Texans: Colts DC Matt Eberflus “an early favorite” for HC gig
By Cory Kinnan
What are the Houston Texans going to do with their head coaching hire? They have already interviewed a handful of candidates, but have not interviewed anyone in a couple of days. have they begun wrapping up their search?
Many believe Houston is waiting on Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, to finish his season before hiring him. This is the preferred candidate of disgruntled superstar quarterback, and should general manager Nick Caserio be looking to rebuild the bridge between the two sides, hiring Bieniemy may just be the way to do it.
Another popular candidate, and one that makes sense for the Texans given the timeline, is Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Considering he is still coaching as well, the Texans could be waiting for him to finish up his season as well.
Bieniemy or Frazier? It appears there may be a third, new frontrunner for the job.
A new front runner for Texans job?
Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported today that neither Bieniemy nor Frazier are the top candidate for the Texans at this point. In fact, Volin states it is Matt Eberflus, defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, who looks to be the lead dog in the race to become Houston’s next head coach.
According to Volin, Eberflus “did a great job with his interview” and is seen as the frontrunner. Eberflus, has interviewed for a handful of head coaching jobs over the past two seasons, including with the New York Jets this season. he even initially turned down an interview request from Houston, but reconsidered and completed an interview less than a week ago.
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Looking at Eberflus’ track record
Not that yards per game and points per game are the best metric of success to measure a defense by, but this past season the Colts ranked 10th in points allowed and eighth in yards allowed. This has been his third season as defensive coordinator in Indianapolis, hired after six seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as both the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator.
Measuring efficiency using DVOA via Football Outsiders, the Colts had the seventh most efficient defense in the NFL this past season. They ranked as the eighth best unit against the pass, and the ninth best unit against the run.
Overall, Caserio and his team would be hiring an elite defensive mind if they were to land him as their next head coach. Offensively, however, Eberflus would have to knock out the hire in order to sooth the relationship between Houston and Watson; more importantly, to also build a successful offense.