The Indianapolis Colts patiently waited until after the New England Patriots were finally finished with their season to land their next head coach in 2018. Only, instead of hiring the apple of their eye, Josh McDaniels, the Patriots assistant pulled a Lucy on the Colts, pulling the football away at the last second.
This unfortunate circumstance ended up working out okay for Indy, which hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich instead. That said, the situation has prompted a call to action by the league, which is reportedly expected to change the rules about when teams can hire coaches.
According to Judy Battista of NFL.com, “the league is expected to change the rule to allow teams to hire coaches, even while their teams are still active in the playoffs.” She also notes that, while the proposal has failed in the past, it is “expected to have greater support after the Josh McDaniels situation” with the Colts.
Really, this just makes too much sense. Aside from the fact that changing the rule would keep another McDaniels situation from occurring, most of the time we already know where assistants are headed before they sign anyway. So this rule change would just cut out the nod, nod, wink, wink aspect of how teams hire coaches and make it more concrete. And that’s a good thing.