Top 5 Possible Replacements for Indianapolis Colts Head Coaching Position

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIDecember 30, 2011

Top 5 Possible Replacements for Indianapolis Colts Head Coaching Position

0 of 5

    I think it’s inevitable right now that Colts head coach Jim Caldwell will be relieved of his duties after Sunday’s game in Jacksonville. There’s no reason to keep him around anymore.

    Caldwell has totally lost this team and shown us that he doesn’t really know much about football. I grew tired of seeing him stand emotionless on the sidelines while this team was struggling.

    This team needs someone that’s more hands on and can coach. Caldwell didn’t do either. I never once saw him give guidance to the players about what they’re doing wrong and how to fix it. In fact even when the Colts were winning he never did that. You’d always see Peyton Manning studying what’s going on and trying to fix it, but never once did I see Caldwell coach anyone.

    Now, this season without Manning, his lack of football intelligence has shown. The Colts salvaged a horrible start to the season and won the last two games, but that had nothing to do with Caldwell

    Let's state the facts here. The Colts are 26-21 in the three years under Jim Caldwell in the regular season. They’re only 2-2 in the playoffs to make a combined 28-23 record in his tenure.

    Since, the Super Bowl losing season in 2009, the Colts are 12-20 including a Wild Card round home loss to the New York Jets last season in the playoffs.

    I base coaches' success off of if your team is getting better two years after you took over the coaching duties. The first Super Bowl season wasn’t due to Caldwell’s coaching tactics, but from previous coach Tony Dungy’s.

    The next year is when Caldwell’s schemes take over. He made some highly questionable calls last season and we should have seen it then, but we gave him a free pass due to the previous season's Super Bowl. The team went a disappointing 10-6 and was, as stated earlier, ousted by the Jets in the playoffs.

    This season the team started off a franchise worst 0-13. He should have been fired then, but lately the team is looking, as they should have all season. I just don’t think a non-motivator and lack of intelligence coach is someone I’d keep around with the team going 3-13 at best.

    Compare that to Tony Dungy’s 85-27 career regular-season record and 7-6 career playoff record, and Caldwell has almost lost as many games in two seasons as Dungy did in seven. This team is based off the same principles and basically the same core players.

    How do you have this big of letdown in just two seasons with arguably some of the best players to ever put on a Colts uniform?

    The answer is coaching.

    It’s time to get rid of Caldwell after this week’s game in Jacksonville win or lose, and hire one of these five candidates.

Jon Gruden

1 of 5

    Jon Gruden makes a lot of sense to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts for many reasons.

    Gruden took the Tampa Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win the very next season after Tony Dungy was let go by the organization. He has shown he knows how to fix Dungy’s system and make it a winner.

    He revamped the offense and made the defense the No. 1 ranked unit in the entire NFL. The Colts right now are running a bad version of Dungy’s system, and who better to fix it than someone who did before.

    Gruden went on to revamp Tampa and won three NFC South division titles to go along with the Super Bowl Championship in his first season.

    Also, Gruden got out of coaching to do ESPN’s Monday Night Football so he can focus on his son’s high school football career. His son is a senior at a local Tampa high school and will be attending the University of Dayton next year. Dayton is a little over an hour away from Indianapolis, so Gruden can easily visit his son and watch him play.

    Another reason why Gruden will be a good fit is he’s a great quarterback’s coach. Gruden helped get Brett Favre going in Green Bay, and has always said he wants to coach Peyton Manning or another young quarterback. Gruden even does a show on ESPN profiling young rookie quarterbacks and helping them get ready for the NFL.

    What better scenario than coaching Peyton Manning in his last few years and helping groom Andrew Luck to be an NFL superstar?

    One other intangible to why Gruden would be a good fit in Indy is he’s from the state of Indiana. Many people don’t know that Gruden graduated from high school in the northern part of the state, and I think he would like to return. He can bring his brother in from the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator job and do the same here.

    His brother has taken rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green and made them into superstars in just one season. He will have the same opportunity here with his brother as the head coach.

    How many more scenarios do you need?

Herm Edwards

2 of 5

    From one ESPN analyst to another, Herm Edwards would be a great fit in Indy. Edwards currently is an analyst on ESPN’s NFL coverage and has proven to be very intelligent in the football department.

    Edwards is most known for his motivational tactics. He speaks every year to a group of young NFL rookie hopefuls about the dos and don’ts when you’re a professional football player.

    The Colts need a fiery motivational coach like that.

