The Indianapolis Colts are reportedly hiring Philadelphia Eagles coordinator Shane Steichen, thanks to general manager Chris Ballard.
At Chris Ballard’s end-of-season press conference, when the Indianapolis Colts first started their coaching search, Ballard explained to the media that he would be leading the search but team owner Jim Irsay would ultimately make the final decision. This left fans pretty worried because Irsay was reportedly set on hiring Jeff Saturday, and as much as fans love Saturday for his playing career, the majority of fans absolutely did not want to see Saturday become the head coach.
Well, Saturday didn’t get the job. According to reports from Sunday morning, the Colts are planning to hire Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. Nothing is official, and with Steichen coaching Philly in the Super Bowl on Sunday, the team likely won’t announce anything until the coming days. However, if Steichen does actually become Indy’s next head coach, general manager Chris Ballard is the man to thank.
While Ballard initially explained that the plan was for Irsay to make the call, somewhere along the lengthy coaching search, Irsay decided to defer to Ballard. NFL Insider, Dan Graziano, reported in a recent piece for ESPN that “Irsay has let it be known that GM Chris Ballard is the one making the final decision on a head coach.”
Chris Ballard decided for Colts to hire Shane Steichen
If this is what happened, fans will be very thankful for Ballard and thankful to Jim Irsay for allowing Ballard to be the decision maker. Steichen had become a hot candidate during this hiring cycle and he was a name that was generating excitement amongst fans. The reason why is that he’s an offensive coach that has developed the Eagles into one of the best offenses in the league.
The Colts are coming off a season where they were one of the worst offenses in the league. Each week of the 2022 season, it was a struggle for Indianapolis to score points, get first downs, and at times, simply gain a yard. With Steichen now possibly on his way to Indy, the hope is that next year will be different. Additionally, Steichen has worked with Philip Rivers and helped develop young quarterbacks like Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts.
With the Colts likely drafting a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, this was probably a factor in Ballard’s decision. However, it was clear from Indy’s pool of candidates that its focus was bigger than scheme. Indianapolis was likely looking for a great leader that can galvanize a franchise and help a team win a lot of games. If the Colts can do that under Shane Steichen, Chris Ballard will be getting a lot of praise for making the right decision.