Second interview paves way for Colts-Josh McDaniels union

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – All that stands between the Indianapolis Colts naming Josh McDaniels their next head coach is the final game of the NFL season.

According to a source with knowledge of the team’s on-going coaching search, a Friday follow-up interview with McDaniels, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, went off without hitch.

It occurred in the Foxborough, Mass., area as the Patriots continued their preparation for Super Bowl LII and included Colts owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard. Whatever issues – if any – remained between the two sides apparently were resolved.

Even so, nothing can be official until after McDaniels and the Patriots conclude their business with the Philadelphia Eagles in next Sunday’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis. New England also is expected to lose defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to the Detroit Lions.

The second Colts-McDaniels meeting followed an initial Jan. 3 interview and was critical since it included Irsay. Earlier this month he said Ballard would handle the “heavy lifting’’ in the early stages of the search to replace Chuck Pagano, but emphasized he would be involved before anything was finalized.

Irsay also said, barring the unforeseen, he would sign off on Ballard’s decision.

“I’m sure there hasn’t been a time where I haven’t followed the recommendations of what the general manager had recommended to me,’’ Irsay said.

Speculation on McDaniels relocating to Indy has intensified over the past several days. Feeding into that have been reports of him already forming his staff.

McDaniels reportedly will name Oakland quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz his offensive coordinator and Dallas linebackers coach/run game coordinator Matt Eberflus his defensive coordinator. Also, the University of Illinois confirmed its defensive line coach, Mike Phair, has accepted a position on McDaniels’ staff.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.