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Does the Colts’ Shane Steichen belong in serious ‘NFL Coach of the Year’ conversations?

Arguably doing more with less at the league’s most important position, Shane Steichen has been overlooked for the league’s most prestigious annual coaching award.

Before the game New England Patriots - Indianapolis Colts Photo by Jürgen Kessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Despite entering the season as a bottom five team in most NFL power rankings, Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen has led his squad to a surprisingly solid season at 6-5.

(*And really, the Colts should actually be 7-4, had the officials not made some very egregious defensive calls late against the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 which cost Indy a surefire win).

While many expected the Colts to be competing for a Top 5 NFL draft pick come late April, Indianapolis is actually holding an AFC wild card playoff spot as it currently stands.

That’s a big credit to Steichen, who has continued to deliver offensive results with his play-calling even with elevated backup Gardner Minshew as the starter for the vast majority of the campaign with a season-ending injury to top rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson:

(Not to mention, the team was also been without star running back Jonathan Taylor for the first four games of the season as he was initially ineligible on PUP).

Steichen’s offense has shown innovation, versatility, tempo, and full-on attack.

He’s been able to tailor it to whoever his starting quarterback is, playing to their strengths, and mitigating their weaknesses which is always a sign of sound head coaching. He gives the Colts an offensive advantage along the sidelines with his ability to scheme up open receivers and/or running lanes too.

He also has some definite guts and conviction, when it comes to making bold play calls in big moments—believing in his players to properly execute and make the winning play:

What his Indy coaching predecessor may have arguably lacked in much needed fire and accountability, Steichen seems to have already won over the Colts locker room early on—with his ability to naturally lead and inspire his guys:

Steichen has so far been largely ignored by the mainstream media in most ‘NFL Coach of the Year’ conversations in favor of other deserving candidates such as the Detroit Lions Dan Campbell, the Houston Texans DeMeco Ryans, and the Miami Dolphins Mike McDaniel.

However, given the highly commendable job he’s done with the Colts, he simply shouldn’t be any longer.

None of those guys are doing what Steichen is doing with a backup starting at the league’s most important position, and if you don’t think that’s impressive, just look at this year’s New York Jets—who despite otherwise a rock solid roster and stout defense have struggled mightily offensively in the prolonged absence of future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.

Steichen’s arrival hasn’t just made the Colts competitive each week again, as right now they’ve become a team with serious AFC playoff aspirations. That’s something that maybe even the most optimistic Colts fan ‘wearing Horseshoe Blue colored glasses’ may not have realistically seen coming to start the season given what had recently transpired.

While Colts fans have already gotten the memo for a while now regarding Steichen’s equally deserving candidacy for NFL Coach of the Year honors, it’s time more national media members start taking better notice of the job he’s done (thank you, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, and I’ll leave you with a fan poll!).


Does the Colts’ Shane Steichen seriously belong in ‘NFL Coach of the Year’ conversations?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    (229 votes)
  • 5%
    (13 votes)
  • 4%
    Go Coats!
    (11 votes)
253 votes total Vote Now