NFL Rumors: Jets, Texans, Chargers Request Interviews with Colts' Matt Eberflus

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2021

Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

The New York Jets, Houston Texans and Los Angeles Chargers have reportedly requested to interview Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus for their vacant head coaching positions.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the news of New York and Houston's interest Monday, noting Eberflus is considered a "hot candidate" in coaching circles. Later in the day, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Chargers requested to meet with Eberflus after firing Anthony Lynn.

Eberflus, 50, has been the Colts' defensive coordinator since 2018. Indianapolis finished eighth in yards allowed and 10th in points allowed during the 2020 regular season. Football Outsiders' DVOA metric, which accounts for strength of opponent and game situations, ranked the Colts defense eighth.

Eberflus is known around the league as a high-intensity coach who does not take anything less than 100 percent effort on any snap.

"It's not for everybody, because everybody doesn't want to put out the effort it takes to play in this system," Eberflus told Zak Keefer of The Athletic. "But that's OK. They can go play somewhere else."

Eberflus has ground his way up the coaching ranks, beginning as a student assistant at Toledo in 1992. His first NFL coordinator job came in Indianapolis, though he was the defensive coordinator at Missouri from 2001 to 2008.

While Eberflus' tactics may not be for everybody, head coach Frank Reich indicated he has gotten total buy-in from the Colts locker room, per Keefer:

"Everybody knows that Flus has really strong conviction, strong discipline, but he really is adaptable. He comes off really strong, because he is, but he has a real humble spirit to him. Watching him lead the defensive unit the way that he has, and sticking to his core convictions and then making small little changes that benefit players and put them in the best position, the way he's nuanced certain fronts and coverages … I just think he has done an outstanding job."

The Jets are looking to replace Adam Gase after firing him Sunday following two dismal seasons, while the Texans jettisoned Bill O'Brien after an 0-4 start in 2020. Both jobs are considered on the lower end of openings. The Jets are bereft of talent on both sides of the ball and missed out on landing the No. 1 overall pick in 2021 by winning games in Weeks 15 and 16.

O'Brien's mistake-riddled tenure running football operations in Houston left the Texans without much high-level talent aside from Deshaun Watson and depleted the franchise of draft picks.    

As for Los Angeles, Justin Herbert's presence after a strong rookie season would give Eberflus a promising young signal-caller to build around, along with talent such as Joey Bosa and Derwin James on the defensive side of the ball.