Shane Steichen

AFC South Notes: Colts, Nabers, Texans, Jags

The Colts‘ wide receiver room includes two starters acquired before Shane Steichen‘s arrival — Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce — and the team made a three-year, $70MM commitment to its No. 1 target in March. Steichen is starting to put his stamp on the WR room, however, with the Colts having drafted Josh Downs in last year’s third round and Adonai Mitchell in this year’s second. As Chris Ballard continues to run Indianapolis’ draft,’s Stephen Holder notes Steichen “strongly advocated” for Mitchell in the second round.

Mitchell is unlikely to stroll into a starting spot early, as Holder adds the Texas product will be expected to begin training camp as the top backup behind Pittman, Pierce and Downs. But the ex-Longhorns standout’s draft slot (No. 52) suggests he will be heard from early in his career. The Colts have seen mixed results from their second-round WRs under Ballard, with Pittman shining and Parris Campbell struggling to stay on the field. Pierce (No. 53 overall in 2022) has eclipsed 500 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons. A Georgia transfer, Mitchell blazed to a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. Although he only topped 450 receiving yards in one college season (2023, with 845 and 11 touchdowns), plenty will be expected from a Colts team that has struggled with receiver depth for most of Ballard’s GM tenure.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Staying on the WR topic, the Titans had a contingency plan in the event one of the teams above them at No. 7 zagged. The Giants were seemingly down to QB or WR at No. 6 throughout the pre-draft process, but a post-draft report suggested they were also eyeing Joe Alt. The Chargers were both connected to Alt and JC Latham at No. 5. In a scenario in which targets Latham and Alt were off the board,’s Jeremy Fowler notes Malik Nabers would have been the Tennessee pick at 7. A Nabers choice would have left the OL-needy Titans less equipped up front, and Latham filled a bigger need. The team has since signed Tyler Boyd to team with outside targets DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley.
  • The Colts are changing some of their rookies’ positions ahead of their first NFL offseason programs. Ballard said fifth-round pick Jaylon Carlies will move from safety to linebacker, with the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson indicating fifth-round safety Jaylin Simpson is sliding from safety to cornerback. Simpson has CB experience but moved to safety while at Auburn. Before Day 3 investments, the Colts did not address the cornerback position beyond Kenny Moore‘s re-signing. This leaves some uncertainty here — particularly on the outside.
  • Third-round Colts draftee Matt Goncalves spent his college career at left and right tackle, but’s Adam Caplan notes the rookie will be given time at guard this offseason. The Day 2 pick will compete for a backup job as a rookie, per Holder, as it appears Indy is planning to keep its low-cost starters (Bernhard Raimann, Will Fries) in place alongside veterans Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly and Braden Smith.
  • The Texans will make an adjustment at a key front office post. The team did not renew director of pro personnel Ronnie McGill‘s contract, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes. McGill followed GM Nick Caserio from New England in 2021; the Texans had promoted him to the director post in 2022. Teams regularly make scouting adjustments post-draft, and a notable Texans hire will be on tap.
  • A scouting veteran of more than 30 years, Tom McConnaughey is retiring from his Jaguars post. The veteran staffer, who has been with the Jags since 2021, will leave after three years as a national scout with the team,’s Neil Stratton tweets. McConnaughey spent 26 years with the Chargers prior to moving to Jacksonville.
  • In addition to hiring A.J. Highsmith and Keenan Agnew, the Titans are adding Sam Summerville to their scouting staff. Summerville is expected to join the team as a national scout, per Stratton. The Bears recently parted ways with Summerville, a former Fritz Pollard Alliance scout of the year honoree, after 12 years.

Shane Steichen, Anthony Richardson Swayed Jonathan Taylor’s Colts Commitment

Even as the Colts designated Jonathan Taylor for return, a cloud of uncertainty hovered over the standout running back. Taylor had requested a trade and, as of late September, was still aiming to move elsewhere. Upon returning to practice before Week 5, Taylor said he was with the Colts “right now.”

