Coaching Odds: Colts to Make Unusual Choice as Andrew Luck’s Next Boss?

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, January 4, 2018 7:14 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 7:14 PM UTC

The best open head coaching job in the NFL right now arguably could be with the Indianapolis Colts. Bovada has a prop on the next guy in charge there, and we break the candidates down.

Any NFL coaching candidate worth his salt is going to value one thing over any other when considering multiple openings: the quarterback situation.

The Oakland Raiders have a terrific young quarterback in Derek Carr, but that job never really came open. It was always going to Jon Gruden. Thus, the top open job is probably either in Detroit or Indianapolis (sorry Bears and Giants). Of course, the Lions have Matthew Stafford under center and the Colts have Andrew Luck.

Both former No. 1 overall picks are signed long-term, so that’s not an issue. Stafford has been very durable, will be 30 in February and has never won a playoff game in his career. In fact, he has a record way below .500 vs. teams with winning records. On pure talent alone, Luck has the edge over Stafford and Luck is two years younger. He also led the Colts to the postseason in each of his first three seasons and has won three playoff games, including reaching the AFC Championship Game following the 2014 season (that was the Deflategate game vs. New England).

The one worry about Luck is his durability. He was limited to seven games in 2015 due to various injuries, missed one in 2016 and then the entire 2017 season following shoulder surgery last January. The Colts swear Luck will be good to go for 2018, but then they said that about ’17 too. Due largely to Luck’s issues, the Colts have missed the playoffs three straight years, which is their longest drought since they missed the postseason from 1988 to 1994.

No coach will get authority over player personnel with the Colts as GM Chris Ballard isn’t giving that up. But another perk for any new coach is that the Colts will pick No. 3 overall and likely will get the best-non-quarterback on the board because the Browns and Giants are likely to take quarterbacks in the first two slots. How good would Penn State running back Saquon Barkley look in the Indy backfield with Luck? Or the team could take one of the top offensive linemen to protect Luck.

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How bad do the Colts need Andrew Luck?

Andrew Luck total yards in 2016:

Colts total offensive yards in 2017: 4303

— YourSports (@YourSports) December 29, 2017

Here are Bovada’s betting candidates for the Colts job and their NFL betting odds.

Matt Nagy (+325): Ballard is the former Chiefs GM so he knows Nagy well. The 39-year-old Nagy became Kansas City’s quarterbacks coach from 2013-15 and the team’s offensive coordinator in 2016. Coach Andy Reid finally let him call plays in the back half of this season and the K.C. offense played much better after a midseason slump. The Chicago Bears also are interested in Nagy. UPDATE: Bears hired Nagy.

Dave Toub (+325): Many believe Kansas City’s special teams coach is the leader in the clubhouse because Ballard thinks so highly of him. The two also worked together in Chicago before Kansas City. Not too often a special teams coach gets a top job, but it worked out well for Baltimore and John Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh (+400): Not likely that Harbaugh leaves Michigan after such a disappointing season, but of course he played for the Colts and coached Luck at Stanford.

Josh McDaniels (+400): The Patriots offensive coordinator is basically on every head-coaching list. The Colts already have interviewed him.

Mike Vrabel (+700): Vrabel, a former NFL linebacker, is considered a rising star and spent this past season as Houston’s defensive coordinator. The Colts’ defense was the NFL’s worst. They have received permission to speak to Vrabel.

David Shaw (+700): Shaw is Stanford’s coach and thus also coached Luck, taking over after Harbaugh left for the NFL.

Todd Haley (+1000): Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator has done a great job but comes with a bit of baggage. Probably won’t happen.

Frank Reich (+1000): Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator who spent 2008-11 as an assistant with the Colts, working with quarterbacks and receivers.

Peyton Manning (+10000): This is just on here for shock value. Manning’s not coaching in the NFL. He’ll own a team before that happens.

Free NFL Pick: Toub +325Best Line Offered: Bovada
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