According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus has declined an interview with the Houston Texans for their head coaching opening, but he’ll still interview for the New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers vacancies on Sunday and Monday of next week respectively:
#Colts DC Matt Eberflus — one of the most in-demand head-coaching candidates — plans to interview with the #Jets on Sunday and the #Chargers on Monday, per source. He declined an interview with the #Texans. For now, full focus on Saturday’s playoff game at Buffalo.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 8, 2021
The fact that Eberflus turned down a head coaching opportunity with the Texans is good news for the Colts—and not just because it’s one less potential suitor to lose him to. If Eberflus had joined the Texans within the AFC South, the Colts would’ve had to play him twice a season for the foreseeable future.
The Texans have superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson, so a solid defense backing him up would theoretically make them a very dangerous team again in the Colts own division.
However, that same superstar quarterback is apparently disgruntled, having been assured he would have input on the franchise’s general manager and head coaching hires by Texans team owner Cal McNair this offseason—only to not have been consulted on their general manager hire at all already.
Instead, the Texans hired former New England Patriots exec Nick Caserio, which may be another issue for Eberflus, as no new head coach wants to be tied with a general manager that A) he doesn’t believe he’ll have a positive working relationship with and B) doesn’t believe he can win with. That may or may not be true here, but it’s a consideration as well.
After Caserio’s hire, it’s also possible the Texans simply ‘reset’ their head coaching candidate pool with only his preferred candidates going forward—and Eberflus ‘declining’ was more of just a professional courtesy provided by Houston for appearance purposes.
In any case, the 50 year old Colts defensive coordinator, who’s been with the franchise since 2018 and has coached one of the league’s most improved defenses during 2020, has some important interviews lined up for early next week—with both the Jets and Chargers organizations.