The Indianapolis Colts will retain new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, despite having not yet hired a new head coach, general manager Chris Ballard announced via the Indianapolis Star.
Eberflus, who spent the past seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as a linebackers coach — and two as passing game coordinator — had anticipated joining New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ Colts staff prior to his decision to decline the position on Tuesday.
McDaniels was previously reported to have accepted the position hours before announcing plans to stay with New England. However, Eberfus will still assume his inital role, despite the botched hiring.
“I got to know Matt Eberflus a few years ago and was blown away by Matt,” Ballard said. “Matt was a coveted coach. He’s a very talented defensive coordinator. I feel very lucky to have Matt Eberflus in the building running a scheme that I think fits our team that we can scout for.”
The Colts ranked No. 30 in total defense (367.1 yards allowed per game) and scoring defense (25.2 points allowed per game) in 2017.
Ballard worked under Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli for several seasons and is expected to bring a similar scheme to Indianapolis, which will use a 4-3 base and rely heavily on its front seven to pressure opposing quarterbacks and limit big plays, according to the Indy Star.
“We’re playing on an indoor surface,” Ballard said. “We’re going to be playing in ideal weather eight to 12 games a year (and) that’s going to be based on athletic ability and speed. That’s how this defense is built. It’s easy for young players to play because it’s simple and it allows them to play fast and physical and that’s what we want to be.”