With Arians Gone, Who Will Design the Offense for Andrew Luck and the Colts?
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Bruce Arians was looking for the perfect situation, but in the end he settled for Arizona.
The former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator and one-time interim head coach took the head coaching job for the Arizona Cardinals, leaving Indianapolis searching for a new offensive guru to train Andrew Luck.
Obviously, a coordinator job with one of the best young minds and arms in the game will be attractive to any coach.
Still, with most of the best offensive minds already occupying head coaching jobs, who's left for the Colts to choose from?
Popular choices Norv Turner and Ken Whisenhunt are off the market now as both have signed on with other teams. In many ways, the Colts are suffering from Arians being the last of the head coaches hired.
Of course, Indy knew full well Arians was likely to get hired, and there has been plenty of speculation that the team has a short list of names already. The only problem is no one has any idea who is on it.
Few of the most commonly mentioned public names will inspire excitement from Colts fans.
Indy could choose to stay in-house and merely promote Clyde Christensen. There's not necessarily a lot of support for that course of action, though the team could do worse.
If Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano wanted to go old school, they could call Tom Moore. Moore recently left the Titans' staff, and according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, is interested in being a coordinator. The only drawback with Moore is his advanced age. Of course, he also has most of his ties with the previous incarnation of the Colts, so there's no institutional loyalty to him.
If the Colts are looking to hire someone with previous ties to either Grigson or Pagano, the list is grisly.
Cam Cameron, Marty Mornhinweg and Brad Childress are popular mentions, but none will inspire confidence. Childress was a minor contender for the head coaching job last year, but, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, there has already been talk connecting him to the Chiefs.
Arians' departure will be met with gladness by some Colts fans who felt his vertical-oriented passing game led to more hits on Luck. Despite fan feelings, however, there's no question his departure is a bad thing for Indianapolis.
The Colts are now left to pick a coordinator from retreads and failed coaches from other franchises. Moreover, while Luck will have no trouble adjusting to a new system, the rest of the young offense will also have to get up to speed in a new system.
For whatever flaws his offense had, Arians has a great football mind and a strong, proven track record with elite quarterbacks. Whoever Indy hires now will likely be a significant step backward.
Unless the Colts call Moore, no one else on the list can claim that.
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