INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni recently sat down for a Colts.com 1-on-1 interview. What are his thoughts on new quarterback Philip Rivers, what he took away from the 2020 NFL Draft and the Marlon Mack-Jonathan Taylor combination at running back?
Here is that interview in its entirety, which you can also watch above:
On his history with Philip Rivers and the Colts' picking him up in free agency:
"There are so many things I could say about Philip. … How much I admire him as a player and as a person — like, to have him on this team is just enormous. … I became a better coach because I coached him, not only because good players make you good coaches, but because of how much he pressed me to get him better. Like, he sees everything, he hears everything, and I'm talking about on the field. … He's been in the NFL for 16 years, so it made me as a coach, like, claw and scratch to give him one piece of information. And as his coach, I couldn't not have an answer for him, and I already knew he was gonna have all the answers, but I had to answer the one that he wasn't gonna know. And that just made me such a better football coach. … He's gonna make the receivers better at receiver, he's gonna make the offensive line better offensive linemen, he's gonna make the running backs better — everybody; the defensive coordinator, the backup quarterback. That's what great players do. .. Yeah, just excited to have him back."
"It's a huge advantage that he has been in this system and things make sense to him. And the guy's so smart. … Philip would somehow find a way, if he wasn't in this offense before and we were brand new to each other, I just am so confident in the person and in his ability to think and his ability to learn that he would already know, even if he didn't know."
On his main takeaways from the 2020 NFL Draft:
"One of my favorite things about the draft is hanging out in my office with the entire offensive coaching staff. We just have so many good memories from that, and I didn't want to lose that. And it's really important to me that you're connecting with your players so you can coach 'em on a personal level, but also the coaches that you coach with. … Why do we do this? We do this for those relationships; we do this to stay close to the game."
"I'd say we had a great time. I remember texting Chris (Ballard) after the draft, and I'm like, 'Ah, that was great. It was a great draft.' He goes, 'Of course it was; you got the players you wanted.' And that really made me laugh."
"You get two guys like that in the second round … and all the other guys we got. You know, really excited about Danny (Pinter) and Dezmon (Patmon) and Jacob (Eason). You know, we got better as a team, and so much confidence in Chris Ballard and his staff that they get the right players that they think are the best, and the right type of guys in here, to help us get better."
"We always think, like, 'Hey, these are the pieces that we need in this offense to be highly successful,' and we feel like we have 'em. I really feel like we can be a Top-10 offense in both the run and the pass, and that's deadly, you know, when you're able to do both of those things."
On selecting wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft:
"Tough. That's the first thing that comes to my mind: tough. … He's a big-bodied wideout that can consistently win 1-on-1 against all types of corners. Smart — you know, as through the process that we got to see this kid's smart. He's gonna be able to move around and give the defense a lot of problems 'cause he's moving all over the place. I just think about the guys that you're like, 'Man, we can't go into a game without this guy,' and a common thread that the guys that we always named when we say that, they all have toughness, and that's what he showed on tape."
On the combination of Mack and Taylor leading the way at running back:
"…There's been so many different 1-2 punches where they have different styles. Both of them are the complete package — one's a speed, make-you-miss guy, and one's more physical. So it's nice to have that change-up, because it just keeps coming in my mind, it's the Reggie Bush-Lendale White thing when they called them 'Lightning and Thunder.' I'm just like, gosh, we've got these two guys that are dynamic playmakers, and I know that was college football, but they were a lot of fun to watch, and I think that these two guys will be a lot of fun to watch, as well."
On what he expects out of the Colts' offense in 2020:
"Great physical shape, playing tough, playing together, great fundamentals and competing like crazy."