Colts HC Candidate Accepts Job on Frank Reich’s Staff: Report

Ejiro Evero

Getty Former Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero was one of eight remaining candidates for the Colts' head coaching job.

Since the offseason began, the Indianapolis Colts have been searching for their next head coach. Throughout the process, one notable candidate has been former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who was interviewed by Indianapolis twice.

Now, Evero is no longer a candidate after he agreed to terms to become the Carolina Panthers’ next defensive coordinator, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Evero now joins the staff of Panthers head coach Frank Reich, who was hired on January 26 after serving 4.5 years leading the Colts. Reich was fired from the Colts in early November after starting the season with a 3-5-1 record.

Led by Evero, the Broncos’ defense was among the NFL’s best in 2022. The Broncos ranked seventh in yards per game and tied for 13th in points allowed per game.

On February 4, however, the Broncos released Evero from the final two years of his contract because he said he wanted a “fresh start.” 9News’ Mike Klis reported that Evero was initially linked to become defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings because of his connection to Kevin O’Connell, who coached alongside Evero during the Los Angeles Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl-winning season.

Next Steps in Colts’ HC Hiring Process

Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was scheduled to interview with the Colts on February 4. Steichen was the eighth and final candidate that Indianapolis planned to speak to during the second round of head coaching interviews.

The Colts could conduct a third round of interviews, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garaolo and Ian Rapoport on February 2. If a Round 3 were to occur, however, the list of candidates would be shortened. Evero throwing his hat out of the ring simplifies the list a bit for Colts general manager Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay, as seven candidates remain.

The Herald Bulletin’s George Bremer replied to a tweet on February 4 saying that if the Colts were to hire Steichen or other remaining candidates, it would likely be announced after the Super Bowl on February 12.

“No hard rule on not announcing during Super Bowl week but the league discourages it,” Bremer said. “Has happened” in the past.

Irsay’s Involvement in HC Search

Each Colts interview with a head coaching candidate in the Round 1 phase was conducted over Zoom. Round 2 was in person, with Irsay joining Ballard in the interview process.

Irsay made the decision to hire Jeff Saturday as Colts’ interim head coach after Reich’s dismissal in November. Saturday finished with a 1-7 record but advanced to the second round of head coaching interviews. Irsay previously touted Saturday as an “outstanding candidate” for the full-time job.

FanSided’s Landon Oliver tweeted that he didn’t believe Irsay would “overstep” Ballard when deciding on the Colts’ next HC.

“I know Colts fans have reservations but I just can’t see a path where the owner allows this exhaustive of a coaching search to take place only to overstep his GM at the last second,” Oliver wrote. “If they were going to make the nuclear hire… it would have likely happened already.”

Kyle Newman from reported that the odds for the Colts’ next head coach have swung marginally, marking the “biggest single-day change on an NFL market this offseason.”

“(New York Giants defensive coordinator) Wink Martindale was given just +700 odds, or an implied 12.5% chance to land the Colts head coach job on Saturday [February 4],” Newman wrote. “Now he’s the runaway favorite and appears to have the job locked up with -150 odds or an implied 60% chance to be the Colts’ next head coach.”

New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard said on February 2 that Martindale is “one of the frontrunners” to land the Colts’ gig. Odds don’t indicate the plans of an NFL front office, but Martindale’s swing to become the sportsbooks’ favorite is interesting with Round 2 of interviews concluding.

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