Colts hire Eagles offensive coordinator as new coach

The Indianapolis Colts have hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their next head coach, the team announced on Tuesday.

Steichen takes over for Frank Reich, who was also an Eagles coordinator fresh off a Super Bowl run when he was hired by the Colts in 2018, and interim coach Jeff Saturday, a Colts legend in his first opportunity as an NFL coach.

Steichen worked alongside Eagles coach Nick Sirianni to lead Philadelphia to a 14-3 record and a 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57 on Sunday.

Steichen’s work with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia offense in two seasons was instrumental in his emergence as a head coaching candidate during this NFL coaching cycle. He was one of three finalists for AP Assistant Coach of the Year.

Steichen will be a first-time NFL head coach, tasked with helping the Colts find their next starting quarterback during the 2023 NFL draft and leading Indianapolis back atop the AFC South where they won nine division titles from 2003-14, and five other playoff appearances as a wildcard team since 2002.

Since former No. 1 pick Andrew Luck abruptly retired in 2019, the Colts have had a revolving door at quarterback where Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger all started games for the franchise.

The Colts own the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, behind the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals, where they will likely engage on a future star quarterback to lead the franchise.

The Bears, who have Justin Fields as their starter, and the Cardinals, who have former No. 1 pick Kyler Murray nursing a knee injury this offseason, may be open for business to other teams looking to move ahead in the draft order.

Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson are considered some of the top available quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL draft class.

Along with Hurts, Steichen helped Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert win the 2020 Rookie of the Year Award during his lone season as their offensive coordinator. He also spent four years as the Chargers quarterbacks coach working with Rivers before he left for Indianapolis.

Steichen was hired from a wide net of 14 coaching candidates, which included Saturday, who led the Colts to a 1-7 record after taking over for Reich during the season.

Saturday’s hiring was controversial, as the former Colts center who played with Peyton Manning never coached at the college or NFL level upon his hiring.

The Colts also interviewed Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, new Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, according to NFL.com.

According to USA TODAY Sports research, the Colts’ coaching search was one of the most expansive NFL coaching searches in decades — with 13 different candidates participating in interviews. Of the 138 searches since 2003, only three others have featured 13 known candidates: The 2015 Buffalo Bills, 2013 Chicago Bears and 2007 Miami Dolphins. No team has had more than 13 publicly-known candidates for their head coaching vacancy during that span.

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