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5 Things To Know About New Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen

The Colts on Tuesday named Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen head coach. Here’s what you need to know about the new head coach in Indianapolis. 

Shane Steichen

1. Steichen was the playcaller for one of the NFL's best offenses in 2022.

With Steichen pulling the strings, the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022 were top 10 in an avalanche of stats:

  • 28.1 points/game (3rd)
  • 389.1 yards/game (3rd)
  • 5.9 yards/play (6th)
  • 147.6 rushing yards/game (5th)
  • 241.5 passing yards/game (9th)
  • 7.7 yards/pass (3rd)
  • 22.6 first downs/game (3rd)
  • 46 percent on third down (4th)
  • 69 percent touchdown rate in the red zone (4th)
  • 82 percent touchdown rate in goal-to-go (5th)
  • 9 interceptions (3rd)
  • 19 turnovers (5th)
  • 43 percent scoring drive rate (5th)
  • 77 explosive rushing plays (4th)
  • 110 explosive passing plays (3rd)

The Eagles also saw some impressive individual performances in 2022, including from:

  • QB Jalen Hurts (101.5 passer rating, 4th; 13 rushing TDs, 2nd)
  • RB Miles Sanders (1,269 rushing yards, 5th; 11 rushing TDs, 8th)
  • WR A.J. Brown (1,496 receiving yards, 4th; 11 receiving TDs, 3rd, 17.0 yards/reception, 3rd)
  • WR Devonta Smith (1,161 receiving yards, 9th)

On their way to Super Bowl LVII, the Eagles throttled the New York Giants, 38-7, and the San Francisco 49ers, 31-7. And while the Eagles lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, Steichen's offense put up 35 points, powered by standout performances by Hurts (304 passing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns), Smith (7 catches, 100 yards) and Brown (6 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD). The Eagles converted 61 percent of their third down tries, both of their fourth downs and averaged 5.8 yards per play in Super Bowl LVII.

2. Steichen has worked closely with three standout quarterbacks – who all are completely different players.

Steichen, either as a quality control coach, quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator, has worked with Philip Rivers (2014-2019), Justin Herbert (2020) and Hurts (2021-2022). All three quarterbacks played at a high level in those years, and all three have largely different skillsets – showcasing Steichen's versatility as an offensive coach.

Rivers was 35 when Steichen took over as the Chargers' quarterbacks coach in 2016; he made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2016-2018, and from 2016-2019, Rivers' 17,824 passing yards ranked second and his 116 touchdowns ranked fourth.

After the Colts signed Rivers as a free agent in 2020, the Chargers paired Steichen with the freakishly talented Herbert, who they drafted with the sixth overall pick. With Steichen as his offensive coordinator, Herbert set NFL rookie records for completions (396) and touchdowns (31), and his 4,336 yards were second-most by a rookie, too. Herbert completed 66.6 percent of his passes and only threw 10 interceptions on his way to a 98.3 passer rating, which still stands as a career high for the third-year Chargers quarterback.

And in Philadelphia, Steichen was instrumental in the development of Hurts into one of the NFL's most efficient and explosive passers. Hurts in 2022 completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,701 yards with 22 touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 101.5; Steichen also weaponized his mobility, with the third-year quarterback rushing 165 times for 760 yards with 13 touchdowns. Hurts became only the fourth player in NFL postseason history – and the first in a Super Bowl – to throw for over 300 yards and rush for at least 70 yards in a game.

3. Rivers and Steichen have a close relationship.

Rivers and Steichen speak regularly, per Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr, and do so in a similar way to when they were a quarterback-coach pair with the Chargers.

"I'll call him after an Eagles win and I'll be like, Y'all ran this and this and this, and then he comes right back with, Well yeah, but then the defense did that and that," Rivers told Orr last year. "We're speaking the same language. It's the offense we ran, and of course it grows with the personnel you have, but I can visualize it as he's talking to me on the phone."

Rivers and Steichen see the game the same way, with an emphasis on flexibility to take advantage of players and matchups instead of being stuck on specific plays.

"In a meeting with Shane, it was never just [what we saw]," Rivers told Orr. "It was a combination of the coverages and the dudes we're watching. Like, yeah I know they're playing Cover 3 but this corner likes to do that and we can get him if we call this.

