It’s possible that new Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen could keep parts of the team’s coaching staff in place for the 2023 season. But offensive assistant Parks Frazier will not be one of the coaches staying.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on February 15 that Frazier will be joining former Colts head coach Frank Reich with the Carolina Panthers.
The team also announced on its website that Frazier will serve as Panthers passing game coordinator.
Frazier called offensive plays for the Colts under interim head coach Jeff Saturday.
Frazier’s Tenure With the Colts
Frazier, who is only 31 years old, had previously only coached in the NFL in Indianapolis. He joined the Colts staff as a mere assistant to Reich in 2018.
He remained in that role for two years, but Frazier steadily received promotions each season after that. Frazier served as offensive quality control in 2020 and then assistant quarterbacks coach the past two seasons. After the Colts fired Reich and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady midseason, Frazier then received an opportunity to call plays.
While that didn’t result in a permanent offensive coordinator role with the Colts, it was a unique opportunity for Frazier. He will now hold the most responsibilities he ever has on a permanent basis with his next role in Carolina.
Reich is still filling out his first coaching staff with the Panthers, but after the hiring of Frazier, three of the eight coaches currently on Carolina’s staff have a connection to the Colts. In addition to Reich and Frazier, the Panthers hired Jim Caldwell this offseason.
Another former Colts head coach, Caldwell will serve as a senior assistant in Carolina.
Steichen to Call Offensive Plays With Colts
During his introductory press conference on February 14, Steichen announced that he will call the offensive plays. Presumably, that was a reason why Frazier didn’t wait to be considered for a position on Steichen’s staff; Frazier was not going to keep his role as the Colts offensive play-caller.
Considering Steichen had no previous connection to Frazier and experienced a tremendous season as the play-caller for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022, that’s not surprising.
But Steichen does have connections to other coaches who were on the Colts 2022 staff.
He worked with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley with the Los Angeles Chargers for four years. Also while in Los Angeles, Steichen served on the same staff alongside Colts linebackers coach Richard Smith and defensive backs coach Ron Milus.
It would seem to make the most sense for Steichen to fill out the Colts offensive staff, which now has three openings after Frazier’s departure, with his own choices and keep much the defensive staff intact. But Steichen didn’t reveal that as his plan.
“That’s the next process that I’m going to go through, is hiring a staff,” Steichen said during his introductory press conference. “Those guys, we’ll have those conversations in the next few days.”
The Indianapolis Star’s Joel A. Erickson argued Steichen will have to work quickly. The Arizona Cardinals named Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their head coach on February 14 as well. Competition for Eagles coaches will be fierce, as Philadelphia looks to fill its two coordinator openings and Steichen and Gannon aim to hire familiar coaches.
And because Indianapolis’ coaching search lasted until the middle of February, Steichen only has a couple weeks to install a coaching staff before the start of the NFL scouting combine.