The fourth-year back had taken a hardline approach this offseason, and team brass noticed an attitude change from a player who had been viewed as a team-oriented cog during his first three seasons. Jim Irsay‘s comments about running backs coming shortly after the franchise tag deadline produced an 0-for-3 RB extension finish led Taylor — who was a clear candidate to be tagged in 2024 — to request the trade. The sides instead came through with a belated solution, reaching a surprising extension agreement to bring Taylor back into the fold.

GM Chris Ballard initially helped turn the tide by reaching out to Taylor’s agent, Malki Kawa, according to’s Stephen Holder, who adds the other two Colts cornerstone figures played a major role in moving the 2021 rushing champion back to a place in which he viewed himself as a long-term Indianapolis staple. While Ballard’s path with Taylor’s new agent worked, Holder adds Taylor conversations with Shane Steichen during the former’s time on the reserve/PUP list also played a role in turning the tide.

Despite Irsay proclaiming Taylor recovered from his January ankle surgery ahead of training camp, the former second-round pick landed on the active/PUP list in July. Taylor was absent from practices at multiple points, twice leaving the team during camp. Once the Colts shifted Taylor to the reserve/PUP list in August, mandating a four-game absence, he went through his rehab sessions in the morning and did not attend Colts offensive meetings. The team signed off on this setup, per Holder, and Taylor maintained his isolationist stance by not attending Indianapolis’ home games to start the year.

The Steichen-Taylor chats included understandable discussions about No. 4 overall pick Anthony Richardson, and the high-ceiling prospect’s presence helped convince Taylor — well, that and the three-year, $42MM offer — to stand down and return to the team in earnest.

We had the same kind of feelings toward [Richardson],” Taylor said, via Holder. “I want to be here for A.R. I want to be able to help him grow in the future. He’s the future of this organization.

With all of the business stuff going on, just to be able to sit down and really be able to just connect with someone in the building was a big thing. That’s a stressful side. But I was able to just sit down with Shane and just talk about what it looks like going forward. Not only for myself, but the whole entire team. Just his vision. And he wants to legit dominate.”

Ballard noticed a change in Taylor’s demeanor shortly before the extension commenced and contacted the once-disgruntled RB’s camp about negotiations before Week 4, Holder adds. The sides were discussing the deal as Taylor launched into his “I’m here right now” refrain two weeks ago. Taylor did not want to return without a new contract in hand, which should not surprise given the nature of this impasse. (As some noted lyricists have taught us in the past, money has a history of ending standoffs.) Taylor returned when first eligible, with the Colts slowly integrating him into Steichen’s offense.

Even as the offseason introduced a bleak reality for the running back position and no team agreeing to an eight-figure-per-year deal with a back since the Browns’ three-year, $36.6MM Nick Chubb re-up in July 2021, the Colts relented on their Taylor extension stance. The Wisconsin alum is now the league’s third-highest-paid back, and his deal did not require an inflated contract year like Alvin Kamara‘s did. While Taylor’s fully guaranteed money ($19.35MM) is fourth among backs, he has a practical guarantee of $26.5MM due to a $7.15MM injury guarantee shifting to a full guarantee on Day 5 of the 2024 league year.

Rumored to be strongly considering season-ending surgery, Richardson may not link up with Taylor on a full-time basis until September 2024. But Taylor’s deal puts him in line to help Richardson’s development. For now, Indy’s top RB will continue to ramp up toward a full workload — one that will likely feature Zack Moss in a complementary role, as the Colts are now eyeing a partnership this season — in a Gardner Minshew-directed offense.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

After the 2022 offseason produced 10 new head coaches, this one brought a step back in terms of turnover. Five teams changed HCs, though each conducted thorough searches — four of them lasting until at least January 31.

The Colts and Cardinals hired their HCs after Super Bowl LVII, plucking the Eagles’ offensive and defensive coordinators (Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon). The Cardinals were hit with a tampering penalty regarding their Gannon search. Conducting their second HC search in two years, the Broncos saw multiple candidates drop out of the running. But Denver’s new ownership group convinced Sean Payton to step out of the FOX studio and back onto the sidelines after just one season away. The Panthers made this year’s first hire (Frank Reich), while the Texans — running their third HC search in three years — finalized an agreement with DeMeco Ryans minutes after the Payton news broke.

