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Colts fire defensive coordinator; Caldwell next?

Is Jim Caldwell next?

The Indianapolis Colts announced the firing of defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, replacing him with longtime linebackers coach Mike Murphy.

“The move was made to improve communication and production,” head coach Jim Caldwell said in a statement released by the team. “We feel this is the most effective and realistic way to move forward and win games this season. We appreciate all of the effort and hard work Larry Coyer put forth in his three years with the Colts.”

The league’s lone winless team, the 2011 Colts enter December ranking 29th in total defense, 31st against the run, 31st in interception rate, 32nd on third down, 30th in the red zone, 32nd in scoring defense and 32nd in both point and yard differential.

Coyer had been with the Colts since 2009, joining the team after previous NFL stops with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (assistant head coach/defensive line, 2007-08), Denver Broncos (linebackers/defensive coordinator, 2002-06) and the New York Jets (defensive line, 1994).

Murphy joined the Colts in 1998 after spending three seasons as the Seattle Seahawks linebackers coach. Murphy also coached linebackers with the Detroit Lions (1985-89) and Arizona Cardinals (1990-93).

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