Colts HC Shane Steichen Addresses Philosophy During Introductory Presser

Shane Steichen

Getty New Colts head coach Shane Steichen discussed his approach to coaching during his introductory press conference on February 14.

The Indianapolis Colts officially ended the search for their next head coach on February 14 with the hiring of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. Shortly after pen was put to paper, Steichen held an introductory press conference alongside Colts owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard.

While speaking to the media, Steichen noted that Indianapolis’ culture will be based on four core values: character, preparation, consistency and relentlessness.

Steichen also said much of what he’s learned has come from Eagles’ current head coach Nick Sirianni, who was Colts offensive coordinator from 2018 to 2020.

“Nick did an unbelievable job in holding guys accountable,” Steichen said. “He never let anything slide. And I think as a head football coach, you’ve got to hold people accountable. If something isn’t right, something needs to be said.”

Steichen said he will be the offensive play caller in addition to handling his head coaching duties. With a “throw to score points and run to win” philosophy, Steichen plans on catering the offense to quarterback traits as well as personnel.

The 37-year-old becomes the 22nd head coach in Colts franchise history and is now also the third-youngest head coach in the NFL behind the Minnesota Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell and the Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay. Win or lose, Steichen’s mindset is that consistency is key in every team aspect.

“I think that’s the biggest thing, is staying true to who you are, believing what you’re doing,” Steichen said. “I have a vision like I talked about on how I want to get it done, but it’s going to take a lot of work every single day. We’ve got to be consistent with every single thing we do: coaches, players, front office.

Former Indianapolis QB Reacts to Steichen’s Hiring

Steichen coached in various roles for the Los Angeles Chargers over the course of eight years (2011-2012, 2014-2020). For seven of those years, Philip Rivers was the quarterback before he signed a free agent contract with the Colts in 2020.

While on the Chargers, Rivers and Steichen developed a relationship that has remained strong. The Athletic’s Zak Keefer posted a statement from Rivers after Steichen’s hiring:

“I loved the time we had together with the Chargers,” Rivers said of Steichen. “I’ve stayed in touch with him over the last few years. It was just a matter of time before he got the opportunity to be a head coach.”

Before an official head coaching decision was made, Irsay revealed that he spoke with Rivers.

“[Rivers] and I talked for a very long time about Shane,” Irsay said. “I know Philip said at one point he (Steichen) threw away the play card and was calling plays from his head, which is ‘savant-like,’ according to Philip,” Irsay told the media.

Rivers was selected to five Pro Bowls while Steichen was on the Chargers’ coaching staff. During three of those Pro Bowl seasons (2016-2018), Steichen was Rivers’ quarterbacks coach.

“Super fired up for Shane,” Rivers said. “His offensive mind and feel for calling a game is elite. He has great passion for the game and love for the players. The Colts got a heck of a coach and person.”

Steichen’s Experience with Different QBs

Despite coaching different quarterbacks, Steichen’s offenses have flourished since he began play calling.

He now runs NFL offenses, but Steichen’s first professional coaching job was a defensive analyst position under former Chargers head coach Norv Turner. Like Rivers, Turner released a statement giving Steichen praise, notably for his offensive approach.

“He’s been successful in two different systems,” Turner said, according to Keefer. “In regard to Indianapolis with its history and tradition of offensive football, I think pairing Shane with the Colts is perfect.”

In 2020, Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert set the record for throwing the most touchdowns (31) and completions (396) by a rookie quarterback. That year, Herbert’s offensive coordinator was Steichen, who also served as the Chargers’ interim OC (with Rivers as quarterback) in 2019.

After departing from Los Angeles, Steichen spent his next two years coaching Jalen Hurts — a vastly different quarterback from Herbert in terms of traits. Despite implementing a new offensive system, the Eagles were successful — especially in 2022, ranking third in yards and points per game as well as a Super Bowl berth.

Steichen’s ability to coach various styles of quarterbacks are likely a big factor as to why the Colts initially targeted him as head coach.

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