WESTFIELD, Ind. — For many of the coaches on the new-look Indianapolis Colts, they are in their current position for the very first time. Assistant, coordinator, head coach — a lot of these guys are sharing these new experiences with one another.
This new experience isn’t the only thing some of the Colts coaches are sharing, however.
They may be new to their current positions but this isn’t their first rodeo in football, and it means their paths have crossed before.
Formerly as the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys, new Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus recently coached against now-Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and head coach Frank Reich during their time with the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.
This coaching staff is doing some heavy work before the season, installing and teaching their systems and trying to break players of old habits that may have come about from different schemes.
What eases the burden is that guys like Eberflus, Sirianni and Reich can give their input to each other about things they have experienced against each other’s past teams.
“Yeah, we have a lot of conversations like that,” Eberflus told the media on Thursday. “We talk about why we’re doing certain things and why it works and so forth on both sides. So, we always have open dialect with the offensive and defensive coaches, and I think that’s important to be able to learn from each other.”
While Sirianni and Reich’s offense may be perceived to be a bit more exotic and “multiple,” Eberflus’ defense is more simplistic so that it allows for its players to rely more on their instincts and athleticism rather than overthinking.
In a defense that uses a lot of zone coverage, opponents can catch on to where to find the soft spots, so having sharp offensive minds like the Colts have to give their input on how they were able to exploit certain things in the past helps the scheme moving forward.
"I can tell you as an offensive coach who has gone up against Matt Eberflus and his defense and that whole scheme – every time we went against that scheme, without fail it was always the first meeting was telling the offensive line, ‘You guys better bring your lunch bucket because these guys come harder than any other team in the league.’ That’s just what they do," Reich said. "I think that tone has been set and we’ll look to carry that all the way through."
Likewise, Eberflus and his staff can share certain things they were able to sniff out before in regards to the offensive coaches’ schemes. This is especially true considering Eberflus and Reich played each other four times in the last two seasons as division rivals in the NFC East.
“Iron sharpens iron,” right?