    Right now, the Colts are led by no guidance and no discipline. They need a guy to ream them when they’re not playing up to standards. They don’t need a guy to just stand there like a bump on a log. That’s the reason they’re 12-20 in the last two years. These younger players need guidance.

    Another reason why Edwards would be a good fit, is because he’s a Dungy disciple.

    Edwards coached under Dungy in Tampa and knows his system. With the Colts running the same system now, Edwards would be a good guy to bring in where you wouldn't have to change much, but knows what he’s doing to get it turned around.

    Edwards previously coached for the New York Jets in the early 2000s, and most recent the Kansas City Chiefs in the mid 2000s. He took both franchises to playoff appearances and had some success in both places.

    I think Edwards would be a huge upgrade to what the Colts have now.

Jeff Fisher

3 of 5

    Jeff Fisher would be a guy that makes a lot of sense to take over the Colts. He was with the Tennessee Titans for forever it seems and has coached in the AFC South division since its inception every year, up until this season.

    Fisher is guy that players respect and will work hard for. You can always see Fisher coaching up a player and teaching him right techniques.

    He will be a huge asset for the Colts organization if he’s the new head coach. He has 147 career wins as an NFL head coach and has taken the Titans to a Super Bowl appearance.

    Fisher has been widely known to respect this Colts organization and even donned a Peyton Manning jersey at an event. That respect and his coaching tactics would fit great here.

    Fisher is also not afraid to take chances and has always built a solid defense.

    He may be the best available coach right now as had been linked to San Diego or Miami’s head coaching jobs. If he doesn’t take either I think Indianapolis would be next in line.

    Another good thing about Fisher is he’s not very old. He is young enough to stay with the franchise for a lengthy period of time and not out age the league.

    Let’s hope the Colts at least take a look at this sure to be Hall of Fame coach.

Dom Capers

4 of 5

    Dom Capers is a coach a lot of people have forgotten about. Capers is currently the defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers and despite the defensive mistakes for Green Bay this season, he has turned that defense around since moving it to a 3-4 scheme a few years ago.

    Green Bay ranked second in total defense in his first season, and fifth last season even though they were hampered with tons of injuries on the defensive side of the ball.

    If the Colts don’t hire a coach from the first three guys that I put on here, then I’d strongly take a look at Capers.

    The base 4-3 scheme and cover two is getting dated. If you don’t have the right guy in there coaching it, then you will be exposed. Really only those three guys before are the only ones I’d trust running a 4-3.

    Capers has a good experience running the 3-4, and I think the Colts should consider moving to that scheme. He’s also known as a great defensive coach, which is something the Colts desperately need to revamp.

    Think about a linebacking corps of Gary Brackett, Pat Angerer, Kavell Connor and Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis. Freeney or Mathis can take on the role that Mario Williams thrived in before he got hurt in Houston this season since Houston switched to a 3-4 themselves with the hiring of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

    I think changing to this scheme will only help the defense and not hurt it.

    Another reason why Capers would be a good fit is he has experience coaching in the division.

    Capers coached Houston from 2002-2005. He didn’t have very good success, but that was mostly due to the horrible players he was coaching at the time.

    I think Capers can help this organization build to a new scheme and turn this team around. After all, he’s not any worse than Jim Caldwell, Jim Mora or Lindy Infante.

Raheem Morris

5 of 5

    This one right now would be a long shot since he’s still currently the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but there’s been rumors circulating that he would be let go after the season.

    If Morris becomes a coaching free agent, then I think the Colts need to take a long hard look at him.

    The Colts have been coached by someone from the Tampa organization since Tony Dungy came to Indy, so why stop now.

    Morris was hired in 2002 as a defensive coach on the Bucs team and helped them improve to the top ranked defense and the Super Bowl Championship. He’s always had a great defense and would revamp this horrid defense here.

    The only drawback to Morris is he doesn’t have much head coaching experience and really outside of last year hasn’t had much success. Like Dom Capers though, he hasn’t had much talent to coach.

    Last year the team overachieved all due to Morris’ coaching ability. They Bucs went 10-6 and started 10 rookies. That’s the first time that’s ever happened in NFL history.

    This season many experts had high hopes for the Bucs, but let's face it, Josh Freeman isn’t what we thought he was. He really has no weapons to throw to, but he’s not as good as what he was last season.

    I think Morris being the fiery coach that he is will turn Indy around as early as next year.

    Morris sent a player to the locker room this year in the third quarter for a dumb penalty. Think how many players he could have done that to this year with the Colts. This is something they need.

    Morris will redo the defense and make it good next year, and get the players attention on offense. I hope if Tampa lets him go, then we are right there in the running to get Morris.