INDIANAPOLIS – Shane Steichen has put pen to paper on becoming the youngest head coach in the history of the Indianapolis Colts.
Now, the work begins.
As Chuck Pagano once said, he started looking for the head coaching manual after signing his contract in Indianapolis.
So what are the questions the 37-year-old Steichen must answer?
1. How Much On His Plate?
A fair critique of Frank Reich was did he have to much responsibility throughout the week in play calling and being the head coach.
Look at how Nick Sirianni passed off play-calling duties mid-way through his first year in Philly to Shane Steichen.
It’s going to be fascinating to see Steichen’s decision on play-calling and balancing his other duties, especially compared to how Reich and Sirianni approached/adjusted to all those responsibilities.
2. Which Quarterback To Draft?
It’s part of the beauty in Steichen’s resume.
It is no easy task to peg an obvious 2023 rookie quarterback to who he’s worked with in the past.
Steichen has worked with a variety of QBs from Philip Rivers, to Justin Herbert, to Jalen Hurts.
That’s great for Steichen being able to adjust to whatever the style he’s had at quarterback.
You could see some Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Will Levis comps/potential in any of those former Steichen QBs.
3. What Type Of Leader Is Steichen?
This is the first time Steichen, 37, will be a head coach at any level.
Considering Steichen comes from a Frank Reich/Nick Sirianni coaching tree, where his personality falls on that wide ranging scale will be interesting.
It appears Steichen is a tad more Sirianni than he is Reich.
Does that mean a tad more public accountability from what the Colts were used to under Reich?
One thing to note on Steichen, he is coming from a Philly organization where Nick Sirianni is an emotional leader, who prides himself on aggression and extreme detail with in-game situations.
While Steichen might not be as outwardly emotional as Sirianni, the aggression and meticulous nature to those in-game moments need to be staples.
4. Offensive System?
This kind of falls in line with the QB draft projection from above.
Steichen got his initial NFL start with Norv Turner. But that Turner offense looked vastly different from the one Steichen called plays for in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Again, that’s really advantageous to the Colts in trying to coach to a player’s strengths and having the ability to be adaptive no matter the personnel.
That should help the Colts be a diverse offense with the obvious of catering to what that quarterback does the best.
5. Will Steichen Retain Gus Bradley, Bubba Ventrone?
On paper, it makes a lot of sense for Steichen to Gus Bradley.
The two worked together with the Chargers for four seasons. And both were coordinators together in 2020. So the familiarity is definitely there.
Plus, it was Bradley’s defense which held Jalen Hurts/Steichen to 17 points (the fewest they scored in the 18 games Hurts started last year) back in a November meeting inside of Lucas Oil Stadium.
While Ventrone and Steichen don’t have any direct history together, this is someone Chris Ballard clearly thinks highly of. Ventrone interviewed for the Colts head coaching position.
It’s quite possible Steichen retains 2 of the 3 Indy coordinators, and potentially a huge chunk of the defensive staff, which he also worked with during his time with the Chargers.
6. Who Is The Offensive Line Hire?
From a positional coach standpoint, this is always going to be high on the priority list.
That’s especially true for the Colts when you consider how severely that group unperformed last year coupled with how big of a strength it was for the Eagles.
Yes, the Colts have several high-ranking personnel questions on the horizon.
But they also need a jolt to their offensive line group, in needing veterans to get back to the level they are played out, and the continued key development at left tackle with Bernhard Raimann.
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