INDIANAPOLIS —Having a hiccup in their head coaching search won't cause the Indianapolis Colts to go into hurry mode.
Despite the fact the Colts, per league rules, had to wait until after the Super Bowl to formally offer New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels the job — an offer he accepted verbally, but then changed his mind less than 24 hours before his would-be introductory press conference — general manager Chris Ballard said he will not establish any sort of timetable as the team moves forward with other candidates.
"No, I don't have a timetable," Ballard said. "To me, it's about being right. You've got to be right. It doesn't matter if you're the first out of the box and everybody praises you or you are the last one to make the hire. We want to be right."
The Detroit Lions on Wednesday introduced former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their new head coach, making them the sixth NFL team to make a change in leadership this offseason.
The lone open job currently resides in Indianapolis.
But, as Ballard alluded to, there is a precedent — and a pretty darn good one — if the team doesn't immediately interview and then hire its next head coach and start getting his new staff on board.
Although he was hired on Jan. 22, 1996, Tony Dungy told Ballard he was interviewed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers four different times and that he didn't even finish hiring onto his coaching staff until March.
"We put a time frame on things and I don't think (it) really matters at the end of the day," Ballard said. "Now, if we were sitting middle of March, I'd have a different perspective on it, but let's don't over complicate this. It's football. It's football. There's a lot of good coaches out there. There's a lot of good assistant coaches out there."
As it stands today, the Colts are 19 days away from the start of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, 34 days away from the start of free agency, 53 days away from the potential start of the team's offseason workout program and 77 days away from the first night of the NFL Draft, in which the Colts have the No. 3-overall pick.
Lots can — and will — happen over the course of the next few days, weeks and months in Indianapolis, but staying patient and doing this coaching search right remains priority No. 1.
"Everybody gets in panic mode and just starts hiring, and I just don't believe in that," Ballard said. "I think you've got to be patient. Take your time."