Only one of last year’s top 10 longest-tenured HCs lost his job. A turbulent Colts year led to Reich being fired barely a year after he signed an extension. During a rather eventful stretch, Jim Irsay said he reluctantly extended Reich in 2021. The Colts passed on giving interim HC Jeff Saturday the full-time position, despite Irsay previously indicating he hoped the former center would transition to that role. Reich landed on his feet, and after losing Andrew Luck to a shocking retirement just before his second Colts season, the well-regarded play-caller now has another No. 1 pick (Bryce Young) to mentor.

After considering a Rams exit, Sean McVay recommitted to the team and is overseeing a reshaped roster. Andy Reid also sidestepped retirement rumors, staying on with the Chiefs after his second Super Bowl win. This will be Reid’s 25th season as an NFL head coach.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2023 season:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  11. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  12. Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders): January 1, 2020
  13. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  14. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  15. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  16. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  17. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  18. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  19. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  20. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  21. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  22. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  23. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  24. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  25. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  26. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  27. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  28. Frank Reich (Carolina Panthers): January 26, 2023
  29. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  30. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  31. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  32. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023

QB Notes: Ravens, Levis, Colts, Richardson, Rams, Bennett, Hurts, 49ers

The Ravens hosted Anthony Richardson on a pre-draft visit, and GM Eric DeCosta did not shoot down the idea of taking a first-round quarterback. Of course, the Ravens squashed any such contingency plan by agreeing to terms with Lamar Jackson on his record-setting extension. Had that not happened, the team is believed to have been intrigued by Will Levis. The Ravens would have considered Levis with their first-round pick had Jackson not signed, Jeremy Fowler of notes. Baltimore had pursued Baker Mayfield as well and entered draft week with neither of its top QBs signed beyond 2023. Tyler Huntley is on an RFA tender.

Selecting a quarterback at No. 22 would have both been a leverage play and certainly would have cost the team its best opportunity to add weaponry around Jackson, thus weakening the 2023 Ravens edition. A number of teams were connected to Levis coming into the draft, and trade rumors — centered around teams eyeing a move up for the falling Kentucky prospect — emerged in the late first round and early second. The Ravens now loom as a Levis “what if?” Though, they will probably not be the first team mentioned as a near-miss regarding the strong-armed prospect. Considering Jackson’s contract, Levis may barely be a footnote for the team.

Here is the latest news from the quarterback position:

  • Seeing as the Colts and Titans are in the same division, Indianapolis will probably be the top Levis “what if?” team. The Colts were tied to Levis for weeks ahead of the draft, but they successfully masked their Richardson interest. Even though Richardson’s ceiling enamored Colts brass, Fowler adds Levis had a few fans in Indy’s building. The Penn State transfer might be readier to play compared to Richardson, a one-year Florida starter, though Ryan Tannehill‘s presence in Tennessee may ensure Richardson begins his QB1 run first. Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds was a Richardson skeptic at first, but fellow seventh-year Indy front office staffer Morocco Brown — who primarily scouted the Gators talent for the Colts — made near-weekly trips to Gainesville to chart the athletic prospect’s progress. Ex-Shane Steichen Eagles coworker Brian Johnson, Florida’s OC during Richardson’s freshman year (2020), also vouched for Richardson, per Fowler.
  • The Rams did not consider Levis, per The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, who notes they came into the draft with a goal of landing a Day 3 passer (subscription required). Despite Levis having played for 2022 Rams OC Liam Coen in 2021, team brass was split on the prospect. Los Angeles ended up with Stetson Bennett via the No. 128 overall pick. This came after the Rams hired one of their former QBs, Kellen Clemens, as a consultant to evaluate Bennett and other arms, Rodrigue adds. Clemens met with Bennett in Georgia before the draft, but even though Bennett is a 26-year-old rookie, ex-Broncos backup Brett Rypien may begin as Matthew Stafford‘s backup.
  • The EaglesJalen Hurts extension (five years, $255MM) laid the groundwork for Jackson’s, and the Ravens QB scored more fully guaranteed money ($135MM to $110MM). But Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes the Hurts deal jumps to $157.3MM fully guaranteed by 2025. This is because Hurts’ 2026 option bonus ($49.8MM) becomes guaranteed in stages. Hurts will see $16.5MM of that bonus become guaranteed in 2024, and $30MM of that payout locks in by 2025. These guarantees vest in March 2024 and ’25,’s Albert Breer tweets. The Eagles ditched Carson Wentz‘s contract less than two years after authorizing it, but they moved back into the QB-paying business with this megadeal.
  • Former Detroit and Washington practice squad QB Steven Montez spent the weekend in San Francisco auditioning at the 49ers‘ rookie minicamp, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The Colorado alum served as the Seattle Sea Dragons’ backup, behind Ben DiNucci, who has since signed with the Broncos. The 49ers have four QBs rostered and have not signed Montez.

