One of the most extensive coaching searches in recent memory is the one currently being held by the Indianapolis Colts. While thorough is certainly good, but it almost seems as if the Colts don’t know what they’re looking for in their next head coach.
As it stands, along with the Arizona Cardinals, the Colts are one of two teams that have yet to hire their new head coach. The process has been so extensive that the head coach they fired is now a head coach with another team.
The Colts interviewed 13 coaching candidates in the first round of interviews. They narrowed that list down to seven in the second round. Among those candidates is Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.
According to The Athletic’s Zac Keefer, the Colt’s haven’t ruled out a third round of interviews. Morris has done well in the first two rounds and according to Keefer, “Morris has interviewed well with the Colts, and brings much of what the franchise values.”
While a thorough process is a good thing as hopefully it removes some of the biases that have been evident on the coach hiring process in the past, at what point are teams of the candidates being held hostage.
That’s certainly the case right now with the Rams. Morris is considered one of the top candidates in the Colts head coaching search. If Morris is hired, the Rams would like to able to be in the running for the top defensive coordinators still on the market.
The perfect example here is Vic Fangio who’s obviously a hot name on the defensive coordinator market. (Update: Moments after this article was posted, Adam Schefter confirmed that Vic Fangio is accepting the job as the Dolphins defensive coordinator after several days of mixed reports.) After losing DeMeco Ryans to the Houston Texans head coach position, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to speak to Fangio regarding their defensive coordinator position. This is something that the Rams aren’t able to do because they have their hands tied behind their back with Morris still in the running for the Colts job.
If Morris gets hired, Fangio is possibly someone that the Rams would like to be able to talk to about being their next defensive coordinator. Because the Rams are being held in limbo, they could miss out on that chance completely.
Other teams are also looking into Ejiro Evero as a defensive coordinator candidate who is currently under contract with the Denver Broncos. If he’s not retained, he will certainly be a top name to watch. However, he’s also in the running for the Colts head coach position.
Raheem Morris completely deserves a second shot to be a head coach in the NFL. The Rams will be losing a good defensive coach if and when he’s hired as a head coach elsewhere.
However, if he does end up with the Colts head coach position, the hire may end up when some of the top defensive coordinators are off the market. Right now, the Colts’ process is likely to drag into Super Bowl week.
At that point, he Rams wouldn’t be able to make a hire at defensive coordinator until at least a week after the Super Bowl. With the combine very shortly after, a hire would need to come very quickly.
Hopefully the Colts make their decision sooner rather than later so that the Rams can make any subsequence move as soon as possible. However, as it stands, that doesn’t seem likely as the Colts continue their lengthy process, leaving other teams involved like the Rams, in a difficult position.