Colts formally announce Shane Steichen as new head coach


The Colts have formally announced Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their new head coach, a move that’s been widely expected for several days.

The Eagles have played in two Super Bowls in the last six years, and both times their offensive coordinator left after the game to become the Colts’ head coach.

Frank Reich, who spent 2016 and 2017 as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, coached the Colts from 2018 until he was fired on Nov. 7 with the Colts sitting at 3-5-1. They went 1-7 under interim coach Jeff Saturday, who was also a candidate for the permanent job.

Steichen, 37, becomes the 3rd-youngest head coach in the NFL. He’s two weeks older than Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell and about seven months older than Rams coach Sean McVay.

The Eagles began winning when head coach Nick Sirianni handed play calling duties over to Steichen a couple months into last season, and this year, his one full year as the play caller, they ranked third in the NFL in yards and scoring and then averaged 35 points in three postseason games.

It’s a bit of an ironic twist that Sirianni is losing his top offensive assistant to the team he blasted just three months ago for firing Reich, his close friend and mentor. Sirianni worked with Reich from 2013 through 2015 with the Chargers and was his offensive coordinator from 2018 through 2020 with the Colts.

After coaching a year at Louisville, Steichen began his NFL coaching career in 2011 under Norv Turner in San Diego as a defensive assistant before moving to offense with the Browns under Rob Chudzinski in 2013. He spent 2014 through 2020 in various roles back with the Chargers under Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn, the first five of those seasons with Sirianni.

It didn’t take long for Sirianni to have his own coaching tree, and the Eagles will now wait to find out if they’re also going to lose defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who interviewed Monday with the Cards for their head coaching vacancy.

Replacing Steichen won’t be easy. He was pivotal in Jalen Hurts’ development, and his aggressive, unpredictable play calling was a hallmark of the Eagles in their ascension to Super Bowl team.

But highly regarded quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, who was coached in high school by Jalen Hurts’ dad, is the natural successor. Like Steichen, the 35-year-old Johnson has a terrific relationship with Hurts, the MVP runner-up. He was a prolific college quarterback himself – he passed for nearly 8,000 yards and 57 touchdowns at Utah – and coached at several colleges before Sirianni added him to his initial staff last year.

It will also be interesting to watch what current Eagles assistants Steichen brings with him to Indianapolis.

Whatever happens next, this will be a much different offseason than last year, when Sirianni returned every one of his assistant coaches in the same role as in 2021. That continuity was huge as the Eagles went from a 9-8 team to a 14-win Super Bowl team.

Steichen is the seventh Eagles offensive coordinator to become an NFL head coach, following Ted Marchibroda, Rich Kotite, Jon Gruden, Brad Childress, Pat Shurmur and Reich.

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