3 Candidates for Indianapolis Colts Coaching Vacancy

NFL preseason schedule

On November 7th, the Indianapolis Colts fired their head coach Frank Reich after a 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots. At that point in the season, the Colts had a rough record of 3-5-1. Coming into the season, it appeared that Reich’s position was very secure with the team as he was extended as the head coach and general manager through the 2027 season. However, with there being failed experiments at the quarterback position in back to back seasons, it was evident it was time for a change. Shockingly, owner Jim Irsay chose to hire in Jeff Saturday to be the teams interim head coach despite Saturday not having any coaching experience in the NFL or even college football. He became the first coach lacking such qualifications since 1961. The Colts were bashed for this decision and criticized for not looking at other more qualified coaches. Indianapolis got off to a hot start under Saturday’s reign with a 25-20 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, however, this would be the final win of the Colts’ season. They would close the year out on a 0-7 skid after injuries and a quarterback change left the roster in shambles. There are three candidates that stand out as perfect fits to lead the Colts into a new rebuilding era. 

Jeff Saturday

The first option that the Colts have to fill their head coaching vacancy would be to keep Jeff Saturday. While Saturday had a terrible 1-7 record during his time as the interim coach, he cannot be entirely blamed for this. As previously mentioned, Jonathan Taylor suffered a brutal injury that would end up getting him placed on the IR. Along with this, the Colts were also forced to give Sam Ellinger and Nick Foles time at the starting quarterback position due to Matt Ryan’s level of play this season. Saturday has established himself as a legend in Indianapolis due to his time playing on the team, however, if they are able to put together a competitive roster, he may be able to establish himself as a coach as well. 

Jim Harbaugh

If the Colts wanted to take a look at the college coaching pool, Jim Harbaugh should be their top pick. Although there have been some low points during his stint in Michigan, Harbaugh has revived the program and has led them to appearances in the College Football Playoff in the past two consecutive seasons. Along with this, he already has proven himself as a winner as an NFL head coach and his offensive scheme would be a great fit with this Colts roster. 

Byron Leftwich

Finally, if the Colts want to look at current coordinators around the NFL, Brian Leftwich should be their guy. With the Colts likely heading into a full-scale rebuild, they will be looking to find and begin to develop their new franchise quarterback as soon as possible. Leftwich has proven to be one of the top offensive minds in the league and has spent years around Tom Brady and Bruce Arians. It has been a long time coming for him to get a head coaching job. If he is given the opportunity, he could lead the Colts to something great.