The Indianapolis Colts completed their first head coach interview Wednesday, bringing in special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone.
The Colts are scheduled to interview a wide range of candidates before making a decision, and you can keep up with the latest updates via our tracker.
Here are five things to know about Colts’ head coach candidate Bubba Ventrone:
Strong connection with the Colts
Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports
This is the most obvious aspect of Ventrone’s candidacy. He has been the special teams coordinator since 2018 when the Colts initially hired Josh McDaniels as the head coach. Even when Frank Reich was eventually hired as the head coach, Ventrone elected to stay on the staff. Having that experience should give him a bit of an advantage in terms of what to expect from the interview. It also gives him a strong standing in the locker room, and he won’t have to start from scratch when it comes to building a rapport with the players.
10 years in the league
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
After completing his collegiate career at Villanova, Ventrone went undrafted in 2005. He signed with the New England Patriots where he spent two seasons (2005-2006). After he was released, he signed with the New York Jets in 2007 but was released in September at the start of the season.
Ventrone re-joined the Patriots in 2007 and spent two seasons there before he was released during final roster cuts ahead of the 2009 season. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2009 and signed a three-year $2.2 million deal during the 2010 offseason. He led the Browns’ No. 1 ranked special teams unit and was the special teams captain for his final two seasons in Cleveland (2011-2012).
Ventrone ended his career with the San Francisco 49ers, playing his final two seasons while serving as the special teams captain in 2013 and 2014.
Well-respected in the locker room
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Ventrone is held in very high regard throughout the locker room. That’s partly why it was a bit shocking to both the media and the players that he wasn’t considered for the interim head coaching job when Frank Reich was fired halfway through the season. The special teams units have always played with fire, and it’s a clear indication that stems from the respect Ventrone has garnered in the locker room.
More of a manager?
AP Photo/Darryl Webb
One thing that would be interesting about hiring Ventrone would be the staff he surrounds himself with. Being a special teams coordinator, it’s unlikely he would be calling plays on offense or defense. So he would have to surround himself with smart play-callers on both sides of the ball. He has plenty of connections from the last 18 years in the league, but it’s a different approach than what some of the other candidates would bring in terms of specialization.
NFL coaching experience
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus
Indianapolis Colts special teams coordinator (2018–present)
New England Patriots assistant special teams coach (2015–2017)