The Indianapolis Colts have spent more than a month searching for their next head coach. A decision could be made soon, however, as it was reported on February 12 that the Colts were targeting Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen for the vacant head coaching role.
On February 13, Sports Illustrated’s Destin Adams tweeted a video (via @kev7601) of Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. streaming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Twitch while interacting with fans. The chat was flooded with questions about Steichen’s status and Pittman Jr. responded.
“I don’t know what hire you guys are referring to — nothing has been made public,” Pittman Jr. said. “I don’t know what you guys are talking about. So I neither can confirm nor deny anything, okay? I cannot confirm nor deny a single thing, alright?”
Pittman Jr. revealed that an announcement should come around noon ET on February 14 before sarcastically adding that he was unaware of any reports on Steichen.
“Tomorrow, after 12 p.m., I will be able to confirm or deny,” Pittman Jr. said. “For now, I don’t know what you guys are talking about.”
Pittman Jr.’s comments all but confirm ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s report that Steichen is the Colts’ top head coaching candidate. As of now, the Colts and Arizona Cardinals are the only NFL teams without a head coach.
Steichen’s Departure from the Super Bowl
Following the 38-35 Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on February 12, Steichen and the Eagles stayed in the Phoenix Metro area of Arizona until February 13. Instead of returning to Philadelphia with the team, Steichen went to Indianapolis.
Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Moore wrote that sources said Colts owner Jim Irsay sent a private jet to pick up Steichen, who is expected to sign with the team. Due to NFL playoff rules, the Colts were not permitted to speak to Steichen after the Super Bowl.
It seems that the Colts’ front office would like to see Steichen sign his contract before making an official announcement — a mistake they’ve made before. In 2018, then New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels agreed to become the Colts’ head coach but later backed out of the deal.
“Do we have eyes on the ground to confirm who’s getting off that plane? 🤣,” one Colts fan tweeted about Steichen landing in Indianapolis.
Post-Super Bowl Transaction Made
The Colts acquired center Dakoda Shepley off waivers on January 10, but the claim was delayed as a post-Super Bowl designation. The request officially processed on February 12.
Shepley has appeared in 13 NFL games over his career, spending one year each with the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and, most recently, the Dallas Cowboys. He went undrafted in 2018 and was on the New York Jets’ practice squad but also became a Canadian Football League first round pick that year.
This move is likely for depth behind starting center Ryan Kelly. The Colts’ front office might feel inclined to add more offensive line players this offseason since the unit gave up 60 sacks in 2022.
Left guard Quenton Nelson made the Pro Bowl but admitted he didn’t play his best in 2022. The offensive line had its struggles and the starting five changed often during the first half of the year. During the second half of the schedule, however, the offensive line was more consistent. Kelly, Nelson, right tackle Braden Smith, rookie left tackle Bernhard Raimann and second-year right guard Will Fries started every game over that span.