The Indianapolis Colts have pulled a head coaching candidate out of left field, as they’ve reportedly interviewed Baylor coach Matt Rhule.
The Indianapolis Colt seem determined to have a thorough search for a head coach, interviewing multiple candidates to replace Chuck Pagano to this point. But a very surprising candidate has surfaced, with ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reporting Wednesday night that the Colts interviewed Baylor head coach Matt Rhule earlier this week.
Rhule just finished his first season at Baylor, with a 1-11 record in the wake of the mess Art Briles left behind. He went 28-23 over the previous four seasons as head coach at Temple, going from 2-10 in his first season to back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016. He became a top candidate to jump to a Power 5 school on the back of those 10-win campaigns, and somehow (for lack of better options?) decided to tackle the multi-faceted rebuilding situation at Baylor.
Rhule was an assistant coach at Temple from 2006-2011 before landing back there as head coach in 2013. That one-year gap in his college coaching resume was spent in the NFL as offensive line coach for the New York Giants. Rhule was mentioned as an extreme dark horse candidate for the Giants’ opening last month, based solely on that flimsy connection to his only NFL coaching experience.
The lingering question hanging over the Colts is the health of quarterback Andrew Luck’s throwing shoulder after he just missed an entire season. Any lack of immediate clarity or lingering concerns on that front may eliminate some bigger name candidates, especially those with an offensive acumen like Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
It’s hard to imagine a logical list of NFL head coaching candidates including Rhule anywhere. But if Colts general manager Chris Ballard feels he’ll have to go off the proverbial grid to find a head coach, interviewing Rhule fits that mode perfectly.