INDIANAPOLIS —A few years back, Nick Sirianni was interviewing for the offensive coordinator job at his alma mater, Mount Union, when legendary head coach Larry Kehres posed a simple question:
"What offense do you want to run?"
Sirianni thought that question seemed par for the course in such a setting, so he started in on some specific things he'd bring to the table for the Purple Raiders' offense.
"He slapped the table," Sirianni recalled, "and he said, 'No, no, no, no! You don't know what players we have yet. And until you know what players we have, you don't know what offensive system we run!'"
It's a lesson Sirianni will never forget — and it's something he's bringing to the table now as the new offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts.
While Sirianni and new head coach Frank Reich have expressed a desire to run a more up-tempo, aggressive offense overall, the play designs themselves will be totally dependent on the skills of the players out on the field.
"Really, as coaches, what offensive scheme do you run? It's the one that fits your players the best; it's not the one that you like best," Sirianni said this week to Colts.com's Matt Taylor. "We'll figure out the type of players we have and what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are, and maximize their strengths and try to hide their weaknesses."
It's an approach that will start at the quarterback position. Sirianni, who was Philip Rivers' quarterbacks coach for two seasons with the San Diego Chargers, now gets the opportunity to work with another dynamic QB in Andrew Luck, who continues rehabbing his way back from 2017 shoulder surgery.
Asked what a healthy Luck means to the Colts' offense in this new regime, Sirianni said "the sky's the limit."
"And it's just not this offense, it's any offense this guy's going to take part in," he said. "Because, obviously, he's the No. 1 draft pick, he's been (a) successful, proven player in this league.
For his part, Luck said that aggressive approach being touted by Reich and Sirianni "sounds great." As he works his way back to the field, Luck said he's eager to get his hands on the new playbook and start digging in.
"I know all the best offenses that I've been a part of in my career we've not been static and we've attacked," Luck told Colts.com last week. "And I'm sure (we'll) have a great flavor and we'll involve as many people as we can, and attacking defenses is what it's all about."
"Hopefully we're just giving him the tools to continue to let him do what he does, and get better at what he does," Sirianni said. "Andrew Luck's going to be successful in no matter what offense he's in, so we feel like we have a good scheme and we have a good attacking system that hopefully maximizes his potential."