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Colts head coach Shane Steichen provided Colts fans with plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future in his first season leading the team. 

His hand-picked rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson flashed tons of potential, despite missing most of the year with injury. In his absence, Steichen’s offense was still productive, and the team came just short of making the playoffs. One of the key pieces that kept the offense humming was wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr, who led the team with 109 catches for 1,152 yards and 4 touchdowns in a contract year. 

It was obvious to anyone who watched that if the Colts wanted to do all they could to help Richardson succeed, they needed to make sure Pittman returned. On Tuesday, they did just that by placing the franchise tag on him. The tag, worth $21.816 million, gives the Colts more time to try and figure out a long-term extension with Pittman, something both sides have expressed interest in doing. 

During Tuesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke with Coach Steichen about what Pittman means to the team. 

“I think Pitt, first of all, the person that he is, just the ultimate competitor, leader, playmaker. He’s the same guy every day, in the building, the way he works, the way he practices, and then it shows up and he makes plays for us on Sunday. Just super reliable for us, and [we] love everything about him.” 

One of the few knocks on Pittman’s game has been the lack of yards after catch (YAC) in comparison to the high volume of catches that he has. Steichen gave some insight into how the Colts are looking to change that. 

“We’re looking at that stuff this offseason, I’m trying to get those run after catch opportunities obviously with the scheme that we have, and obviously you’ve got to catch the right coverage sometimes for that stuff to work, so you try tirelessly to get that stuff done when you’re going through your process and game planning.” 

Coach Steichen also spoke about the importance of maintaining continuity for a young team looking to grow and improve. 

“You look at the teams that have had so much success over the years…I always look back at this team with Peyton, and Marvin, and Reggie, and how long they played together, and that continuity that they had and understanding the system and being on the same page…I think when you develop that with the guys that you’ve got on your roster that you like, I think it can be special.” 

Despite all of the positives the Colts experienced during the 2023-24 season, Steichen isn’t satisfied. When asked to name one thing he wanted to improve on next season, his answer was straight to the point. 

“I want to win more games next year.” 

Listen to JMV’s full interview with Colts head coach Shane Steichen down below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan! 

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