One year ago today, Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson were resigned as Head Coach and General Manager of the Indianapolis Colts, despite everyone believing that one, if not both, would be sent packing. Today, following an 8-8 season from the team, and another wasted season of Andrew Luck’s career, many are calling for change.
I’ve compiled a list of several people, for each position, that I think Jim Irsay should go after for the jobs. These are in no particular order.
Head Coach Candidates:
- Jim Harbaugh, HC of University of Michigan
- Harbaugh is at the top of everyone’s list. Harbaugh seems to make every team that he touches immediately better. Harbaugh groomed Andrew Luck at Stanford, and has since made a Super Bowl appearance with the 49ers, and more recently led Michigan to one of their best seasons in recent history. The biggest problem with Harbaugh is that it isn’t very realistic. He has said that the University of Michigan job was his dream job. Publicly, he has expressed no desire to leave. I chock Harbaugh up as a dream.
- Pete Carmichael, OC of the New Orleans Saints
- While Carmichael has never served as a Head Coach, his record on the offensive side of the ball is impeccable. He has been the Offensive Coordinator of the Saints since 2009. His offenses have never been lower than 6th in total yards. His passing offense has never been lower than 4th in yards, and has been Top 10 in passing TDs in every season. The only question about Carmichael, is whether those statistics are more on Sean Payton, or Carmichael.
- Josh McDaniels, OC of the New England Patriots
- Josh McDaniels has experience dealing with Hall of Fame-caliber QBs. I believe that McDaniels could come into Indianapolis and finally get the Colts stagnant offense up to where it should be. He has Head Coaching experience in Denver back in 2009-2010. He never had a quality QB during his time in Denver, having to deal with Tim Tebow while he was there. While coaches that are groomed under Bill Belichick have not historically faired well elsewhere, I believe that McDaniels has a future as a Head Coach.
- Kyle Shanahan, OC of the Atlanta Falcons
- Son of Mike Shanahan, Kyle has been an Offensive Coordinator since 2008, being a part of 4 teams during that time. The past two seasons, he has been with the Atlanta Falcons. Turning there offense around and into one of the best in the NFL. It is only a matter of time before Shanahan gets an opportunity as a Head Coach, and in Indianapolis, with Andrew Luck, now may be the time.
- Peyton Manning, Retired NFL QB
- Fans want this. The owner wants this. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Peyton wants this. Manning has shown to be an extremely intelligent person, and one day could be a great GM. That being said, I don’t think he would want to just step into such a high profile role. He, himself, has said that he would want experience before taking over. The best idea for Peyton to become GM is for him to come in and sit behind a GM for a year or two, then step into the main role. That is possible, if the Colts would resign Bill Polian for a short term contract, to have Peyton groom and learn behind one of the best that the Colts have ever seen. If Manning were hired to step directly into the GM role, I fear that he would be in over his head.
- Eliot Wolf, Director of Football Operations
- Wolf is the son of legendary Packers GM, Ron Wolf. He has been working within the Packers organization since 2004, progressively gaining more and more responsibilities. Last offseason, teams started showing interest in signing him as GM of their team, but the Packers denied requests for interviews. Wolf is being interviewed by numerous teams this offseason, and the potential of him being a quality GM is high. If the Colts want to sign someone who could step in, with experience, and start on Day 1, I believe that Eliot Wolf is the best option for that.
There are other options for each position, but I feel like these guys have the most upside and potential to turn the Colts franchise around from the past two seasons. The Colts organization is still keeping all its fans in limbo, keep quiet about what they will do. For now, this is all speculation, but we’ll all know before long.