Are the Colts the least attractive HC opening in 2023?

Following Sunday’s finale against the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts will immediately begin their search for a new head coach.

Entering the Week 18 slate of games, there are currently seven openings for head coach vacancies across the NFL. Considering the disastrous season and the way owner Jim Irsay has meddled, there are big question marks as to the attractiveness of the position.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranked the Colts seventh out of seven when it comes to the best potential landing spots for head coaches.

While Barnwell acknowledged that the Colts dealt with some major injuries to star players, coaches won’t be naive as to what went down in 2022. It was unprecedented in Irsay’s meddling and his decision to hire Jeff Saturday as the interim head coach.

“Coaches aren’t naive about where they might go to work. Reich is regarded as one of the most likable and well-respected coaches in the industry, and the sudden way his tenure ended will be a warning to coaches. There are only 32 NFL head-coaching jobs — and Irsay hadn’t been a problem before the end of the 2021 campaign — but coaches with other options will be more hesitant to work here than they would have been a year ago,” Barnwell wrote.

The Colts can have a long list of candidates that they want to take over as the new head coach, but that candidate has to want to come to Indy. They have to either be comfortable with an owner who may step in at any time or they have to be assured Irsay won’t meddle as he did in 2022.

Barnwell also used the Jacksonville Jaguars as an example of how the Colts can quickly turn the ship around. Finding the right quarterback and head coach combination can go a long way while masking a multitude of issues.

The issue for the Colts is that they have neither a stable head coach or quarterback in place going into the 2023 offseason.

“If the Colts hire the right coach, draft the right quarterback and get their core of talent going again after a rough season, 2022 might go down as a blip of a season in which everything went wrong. Unlike the Jags, though, the Colts don’t have their quarterback in place already. That added degree of difficulty makes this job less appealing than the Jacksonville one a year ago,” Barnwell wrote.

It will be an interesting offseason for the Colts. They will interview a number of candidates for the vacancy at head coach, but it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if the landing spot is not nearly as attractive as others across the league.

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Story originally appeared on Colts Wire