Colts owner Jim Irsay passed over special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone as interim head coach when he fired Frank Reich. Instead, the Colts put Jeff Saturday in that role despite his lack of coaching experience.
Ventrone interviewed for the full-time job that went to Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, and the special teams coordinator left for Cleveland.
The Browns introduced Ventrone as their new special teams coordinator Thursday.
“I have aspirations to be a head coach at some point,” Ventrone said, via Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal, “but honestly, my sole focus right now is getting this core unit and these specialists going. I’m excited for this opportunity. I cannot wait. I’m so, so excited to be back in Cleveland and have this opportunity. I can’t express it enough.”
Ventrone played for the Browns as a core special teams player from 2009-12. He became regarded as one of the league’s top special teams coach during his five seasons in Indianapolis.
The Colts ranked eighth in Rick Gosselin’s special teams rankings in 2022, with the Browns 18th. The Colts were second in 2021, fourth in 2020, second in 2019 and 10th in 2018.
“My message to the team is going to be, look, if we’re going to be a good unit, top to bottom, we need contributions from everybody,” Ventrone said. “Whether you’re on the field goal block unit, the field goal unit, you’re a starter that plays in one to two phases. Everybody’s got to be willing to do their part, and if everybody’s willing to do their part, no one’s going to balk at being on the field for a kicking play. You need the buy-in and that’s what I’m hoping that I can get out of everybody.”