Shane Steichen has been named the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. After his offense put up a terrific performance in the Super Bowl. Even in the loss, the offense shined handling the Kansas City defense. This means that the short-lived Jeff Saturday era has come to an end in Indianapolis.
Who Is Shane Steichen?
At the young age of 37, Steichen becomes the 2nd youngest head coach in Colts franchise history. The youngest was the late Don Shula in 1963 when the Baltimore Colts hired him at the age of 32. The former UNLV quarterback became one of the most sought-after head coaches in this off-season coaching cycle. His resume is dazzling having coached the likes of Philip Rivers, Justin Herbert and most recently, Jalen Hurts. What made him so appealing was the range of those 3 quarterbacks. They are all very different types of quarterbacks, and all had success under the tutelage of Steichen. Rivers is a purely pocket passer, Herbert is a mix of mobility and pocket presence and Hurts is the true mobile passer with the ability to extend plays with his legs. He has quickly ascended the coaching ranks with his biggest influence being his mentor, Norv Turner. He applauded him at the press conference for bringing him on as a defensive assistant in San Diego to help him see the other side of the football to make him the best coach that he could be. He spent the majority of his career in San Diego/Los Angeles with the Chargers organization before spending the last couple of seasons in Philadelphia with Nick Sirriani and the Philadelphia Eagles.
What Will Steichen Bring To Indianapolis?
“Throw To Score. Run To Win.” ~Shane Steichen on the offensive game plan each week.
The press conference said it all on Monday afternoon. His four main expectations on this team will be character, preparation, consistency, and relentlessness. He will also follow in the footsteps of his former boss, Nick Sirriani, by making sure everyone is held accountable on all parts of the staff, including players. Steichen confirmed he will be calling the plays on top of his head coaching duties. He wants to bring in, presumably in April’s Draft, a prospect that has accuracy, high football IQ, great decision making and, of course, “the ability to create.” The top 4 QB prospects in this year’s NFL Draft all provide these traits, while some more than others, they will have no shortage of capable prospects this April to choose from. With Steichen’s knowledge to build a system around whoever the quarterback is, the Colts can pick whichever one fits their scheme the best. The decision to move up or hold for either of the 4 will be up to Ballard and his front office staff.
What A Steichen Staff Could Look Like?
The biggest decisions for Steichen loom with the staff he is going to hire. He did not confirm but it is expected that he will keep DC Gus Bradley and most of his assistant staff as well as Special Teams Coordinator Bubba Ventrone. The Colts staff has blocked Bradley from interviewing at other franchises for DC positions, so it’s safe to assume they would like to retain him. As for Ventrone, he is a highly regarded Special Teams coach and former coaches Reich and Saturday relied on him for high-priority gameday duties. As for the offensive side of the ball, it appears that WR coach Reggie Wayne will be retained and they will need to hire two very important coaches with the OC and OL coaching hires. The uncertainty surrounding the QB positions and the weakness and regression on the offensive line make these hires imperative. Early candidates for the OC position include Jaguars Passing Game Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and Ravens WR coach Tee Martin with interviews already being requested by their respective franchises. Look for former Texans OC Pep Hamilton to get some attention as well with his past history with Shane Steichen. For the OL coach, Eagles Assistant OL Coach Roy Istvan has emerged as the early favorite. These prospective candidates show us that Steichen plans to bring a similar version of the Philadelphia offense and scheme to Indianapolis.
The Correct Decision Was Made
The Colts (rightfully so) did a thorough and exhaustive search for a new head coach. They brought in a total of 13 candidates and shaved that down to the final 8 for second interviews. Ballard looked at all sides of the ball including special teams when looking at candidates. They were finally brought down to 3 final candidates those (reportedly) were Steichen, Interim Coach Jeff Saturday and Rams DC Raheem Morris. Those reports are not confirmed, however. Ballard said Packers ST Coordinator Rich Bisaccia and Lions DC Aaron Glenn also made a huge impression on him. Throughout the entire process, Colts fans knew that Owner Jim Irsay was smitten with his hand-picked Interim Coach Jeff Saturday and he wanted him to work. But with a 1-7 record and losing the final 7 games in that stretch, it would be difficult to convince the fanbase future success with him at the helm. Irsay gave the final decision to his GM and let his personal and professional attachments go to ensure they hired the best candidate possible. Ballard did just that in hiring Steichen. The NFL is known to be a copycat league and the Philadelphia offense was one of the best that we witnessed this season. With the NFL becoming an offensive focus now it’s important to keep an offensive system intact for years to come. Especially with a new rookie QB coming into the fold for the upcoming season.
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