No. 3: Shane Steichen Reinvigorates Offense
If you haven’t sensed the trend yet, Shane Steichen is the key cog to the machine Indy is building. He has a track record of laying out easily digestible game plans for young quarterbacks. The first-time head coach can do the same for Richardson while having the freedom to mix in even more wrinkles — thanks to the otherworldly traits the signal-caller possesses.
Michael Pittman Jr. is in line for a huge year as the No. 1 target in the offense, and Alec Pierce and Josh Downs will see their fair share of targets downfield. Jelani Woods is a prime breakout candidate with another offseason of development and a more tight-end-friendly system in place.
Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, and Braden Smith return as pillars of a once-great offensive line. All three guys could give a better effort in 2023. Bernhard Riamann was thrown in the fire at left tackle to end the season, and although results were mixed early on, he grew into a serviceable player on the blindside by Week 18.
The pieces, albeit young, are all in place for Steichen. He has a one-of-one talent at quarterback with an embarrassment of weapons at his disposal. Assuming the offensive line is healthy and reenergized, the Colts will be in the running for an AFC South title when all is said and done.