When Nick Sirianni was the Colts' offensive coordinator, head coach Frank Reich used to pull him aside a few times a week and give him pointers: Hey, when you're a head coach, watch out for this situation or that scenario.
So when Sirianni took over as the Philadelphia Eagles' head coach in 2021, he made sure to do the same thing with his offensive and defensive coordinators, both of whom were hired as head coaches in February: Jonathan Gannon with the Arizona Cardinals, and Shane Steichen with the Colts.
Sirianni, too, placed plenty of trust in Steichen when he handed playcalling duties to his offensive coordinator during the 2021 season.
"He crushed it," Sirianni said.
Steichen's offensive expertise is where Sirianni began in explaining why he's confident his former offensive coordinator will find success in Indianapolis.
"You get the job because you excel at what he was doing," Sirianni said Tuesday afternoon at the Indianapolis Convention Center during the NFL Combine. "He's an awesome offensive mind. He excelled at that. Our offense played really well with Shane leading it. He just was awesome calling the game.
"I think he's really special at calling the game. That's why I gave up play calling duties, one to make sure I was managing the game as a head coach but also because of how much trust I had with Shane."
With Steichen as offensive coordinator and playcaller for the entire 2022 season, the Eagles finished third in points per game (28.1), third in yards per game (389.1), third in yards per pass (7.7), third in first downs per game (22.6), third in total explosive plays (110), fourth in third down conversion rate (46 percent), fourth in red zone touchdown rate (69 percent), fifth in rushing yards per game (147.6) and sixth in yards per play (5.9).
The Eagles scored 30 or more points nine times in 2022, including in all three playoff games – from 38 points in the divisional round to 35 points in Super Bowl LVII.
But it's not just Steichen's offensive acumen that Sirianni pointed to on Tuesday. Sirianni mentioned Steichen's ability to connect with players and the accountability he demands as traits that point to him being the right coach for the Colts.
"Shane, he's a 10 in a lot of areas," Sirianni said. "I think Indy got a special coach."