The off-season is a time to explore your creative side and dip into the world of imagination.
So, imagine for a second, that the Indianapolis Colts had a clean slate at each major coaching position: head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. Who would you like to see fill those spots?
For the purpose of this article, let’s pretend that the coaches that were available after the firings around the league (otherwise known as black Tuesday) and before any hirings, are in contention.
Now, let’s get to my list:
Head Coach – Vic Fangio, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator
Fangio has done a fantastic job in San Francisco, getting the most out of his players and creating one of the best defenses in the league. He inherited a 49ers unit that had plenty of talent, but hadn’t quite
figured it out, yet.
In 2010, the year before Fangio took over, the 49ers were 13th in total defense, respectable but nothing to write home about. When he arrived in 2011, the defense jumped up to 4th in the league and have remained in the top 5 ever since.
I love his 3-4 defense, I love the tenacity his players bring and I love that he is a proven coach in the league.
Not to mention the fact that he was part of the Stanford coaching staff in 2010, which was in charge of an Andrew Luck-led Cardinal’s team. And since he is currently only a coordinator, he certainly wouldn’t pass up a chance to head coach an extremely solid Colts’ franchise.
Honorable mention: Adam Gase, Greg Roman, David Shaw, Tom Clements, Dan Quinn, Mike Zimmer
Offensive Coordinator – Pep Hamilton, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator
This is one I had to really think about and it came down to one proponent: continuity. Luck can’t have 3 coordinator in 3 years, it’s just not a recipe for success in the NFL.
Outside of that, Hamilton has really shown promise as a new coordinator in this league. Sure, he’s had plenty of moments where frustration is at an all-time high, but it was his first year at the pro level. And in those 12 months he’s learned, slowly but surely, that adaptive capabilities is an important quality in a pro football coach.
Hamilton was also a recent Stanford coach and runs an offense that is similar to the 49ers. Making it a plausible offensive coordinator candidate for a Fangio coached team.
Honorable mention: Rob Chudzinsnki, Bill Lazor, Norv Turner
Defensive Coordinator – Karl Dunbar, New York Jets defensive line coach
Dunbar isn’t a huge name, but a potentially great hire at the defensive coordinator position. He coached one of the best defensive linemen in the game this season, in Muhammad Wilkerson, along with the defensive rookie of the year, Sheldon Richardson.
He also oversaw a defensive line, in Minnesota, that consisted of Kevin and Pat Williams, otherwise known as the ‘Williams Wall’, to go along with his days in Chicago, where he mentored the likes of Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson, on a very good defense.
Seeing as one of the biggest concerns for the Colts this off-season is the defensive line, it seems like a good idea to enlist the help of a coach with an expertise in that field. Dunbar fits the bill and could certainly learn a lot himself under the guidance of Fangio.
He would round out this terrifying trio of coaches for the new look Colts.
Honorable mention: Ray Horton, Wade Phillips
I want to mention that this does not mean I am in any way upset with the coaching that has been displayed by the Colts staff this season.
It was just a fun exercise I thought I’d share with you guys and I firmly believe that Chuck Pagano and Hamilton should be in Indianapolis for next season and beyond. Greg Manusky on the other hand, as I’ve said before, should be looking for a job elsewhere very soon, but I digress.
I would like to hear what you guys think about the group that I have compiled and want to know what yours would look like. Feel free to let me know in the comment section below. Go Colts!