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What Colts head coach Shane Steichen looks for in young quarterbacks

There's one thing in particular Steichen wants out of whoever his quarterback will be. 

PHOENIX – One month from now, we'll know what direction the Colts take with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Until then, speculation will run wild about what the team will do with that pick and/or who they'll take with it.

Head coach Shane Steichen gets the question all the time. But he, just like everyone else, won't know until the night of April 27.

"It's funny, it's like 'who are you guys taking?' We'll see on draft day," Steichen said. "We'll know two minutes before the pick."

Steichen and the Colts are still in the process of doing their due diligence on the players who could be available with the No. 4 overall pick. For the quarterbacks in this year's draft, Steichen emphasized there's no perfect process to identifying which young quarterbacks will find success in the league – and added there's not necessarily an archetype around which he'd prefer to build his offense.

Notably, in his time as an offensive coordinator (from halfway into the 2019 season with the Los Angles Chargers through 2022 season with the Philadelphia Eagles), Steichen coached three completely different types of high-level quarterbacks in Philip Rivers, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts.

"Quarterbacks come in all shapes and sizes and have different athletic abilities, whether it's running or throwing," Steichen said. "Does it add to it when you can run, yeah, but there's also guys that are pure drop back pocket passers that are some of the best to ever do it with Peyton (Manning) and Tom Brady. Is it an added bonus when they can run, yeah, but it's not the end all, be all to where it's oh, I need a guy that can run."

Steichen, though, did say there are certain characteristics he looks for in quarterbacks that tell him those guys have a greater chance of sticking as starters in the NFL.

"The guys that love, love playing that position and love the grind and love the process have a chance to be successful," Steichen said. "Talent is a big part of it. And then being in the right system at the right time sometimes helps too."

For Steichen, it's all about fitting an offense to whatever traits his quarterback possesses – whether that guy is a pure pocket passer, an adept runner, or somewhere in between.

As long as one of those traits is an extraordinary commitment to playing the position.

"It's just — do they love it," Steichen said. "Do they love the process? Do they have the skillset, first and foremost, and then can you take it to another level with those guys?"

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