A closer look at Nick Sirianni's former role with the Colts


To figure out what the Eagles are getting in Nick Sirianni, we must first figure out what his role was in Indianapolis.

To do that, there’s a great story in the Indianapolis Star from Jim Ayello that really outlines what the Colts are losing as Sirianni takes the Eagles’ head coaching job.

And after reading, it sounds an awful lot like Sirianni held the same role in Indianapolis that Frank Reich held in Philly under Doug Pederson. So the Eagles have hired Frank Reich’s Frank Reich and hope he’ll be able to make the same jump.

Ayello says the 39-year-old Sirianni was a “sounding board,” a “chief collaborator” and a “great friend” to Reich.

Sound familiar?

It should. That’s exactly how Reich was described under Pederson in 2016 and 2017 before he parlayed the Super Bowl run into a head coaching job of his own in Indianapolis. And it makes sense that he set up his coaching staff with a similar structure to the one that just worked in Philadelphia.

Ayello writes that new offensive coordinator Marcus Brady will have big shoes to fill and then explains why:

“That might sound silly to those who think an offensive coordinator’s only job is to call plays, which the 39-year-old Sirianni did not do in Indianapolis. But those who spent time around the Colts know Sirianni had a massive influence on what plays even made it onto Reich’s call sheet.

“Most, if not all of them, wouldn’t arrive there without having been discussed with and vetted by Sirianni first. A devout believer in the collaborative process, Reich wanted it that way.

“‘Nick and I spend hours and hours during the week talking about how the game is going to be called and what’s going to get called where,” Reich said. “I’ll tell him what I’m thinking, I’ll bounce every idea off of him. We’ll talk it through, pros and cons, where we can be aggressive, where we shouldn’t be, situations and it goes on throughout the entire week and I think that helps me a lot.’”

During Reich and Sirianni’s three years together in Indianapolis, here’s where the Colts ranked in some key offensive categories:


Points: 9th

Yards: 10th

Passing: 11th

Rushing: 11th


Points: 16th

Yards: 25th

Passing: 30th

Rushing: 7th


Points: 5th

Yards: 7th

Passing: 6th

Rushing: 20th

You can clearly see the difference in the overall offense depending on the starting quarterback. The Colts had Andrew Luck in 2018, Jacoby Brissett in 2019 and Philip Rivers in 2020.

The story from the Indy Star also listed some of Sirianni’s other job responsibilities:

  • Helped Reich with clock-management situations
  • Had a say in play time distribution
  • Reminded Reich to not get away from the run game
  • Helped come up with short-yardage package
  • Divvied up assignments for other assistants

The one thing you’ll notice missing from that list is calling plays. It’s a big omission from his resume but all play-callers have to start somewhere. After all, Reich wasn’t a play-caller in Philly but has assumed that role as a head coach in Indianapolis.

And if you’re wondering, you can expect Sirianni to keep a similar aggressive approach to the one we saw with Pederson in Philly and the one we’ve seen with Reich in Indianapolis. It’s likely Jeff Lurie really liked those answers from Sirianni in his interview.

Reich calls himself “prudently aggressive” and he and Sirianni would challenge each other to make sure they felt comfortable with fourth down calls. Now it’s time to see if Sirianni has the same knack.

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