Matt Rhule

Latest On Colts, Josh McDaniels

On Wednesday morning, GM Chris Ballard faced the media in the wake of Josh McDaniels‘ shocking decision to back out on becoming the team’s next head coach. Here’s a look at the highlights plus other news on McDaniels’ flip-flop:

  • McDaniels’ agent, Bob LaMonte, told him that he’s making perhaps the biggest professional mistake of his career by backing out of this Colts job at this point, according to sources who spoke with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). On Wednesday afternoon, LaMonte terminated his relationship with McDaniels, a source tells Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (on Twitter). LaMonte is forfeiting a potentially large commission down the road should McDaniels become a head coach again, but he is also protecting future business by distancing himself from the Patriots OC.
  • Colts were going to pay McDaniels “fabulously,” a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter), so money was not the issue in Indianapolis. Pelissero hears that the coach also wasn’t warded off by Andrew Luck’s injured shoulder, owner Jim Irsay, or Ballard. At the end of the day, the Patriots just convinced him to stay. There’s no new contract in place for McDaniels yet, but Pelissero expects that to happen soon.
  • Ballard says two doctors who looked at Luck after the season have determined that he does not need surgery (Twitter link via Pelissero). Luck’s arm strength is good, the GM says, but he is now working on motion and arm speed. He has yet to pick up a football, but the team will not rush him or skip any steps.
  • The GM confirmed that none of the coaches from the initial wave of interviews will be in the mix, meaning that Kris Richard and Matt Rhule will not be considered (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • There were other candidates the Colts wanted to interview, Ballard said, but the playoffs got in the way (Twitter link via Stephen Holder of ESPN.com). The Colts are expected to request an interview with Eagles OC Frank Reich and he fits the bill as a coach who was tied up during the playoffs. Of course, the same could be said of McDaniels and that did not stop Indy from interviewing him.
  • The Colts will honor the contract of defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and others who have already signed their deals. That’s not an issue for Ballard who explained that he knew Eberflus well through Rod Marinelli. The former Dallas assistant was already a guy he wanted to run his defense.
  • The Colts got an uneasy feeling a week ago that something could be stalling with McDaniels, despite moving forward with his contract (Twitter link via Jay Glazer of FOX Sports).
  • McDaniels arrived at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday with the intention of cleaning out his office, but Bill Belichick‘s willingness to take his mentorship to a higher level played a big part in McDaniels reversing course, sources tell ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. Belichick told McDaniels that he would spend more time with him on the inner workings of the team, including roster construction and salary-cap management, which was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. That could be part of a succession plan for Belichick in the future, but no assurances have been made to McDaniels.

Matt Rhule Withdraws From Colts’ Search

The Colts interviewed Baylor head coach Matt Rhule in an expansive search to replace Chuck Pagano, but their search thinned out a bit on Thursday night.

Rhule will opt to stay at Baylor, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This comes after a scheduled Thursday interview with Carolina DC Steve Wilks did not occur.

Rapoport noted the Colts appear to be gearing their search around a more offensive-minded leader. The 42-year-old Rhule has coached on both sides of the ball, with his NFL experience coming as the Giants’ offensive line coach (in 2012), but his most recent assistant jobs (at Temple) were on offense. This leaves Josh McDaniels alone as an offensively geared coach in a search that included meetings with Seahawks DC Kris Richard and Texans DC Mike Vrabel.

Rhule will coach at the Waco, Texas, program for a second season. He was Temple’s HC for four seasons prior to getting the Big 12 gig.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Interviewed Baylor’s Matt Rhule For Head Coach

The Colts interviewed Baylor head coach Matt Rhule for their head coaching vacancy earlier this week, sources tell Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com.

[RELATED: 2018 Head Coaching Search Tracker]Matt Rhule (Featured)

If Indianapolis did ultimately hire Rhule, he’d certainly be an outside-the-box candidate, as his only coaching experience at the NFL level came in 2012 when he served as the Giants’ offensive line coach. Rhule does have vast amounts of collegiate experience, as he’s been working in the NCAA since 1998. Rhule was head coach at Tempe for four seasons before taking over Baylor, where posted a disappointing 1-11 record in 2017.

Thus far, Colts general manager Chris Ballard has interviewed five candidates to replace Chuck Pagano, although one of those contenders — Matt Nagy — has already taken a job with the Bears. Here’s where things stand in Indy:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.