We linked a report on Sunday afternoon that confirmed that Tennessee Titans senior defensive assistant Jim Schwartz interviewed for the Indianapolis Colts’ vacant defensive coordinator job following the departure of Matt Eberflus.
With that said, Schwartz is not the only man competing for the job. Let’s take a look at who else is in play. Should one of these candidates land the role, it would pave the way for Schwartz to remain in Tennessee.
Kris Richard: The 42-year-old Richard played for five years in the league before transitioning into coaching. He’s currently employed as New Orleans’ defensive backs coach where he’s done a terrific job developing such talents as Paulson Adebo. Sean Payton’s departure means Richard’s future in New Orleans hangs in the balance, and he may be willing to explore opportunities elsewhere. Richard last served as a defensive coordinator from 2015-17 with the Seattle Seahawks. He possesses an excellent reputation.
Joe Whitt Jr: Whitt Jr. has worked as a passing game coordinator and secondary coach for three franchises in as many years — the Cleveland Browns (2019), Atlanta Falcons (2020) and Dallas Cowboys (2021). Dallas’ defense took a massive step forward in 2021 after Whitt joined the staff under Mike McCarthy and Dan Quinn.
Gus Bradley: The former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach has helped rebrand himself following rather successful stints as the defensive coordinators for the Los Angeles Chargers (2017-20) and Las Vegas Raiders (2021). With Josh McDaniels being named the new head coach in Vegas, Bradley will likely find himself on the outside looking in. He’s a strong candidate in Indianapolis.
Chris Harris: Washington Football Team’s defensive backs coach qualifies as an underrated and unlikely candidate. The former NFL safety was selected by the Chicago Bears in the sixth-round of the 2005 NFL Draft and had an eight-year playing career. Colts general manager Chris Ballard was a scout with the Bears when Harris was playing in The Windy City.
Joe Cullen: There’s some inner-divisional familiarity here, as Cullen served as Jacksonville’s defensive coordinator in 2021 under Urban Meyer. Cullen certainly didn’t impress, as Jacksonville fielded one of the worst defenses throughout the season.
The 55-year-old Schwartz rejoined the Titans in a senior assistant role ahead of the 2021 campaign after spending ten previous seasons (1999-2008) on their staff in various roles under former head coach Jeff Fisher, including a successful stint as the team’s defensive coordinator. Schwartz was hired as a head coach after the 2008 iteration of the Titans fielded a dominant defensive squad en route to a 13-3 record and the one-seed in the AFC.
We selfishly hope to keep Schwartz in Tennessee. Stay tuned to MCM.