The Indianapolis Colts are hiring Shane Steichen away from the Philadelphia Eagles, and that hire could give insight into who they draft at QB in April?
It’s a new era in Indianapolis, and maybe one that Colts fans weren’t expecting. With Jeff Saturday, Raheem Morris, and others reportedly in the driver’s seat for the job, Indy instead went and hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. The plan to hire Steichen was released on Super Bowl Sunday.
Steichen has been a very impressive coach in his time in the NFL. He rose the ranks (for the most part) with the Chargers, returning after a short stint in Cleveland to be the offensive quality control coach in 2014. By 2020, Steichen was the offensive coordinator for Justin Herbert’s first season, where he set rookie records. After one full season as the Chargers OC, he moved over to Philadelphia under Nick Sirianni, and helped Jalen Hurts reach new heights in his second and third seasons. His offense was diverse in the run game, using Hurts as a force multiplier, and he gave Hurts the opportunity for shot plays. The Eagles were unstoppable on offense in 2022.
What Steichen did in Philadelphia for Hurts should, at the very least, raise some eyebrows as to what his plan is for offense in Indy. There’s a chance that Steichen was hired to run that same offense, and Steichen’s plan for taking the job included what the Colts should do at quarterback to maximize the scheme he wants to run.
So which quarterback does that mean for The Indianapolis Colts and Shane Steichen? Well, none other than Anthony Richardson from Florida. Richardson has ridiculous high upside for the quarterback position. His rushing ability gives him the floor that Hurts had coming into the league, and that benefits what Steichen would like to do on offense. Richardson has a rocket for an arm, and the ability to hit impressive throws down the field. Not to mention, Richardson’s is a good anticipatory thrower with great pocket instincts and feel for creating out of structure. Build some consistency with mechanics, and you’ve got a potential superstar franchise quarterback.
It will certainly take some time to get Richardson’s mechanics right to have him consistently hitting layups in the quick game/RPO game, and he needs to work on intermediate/seam throw touch. But, Steichen has a couple bigger receivers at his disposal, as well as Jelani Woods and others at tight end. Those big targets create more margin for error for Richardson early on. Plus, Richardson and Jonathan Taylor to lead your run game? Goodness.
This isn’t a guarantee for the Colts at pick four in the 2023 NFL Draft, as Will Levis, C.J. Stroud, and Bryce Young could come up in discussions. But, it’s clear that Steichen accepted the job with a plan in mind, and time will tell if it is Richardson to make Philly west.