After an exhaustive search the Indianapolis Colts, team owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard have decided which direction the team will go for the foreseeable future. Following their search the decision has been made and Shane Steichen is the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. First reported on Super Bowl Sunday by Adam Schefter:
The Indianapolis Colts have targeted Eagles’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to be their next head coach after informing other remaining candidates this morning that they are moving in a different direction, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/VgUa5YFXfa— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 12, 2023
Today the Colts have made it official:
In what turned out to be one of the most thorough head coaching searches in league history the Colts reportedly scheduled interviews (or attempted to schedule interviews) with the following list of candidates:
Indianapolis Colts Special Teams Coordinator Bubba Ventrone
Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn
Indianapolis Colts interim Head Coach Jeff Saturday
New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale
Before narrowing the list down and conducting in person interviews with; Jeff Saturday, Ejiro Evero, Dan Quinn, Raheem Morris, Eric Bieniemy, Wink Martindale, Shane Steichen, Rich Bisaccia, Aaron Glenn, Brian Callahan, and maybe others (honestly, I lost track). After interviewing face to face, Chris Ballard gave his suggestion and Jim Irsay has made his decision.
Who is Shane Steichen?
A fan favorite entering the hiring cycle, Shane Steichen finds himself as the newest head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Steichen got his start in the NFL in 2011 under San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, whom Steichen credits as his play calling mentor. Steichen spent three years with Turner, two in San Diego and one season with the Cleveland Browns. Following the 2013 season Steichen left the comfort of Turner to head back to San Diego where he worked under head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Reich was fired after a 4-12, 2015 season and replaced with Ken Whisenhunt.
Head coach Mike McCoy was fired following a 5-11, 2016 season and replaced with Anthony Lynn. Lynn decided to keep on the offensive staff left behind by McCoy. Whisenhunt promoted Steichen from Offensive Quality Control to Quarterbacks coach, a position he would hold until Whisenhunt was fired in the midst of a 5-11, 2019 season. Steichen was named Interim Offensive Coordinator and the interim designation was removed before the 2020 season.
Under Steichen the Los Angeles Chargers offense performed marginally better than under Whisenhunt and won two more games than they had the year before. Regardless of the job Steichen had done, head coach Anthony Lynn’s time was up in LA and Steichen found himself looking for a job. Luckily for him his old buddy Nick Sirianni had just left his gig as offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and he offered Steichen the OC role. Steichen accepted the offer and has spent the past two seasons building an offense around their young quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The results have been nothing short of impressive. Hurts went from being a second round draft pick to an MVP candidate in 2022. Steichen has helped with the development of both Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts and the hope for the Colts is that he will be able to guide a young Colts passer to similar success moving forward.
Given the fact that Steichen’s coaching history aligns so closely with that of Frank Reich’s, Steichen’s offense will no doubt be familiar for Colts players returning to the offensive side of the ball. It would be unwise to expect general manager Chris Ballard to treat this offseason as a period of rebuilding due to that familiarity and the way the Colts existing players should match schematically. While it might look different from Frank Reich’s offense, due to a whole host of factors, it won’t be much different for the players on offense. While that familiarity will give him a chance to hit the ground running, it isn’t the only reason the former Eagles OC got the job.
His resume is impressive, having worked with multiple young and developing quarterbacks, seeing what it takes to build a system around a rookie quarterback and expanding that system as that young passer grows. At just 37 years old the Colts believe Steichen is the man that can guide whoever they draft with their first round pick this season, into becoming a franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. But first up, he’ll have to assemble a staff capable of guiding that quarterback and the rest of the team moving forward. There’s a lot of speculation about who will fill vital roles and while it is certainly unlikely, Norv Turner, Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt are all available (though McCoy would need an upgrade from his current QB Coach role in Jacksonville). If the young coach wanted to bolster his offensive staff with a highly experienced coach, any of those three might be receiving a call this week.
Time will tell how this move will work out but Colts fans have reason to be excited moving forward with Shane Steichen leading the stampede.
After months of speculation, the Colts have their head coach. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the coaching staff will be built. Make sure you stay tuned to Stampede Blue for all of the hiring's, firings, promotions, demotions, speculation and rumors that are sure to come next.