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Jim Irsay on Colts coaching search: 'Final decision coming in days'

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard have a pair of franchise-altering decisions to make this offseason as they search for a head coach to hire and a quarterback to draft.

The Colts' search for a head coach technically began 27 days ago. It will end soon, but perhaps not as soon as many expected.

Owner Jim Irsay took to Twitter to address the curiosity surrounding one of NFL's remaining two coaching vacancies:

"We said as an organization (Colts)... the coaching search would be an open-minded and a thorough process... and the final decision would be strictly based on what is best for our franchise's success and best for our fans of Colts Nation ... Final decision coming in days not hours," Irsay said in the tweet.

The Colts are through their second-round interviews, which included eight candidates publicly known. One of those options has been eliminated, as former Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero took the same position on coach Frank Reich's staff with the Panthers.

The remaining known candidates include: Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris; Raiders special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia; Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday; Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan; Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen; Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

Indianapolis and Arizona remain without coaches. The cycle began with five vacancies before the Panthers hired Reich, the Texans hired 49ers defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans and the Broncos hired former Saints coach Sean Payton.

It's unclear whether the latest delay is connected to this weekend's Super Bowl, which features Steichen calling plays for Jalen Hurts and an ascending Eagles offense. The game also features Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who received at least a first-round interview and was vague on the possibility to reporters covering the Super Bowl this week.

"Right now, I've interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts. I thought it went great," Bieniemy said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. "We'll see where that goes."

INSIDER: Here's why the Colts' coaching search is taking so long

MAILBAG: Can it make sense to hire a defensive head coach?

From the start, the Colts promised they would take their time. The last time general manager Chris Ballard ran one, he reached an agreement with then-Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, only for McDaniels to back out of the job after the Super Bowl.

With 14 first-round candidates, eight second-round options and a search pushing a month in length, he's living up to that promise.

"We've got a very detailed process put together on the traits and attributes we're looking for in the head coach. I don't care what side of the ball," Ballard said after the season. "... Consistent, thorough. I don't care if it takes to mid-February to hire the head coach. It's about getting it right.

Contact Colts insider Nate Atkins at natkins@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter @NateAtkins_.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts owner Jim Irsay says of coaching search: 'Final decision coming'