This will not be like the articles I usually write nitpicking and criticizing Steichen’s decisions made on the game, because this was just not like any other game, and now four games into his tenure he deserves a piece on his own. I will refrain from talking about the defense because that goes to Gus Bradley, and while he is an amazing defensive coordinator, yesterday was just bad. The unit was clearly missing DeForest Buckner, and the injury to starting cornerback Dallis Flowers is no good news either.
This time, I will talk about my first impressions of the Colts' new head coach, and what I have been liking about him thus far. The team is currently 2-2, but could very easily be 3-1 and leading the division, in a year where the offense lost their star player to a contract dispute, and started a rookie quarterback, who missed half of the drives because of a concussion. That alone deserves plenty of credit. Steichen’s concepts and gamesmanship are amazing, and the offense, when working, looks unstoppable. I know that is a big if, but consistency will come with time, as the cohesion between the parts continues improving, and with hopefully that aforementioned All-Pro running back in the mix again.
The running concepts for Anthony Richardson, the quick releases in the passing game to help ease the load on an offensive line that struggled with pass protection last year, the tricks to force opposing coaches into calling timeouts, the involvement of the tight ends in the passing game despite missing their TE1 in Jelani Woods, Zack Moss coming in and leading the rushing attack. Steichen deserves a ton of credit for keeping an offense that was supposed to be one of the worst in the NFL afloat. Of course, there are going to be some rough patches here and there, as that is to be expected when you are starting a rookie quarterback with just 13 starts in College, but the potential looks like it’s through the roof right now. I can’t wait to see how this offense looks in the latter stages of the season, and even more so in the upcoming years.
The other thing we have to love about Steichen, is how the team has no quit in them. The Colts were down and fighting against the Baltimore Ravens away from home, and managed to come out with the win. Even more impressive was this week, where despite being down 23-0 and being severely outplayed by the Los Angeles Rams, they managed to put the horrid start behind them and rally to force the game to overtime. The coin fell on the wrong side, and a miscommunication in the secondary resulted in Puka Nacua scoring the game-winning touchdown. Even though the result was a loss, I am certainly proud of how the Colts played.
In the end, it is still way too early to draw conclusions from the new Colts’ head coach, but from what we have seen so far this season, the team definitely has found themselves a smart and adaptable leader, who should only continue getting better with more experience.
Sidenote: Former Colts head coach Frank Reich is now 0-4 with the Panthers. Just look his name up on Twitter and you will see how much Panthers fans like their new coach.