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There Is No Escape From The Colts’ Coaching Search

Jim Irsay
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It seemed an innocent enough update on the Indianapolis Colts coaching search, until Ian Rapoport of NFL Network explained that it wasn't so much a search as the early stages of a multi-state dragnet that seems more punishing than exhausting.

Yes, the Colts, who conducted a suite-wide search for interim coach Jeff Saturday back in November and were rewarded for their impetuousness with as many wins as they deserved (one), are now interviewing everybody in the NFL and making them stay overnight. According to Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, neither of whom have been interviewed through what can only be considered a shameful oversight, owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard have been conducting this will-breaking marathon of brain picking in hopes of either finding the next Bill Belichick or finding a way to justify giving Saturday the full-time job by saying, We ran the most thorough job fair in league history and concluded that I, Jim Irsay, knew the correct answer before anyone else.

The reporters involved in this hellscape have listed Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Colts special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. According to Michael David Smith, Evero, Morris, Bisaccia, Martindale, Steichen, Callahan, and Glenn are all among those who have had second interviews, and there is a third round scheduled for at least some of them.

This leads us to the obvious question: Who honestly thinks that anyone has 12 hours worth of insights to share about the Indianapolis Colts? And then to a second question: If you need to talk to someone a third time, what did you not get out of the first two? And finally, a third: How high is the Saturday bar, anyway?

Some people who spend a part of their day whispering to national NFL reporters hint this might mean that Irsay wants Saturday to win but wants to seem like the most thorough job interviewer ever. Under this theory, he is actually observing the little-known Rooney Filibuster while ending up as many coaching searches do: with the guy he originally wanted before this all began.

So with a third round of interviews still to be done, the next coach of the Colts and the man tasked with de-barnacling this sunken ship may not be known for weeks still. By comparison, the usually laughable Houston Texans looked both decisive and skilled by convincing DeMeco Ryans to take their job rather than the superficially superior Denver job, and he didn't need marathon interviews to nail down the gig.

If Irsay finds a new guy to save himself from himself, then the results will tell if he's on to something with this new make-'em-talk-until-they-break strategy. But if this all ends up with Saturday getting the long-term gig (long-term in this case being Thanksgiving), he'll convince us of only one thing—that he is fully pot-committed mostly to looking like a next-level football concept mastermind with even the thing that convinced a lot of folks how much he doesn't get it at all.

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