on pace to have his first career 100-tackle campaign after 13 seasons in the league. Finally, Patrick Surtain II has gone from allowing three touchdowns his side (all in the first 10 games of his career) to allowing zero so far as Evero’s Jalen Ramsey-type.
If the Colts were to hire Evero, it means McVay will have his fourth former assistant since 2019 to earn a head coaching role. And the success of past McVay assistants has made Evero all the more attractive for this latest head coaching cycle.