Latest On Colts’ QB Situation

With one month remaining until the 2023 draft, teams at the top of the board are increasingly turning their attention to this year’s class of prospects. That includes the quarterback position for several teams slated to pick in the top five – such as the Colts – who find themselves in an interesting situation.

[RELATED: Colts Undecided On Lamar Jackson Offer Sheet]

Indianapolis holds the fourth overall selection, which has led to the widespread belief that they will draft a quarterback with that pick. They have a vacancy at the top of the depth chart, after their 2022 experiment with Matt Ryan failed and led to the veteran’s release. The Colts have since signed Gardner Minshew in a move which reunites him with head coach Shane Steichen, but the latter confirmed that a backup role awaits him with his new team.

“Right now, obviously, he’s coming in to just compete and be the best he can be, you know, and that’s where we’re going,” Steichen said, when asked whether Minshew could compete for the vacant starting job. “That’s where we feel he’s at right now and that’s his role right now” (h/t Brenna White of

Minshew signed a one-year deal with a maximum value of $5.5MM, giving the Colts a No. 2 option with 24 starts and 32 appearances to his name. However, the team’s Week 1 starter in 2023 has long been expected to be the signal-caller drafted with their top pick. On that note, though, The Athletic’s Zak Keefer notes that the Colts feel “pretty strongly” that the 2023 class is devoid of a can’t-miss franchise QB (Twitter link).

With the quarterback-needy Panthers and Texans slated to select first and second, respectively, there is a strong chance both Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud will be off the board before the Colts’ pick. The other top options at the position, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, are generally seen as more volatile prospects in terms of their ability to transition successfully into the NFL. Given the lack of attractive options likely to be available to Indianapolis under center, the team could be steered toward an unexpected move.

Keffer’s colleague James Boyd opines that the Colts could consider drafting the best player available at No. 4, and saving their QB pursuits for later in the draft (subscription required). A number of high-end defenders will be on the board assuming Carolina and Houston take Young and Stroud in one order or another, so Indianapolis could be well-positioned to bolster their roster on that side of the ball. Their next selection is at No. 35, which Boyd notes may be too low for the team to secure Hendon Hooker, the next highest-rated passer.

For that reason, Boyd points to a trade-down from the fourth overall pick being a possibility if the Colts aren’t sold on selecting Levis or Richardson early. Hooker, coming off a torn ACL, carries risk of his own, of course, which will make the Colts’ evaluations and plans at the QB spot a key storyline in the coming weeks.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Plan For Developing Young QB Helped Shane Steichen Land Colts Job

Known to make a few headline-worthy comments, Jim Irsay let another fly while introducing Shane Steichen as the Colts’ next head coach. The Colts have been linked to a potential trade-up for a quarterback — a scenario GM Chris Ballard said would be on the table last month — and Irsay kept such a maneuver front and center.

Do you trade up? There’s so many things you can do,” Irsay said. “The [Eagles] took Jalen [Hurts] in the second round. … Although, the Alabama guy doesn’t look bad, I tell ya.