"Some coaches are going to say, Well, these plays aren't good against Cover 3. Well," Rivers says, "it might be against that corner."

That relationship produced some of the most productive years of the late stages of Rivers' career. From 2016-2019, with Steichen as his quarterbacks coach and interim offensive coordinator, Rivers averaged 4,456 yards and 29 touchdowns per season with a passer rating of 94.1.

4. Steichen cut his teeth under Norv Turner.

Steichen was given his first opportunity in the NFL by Turner, who brought him on as a defensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers in 2011. Turner, the longtime Chargers head coach, took Steichen with him as an offensive quality control coach when he was hired as the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator in 2013.

Something that stuck with Steichen from his formative coaching days with Turner was watching how the well-respected offensive mind rarely looked at his play call sheet during games. Turner once told John Madden (via The Athletic) that if he has to look at his sheet during a game, it means "we're probably not doing very good."

It's a lesson Steichen took to heart: If you prepare properly, you already know what the answers are to the problems a defense can present – and you don't have to bury your head in a call sheet to find them.

"You have a pretty good idea what you have and what you like and what you practice and what you want to do," Turner told The Athletic’s Zach Berman. "So a lot of times — and that's what Shane talks about — a lot times you don't look at your play call. You know what you want to run and it's in your mind and you don't have to read it off a card. It's something that you've gone through so many times. It's branded in your brain and you just call it."

As Berman wrote: "when Steichen doesn't need to glance at his sheet as the offense accumulates points, it's a nod to Turner's influence."

But Turner is hardly Steichen's only coaching influence. Other coaches he's worked for or worked with over his career:

2011-2012 (Chargers - defensive assistant): Norv Turner (longtime head coach & offensive coordinator) Joe Barry (current Packers defensive coordinator), Rich Bisaccia (current Packers special teams coordinator), Steve Wilks (current San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator), John Pagano (former Chargers defensive coordinator & Chuck Pagano's younger brother), Jason Michael (current Philadelphia Eagles tight ends coach & former Colts tight ends coach), Ron Meeks (former Colts defensive coordinator)

2013 (Browns - offensive quality control): Joe Cullen (current Chiefs defensive line coach), Scott Turner (former Commanders offensive coordinator & current Raiders pass game coordinator)

2014-2015 (Chargers - offensive quality control): Frank Reich (former Colts head coach & current Panthers head coach), Mike Nolan (former 49ers head coach)

2016-2020 (Chargers - quarterbacks & offensive coordinator): Ken Whisenhunt (former Cardinals & Titans head coach), Anthony Lynn (former Chargers head coach & current 49ers assistant head coach/running backs), Gus Bradley (current Colts defensive coordinator), Richard Smith (current Colts linebackers coach), Ron Milus (current Colts defensive backs coach), Pep Hamilton (former Colts offensive coordinator), Nick Sirianni (current Eagles head coach & former Colts offensive coordinator)

2021-2022 (Eagles - offensive coordinator): Nick Sirianni (current Eagles head coach & former Colts offensive coordinator), Jonathan Gannon (current Eagles defensive coordinator & former Colts defensive backs coach), Jeff Stoutland (longtime Eagles offensive line coach/run game coordinator)

5. Steichen was a quarterback before starting his coaching career.

Steichen appeared in 23 games as a quarterback for UNLV from 2003-2006, throwing for 2,755 yards with 22 touchdowns. He starred at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado, Calif., where he and former Colts wide receiver Austin Collie teamed up to lead their team to a conference sectional title in 2002.

"I definitely think his approach to the game, I can tell you, it's similar to the likes of Peyton Manning," Collie told Sports Illustrated. "Only because they both have a very unique passion for football. More unique than we've seen from other guys. From Day 1, I knew he was going to be someone in football. He has an understanding of the game that not many people have."

After Steichen's playing career ended, he was brought on as a student assistant (2007) and offensive graduate assistant (2008-2009) at UNLV. Steichen spent 2010 as an offensive assistant at Louisville in 2010 before making the jump to the NFL.


Test yourself on how well you know the new Colts head coach: Get To Know Shane Steichen Quiz!



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