Assessing the Indianapolis Colts Coaching Staff for the 2021 NFL Season

By Dan Vasta in Sports
| August 30, 2021 11:24 am PDT

The Indianapolis Colts enter the season yet again with a different starting quarterback. Many were worried earlier in the preseason when Carson Wentz went down with a foot injury.

Quentin Nelson went down with the same ailment (foot) but returned to practice and could play with a clean bill of health to start the year.

Philip Rivers is gone, so this team belongs to Wentz if he can stay on the field. Jonathan Taylor and the ground game is vital to their success.

The coaching staff has done a tremendous job making it to the postseason in two of the three seasons under Frank Reich. We shall see if they can keep the good times rolling.

How will the coaches respond to adversity early in the year? Let’s look at my Indianapolis Colts coaching staff analysis for the 2021 NFL season to find out.

Frank Reich – Head Coach

The Colts have an experienced offensive mind that should put them in the race for a postseason berth again. Reich began his NFL coaching debut as an assistant with the Colts from 2008-11.

He was a wide receivers coach and a quarterbacks coach, but most knew he would make it this far after success with the Eagles (2018-19).

The Colts have young offensive players that Reich should develop during his time as the head coach.

The real goal will be getting Carson Wentz to perform at the stud level he was at before suffering a knee injury with the Eagles back in 2017.

Reich has pieces behind Wentz, but the team has already invested in the former Eagle. This division is winnable, and they have an impressive defense that they should be able to lean on, in case the struggles continue with Wentz.

Reich will need to bring his best strategies to the table in 2021 because the AFC is the deepest we have seen in years.

Top Colts Assistant Coaches

The coordinators for the Colts bring experience, but they are both from separate leagues over the years. We have seen some head coaches with ties to the Canadian Football League before.

That is the case for offensive coordinator Marcus Brady.

Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus spent several years coaching college football before getting opportunities in the NFL.

Marcus Brady – Offensive Coordinator

Brady was a former CFL quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes as well as a few others. He even coached in the CFL for Montreal and Toronto as the offensive coordinator.

Brady ended up winning three Grey Cups before he took his talents to the NFL.

The responsibility with this team will come down to the development of Wentz under center.

However, the ability to turn their young receivers into productive NFL wideouts is even more vital. Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell are two youngsters that need to produce and show out for the Colts. Brady will be in his first season as the Indianapolis play-caller.

Matt Eberflus – Defensive Coordinator

The Colts defense has been dominant thanks to a few difference-makers in the front seven. Deforest Buckner and Darius Leonard are stars that are All-Pro performers.

They have been stout against the run but are athletic enough to make tackles in open space and cover players when asked.

The Indianapolis defense can dominate in spots, and they will be a productive unit all season under fourth-year coordinator Eberflus.

Eberflus spent time with the Dallas Cowboys as a linebackers coach and was the Missouri Tigers defensive coordinator from 2001-08 under legendary Tigers coach Gary Pinkel.

Other Indianapolis Colts Assistants

  • Bubba Ventrone: Special Teams Assistant
  • Klayton Adams: Tight Ends
  • Brian Baker: Defensive Line
  • Dave Borgonzi: Linebackers
  • Tyler Boyles: Assistant to the Head Coach
  • Zane Fakes: Assistant Strength & Conditioning
  • Parks Frazier: Assistant Quarterbacks
  • Richard Howell: Head Strength & Conditioning
  • Joe Hastings: Assistant Special Teams
  • Mike Groh: Wide Receivers
  • Jerrod Johnson: Offensive Quality Control
  • Rusty Jones: Director of Sports Performance
  • Kevin Mawae: Assistant Offensive Line
  • Doug McKenney: Applied Sports Science/Conditioning
  • Scottie Montgomery: Running Backs
  • Scott Milanovich: QB Coach
  • David Overstreet II: Assistant Defensive Backs
  • Matt Raich: Special Defensive Assistant/Assistant Defensive Line
  • James Rowe: Cornerbacks Coach
  • Chris Strausser: Offensive Line
  • Press Taylor: Senior Offensive Assistant
  • Alan Williams: Safeties

This staff is underrated despite a lack of names that have garnered national attention. Many coordinators and assistants get mentioned for potential head coaching jobs, but the Colts could see that change next season.

Offensive Quality Control coach, Jerrod Johnson, was the career passing leader for the Aggies until current Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond recently broke the record last season.

Johnson was the quarterback that forced Ryan Tannehill to play wide receiver in college at Texas A&M. Tannehill hauled in nine receiving touchdowns in 2008-09 seasons as Johnson was threading it with the best passers in the nation.

Indianapolis has plenty of other coaches that should be of aid to Reich this season.

Indianapolis Colts 2021 NFL Season Outlook

Frank Reich

The Colts have everything in place to post another winning season in 2021-22. The health of Wentz and Nelson will dictate the type of season for Indianapolis.

The AFC South is more than manageable, and it allows the coaching staff a little breathing room if they start slow. The schedule early on is a tall order. Who will the Colts knock off in September?

Miami and Baltimore will challenge the Colts on their home turf in October. A disappointing start to the season could potentially cost them the division and a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive AFC.

The conference has never been this deep. There is a chance Indianapolis will be playing from behind in many of those games in September and October. They can’t abandon the run and fail to utilize their best offensive weapon, Jonathan Taylor.

The coaching staff will be hard-pressed to finish with a winning record early on, but there are winnable games down the stretch. Look for Reich to stay afloat in the South and continue to be a productive coach if he can keep his stars on the field.

How is the rest of the AFC South shaping up for 2021? Check out the other coaching staffs inside the division going into the new year.

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