[RELATED: Colts Do Not Commit To Retaining DC Gus Bradley]

Heisman winner Bryce Young has been viewed as a top-five prospect in the weeks leading up to the Combine. While Young’s 5-foot-10 frame makes him a unique talent to choose so early,’s Todd McShay slots him as his No. 1 overall prospect. McShay’s first mock draft features the Colts trading up from No. 4 to No. 1 with the Bears to draft Young. Housing a bevy of needs and a quarterback who nearly set the position’s single-season rushing record in Justin Fields, the Bears will undoubtedly entertain trading down.

“Knowing we’re going to have to find a young quarterback to develop,” Irsay said he favored an offense-oriented coach. Steichen’s pitch sold the outspoken owner. The former Eagles and Chargers OC laid out a specific blueprint for how he would develop a young quarterback, Stephen Holder of notes. This made a clear impact in Steichen landing the job, pointing to the Colts stopping their string of stopgap quarterbacks. Indianapolis has used veterans as primary starters at the position each year since Andrew Luck‘s surprise retirement, going from Jacoby Brissett to Philip Rivers to Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan.

Steichen played the lead role in developing Justin Herbert as a rookie, as Chargers offensive coordinator during Anthony Lynn‘s final season, and took over Eagles play-calling duties midway through the 2021 campaign. With Steichen calling plays throughout this past Eagles season, Hurts removed the doubt attached to his future as Philadelphia’s franchise quarterback. After the Eagles pursued bigger names in 2022, Hurts emerged as an MVP candidate and finished his season with 374 total yards in Super Bowl LVII.

Steichen met with Colts brass via Zoom, met with Irsay in Philadelphia and then met with Ballard and Co. for his official second interview. The Colts had ruled out Jeff Saturday by the time Steichen went through his second meeting, with Zak Keefer of The Athletic noting the team decided against keeping its interim coach weeks ago (subscription required).

Shane Steichen To Call Colts’ Plays, Does Not Commit To Retaining Gus Bradley

Nick Sirianni handed play-calling duties to Shane Steichen midway through the 2021 season. Brian Daboll just won Coach of the Year honors after he named Mike Kafka as the Giants’ offensive play-caller. The Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy hire did not change Kellen Moore‘s status as the team’s play-caller for the past three seasons.

Steichen will, however, take the more traditional approach for offense-oriented head coaches in Indianapolis. The new Colts HC confirmed Tuesday he will call plays. The Colts will look for a non-play-calling OC in the coming days and, perhaps, weeks. But they will entrust their 37-year-old HC to right the ship offensively.

The Colts’ latest HC contract reflects their confidence in Steichen. The deal is for six years, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). This matches the Texans’ DeMeco Ryans pact. Indianapolis is not in the same boat as its AFC South rival, having finished over .500 in three of Frank Reich‘s four full seasons. But the Colts went through a rather turbulent year. A six-year offer — longer than Reich’s initial pact — makes for a more attractive sales pitch in the wake of that.

Gus Bradley attended Steichen’s Tuesday press conference, and Stephen Holder of tweets Indy’s defensive staff was at the presser en masse. Late in the lengthy search process, Bradley became a candidate to stay in Indy. Several candidates were believed to be high on Bradley, leading the Colts to block him from interviewing for another DC position. The Panthers were interested in Bradley, Albert Breer of notes. That would have reunited him with Reich, but with Bradley blocked, Carolina brought in popular HC candidate Ejiro Evero.

The Colts not only blocked Bradley, but Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star notes the team prevented linebackers coach Richard Smith and defensive backs coach Ron Milus from exploring lateral moves. Of the Indy candidates, a connecting Bradley to Steichen was easiest. The two worked together with the Chargers for four years, finishing up that run as an OC-DC tandem. Milus and Smith worked with Bradley in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Steichen stopped short of committing to Bradley and his defensive staff, however, leaving his staff in limbo still.

That’s the next process that I’m going to go through, is hiring a staff,” Steichen said of keeping Reich holdovers. “Those guys, we’ll have those conversations in the next few days.”

Indianapolis conducted a thorough search, debating on third interviews with candidates. Although the franchise decided against that unexplored avenue, Steichen landed the job more than three months after the team fired Reich. Jim Irsay used Philip Rivers as a Steichen sounding board, Holder adds (on Twitter), with the longtime Charger QB and 2020 Colts passer calling the young coach “savant-like.” Rivers worked with Steichen for six seasons, the final four as his position coach.

The Eagles finished third in both points and yards on offense this season, after ranking outside the top 10 in each category in 2022. Steichen will head to Indiana after Jalen Hurts accounted for nearly 400 yards in Philadelphia’s narrow Super Bowl LVII loss.

For a while, it appeared Jeff Saturday was in play to stay on in this role. Irsay stunned the football world and angered many around the league by naming the former Pro Bowl center-turned-ESPNer as his interim HC. Despite going 1-7 during his first NFL or college coaching gig, Saturday interviewed twice for the full-time job. Saturday wished Steichen well and thanks Colts fans, including those that signed a petition for Irsay not to give him the full-time gig.

I’m so grateful for the last eight weeks of the season and the opportunity to represent you guys,” Saturday said (video link). “I appreciate the coaches for all your time, energy and effort. … It was an absolute blessing. I look fondly upon it. Wish we would’ve done better. But ultimately, that is where it is.

“… So, for everybody out there — including however many thousand who signed a petition, which may have included my wife and son, not exactly sure. But in all honesty, I’m so grateful for Colts nation and who you are. To represent the horseshoe, it meant the world to me.”

2023 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, 10 NFL teams hired new head coaches. Following the Panthers, Broncos and Texans’ hires, this year’s vacancy count sits at two. Last year’s Saints and Buccaneers moves, however, showed these job openings can emerge at unexpected points.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 2-14-23 (1:30pm CT)

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Colts Hire Shane Steichen As Head Coach

In a move which now comes as no surprise, the Colts officially have their new head coach in place. Per a team announcement, Shane Steichen has been hired to lead the team’s staff.

The now-former Eagles offensive coordinator was considered the frontrunner following a report just before the Super Bowl indicating he was the Colts’ top target. His hire comes after he also received interest from the Panthers and Texans, a sign of how much his stock has risen recently, especially after a hugely successful campaign in Philadelphia in 2022.

Steichen, 37, joined the Eagles in 2021 after a lengthy stint with the Chargers. That time saw him spend one season as the team’s full-time OC, one in which Los Angeles ranked top-1o in scoring in the NFL. Expectations were high for him when he paired up with Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, and they were certainly met. Philadelphia put up impressive numbers in the run game in particular in 2021, and took a step forward this past season.

The Eagles entered the year with question marks regarding quarterback Jalen Hurts‘ ability to cement himself as the team’s unquestioned starter. He quickly put those to rest over the course of a dominant campaign, helping lead Philadelphia to the No. 1 seed in the NFC and putting himself in the MVP conversation. Steichen’s unit ranked third in both scoring and total offense in the regular season.

Blowout victories in the divisional and conference championship rounds set the Eagles up for Sunday’s Super Bowl. In the title game, Hurts delivered a highly commendable performance and the team as a whole outplayed the Chiefs in a number of key categories. While it wasn’t enough to secure a victory, Steichen drew further praise to cap off his time in Philadelphia and set him up for what will be a tall task in Indianapolis.

The Colts struggled mightily on offense in 2022, averaging 312 yards and 17 points per game. That led to Frank Reich‘s midseason firing, and the controversial decision to replace him with Jeff Saturday. The latter remained in contention to land the full-time role until somewhat recently, as the list of candidates began to shrink in the lead-up to today’s announcement.

Steichen will follow in Reich’s footsteps in terms of making the move from Eagles offensive coordinator to Colts head coach. He is the second-youngest HC in franchise history (and the youngest during their time in Indianapolis), and third-youngest in the NFL. He will attempt to steer the Colts to the postseason by orchestrating a rebound on offense, something which will depend in large part on the play of their yet-to-be determined starting quarterback.

With this expected news now official, the Eagles will likely look inwards for Steichen’s replacement. QBs coach Brian Johnson has long been named as the staffer to watch with respect to filling in at OC in the event Steichen went elsewhere. Johnson himself drew plenty of interest from outside teams, but the door is now open for him to take on an increased role without leaving the NFC champions.