On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were down 20-0 at halftime. Coming out of the locker room, Indy’s offense had a three and out, and then the Los Angeles Rams drove down the field and kicked a field goal. Down 23-0, the Colts could’ve easily packed it in, lowered their effort, and accepted defeat. However, that’s not the kind of team Indianapolis is, at least not this year.
Indy fought back into the game, going on a 23-0 run, and forcing overtime. Unfortunately, Indy did fall in OT, but the team further proved that it is a squad that won’t fold. That was also on display in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens, when Indy took Baltimore to overtime and won.
Everyone has quickly picked up on this gritty identity of this Indianapolis Colts team. While it seems like teams fighting to the end should be the norm in sports, not all teams are cut like that. The Colts, however, are built like that, and the reason why is their first-year head coach.
During the game, former NFL linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was the color analyst for Indy’s game against the Rams, talked about a conversation he had with Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin. Franklin told Vilma that the team has taken on the personality of head coach Shane Steichen. Franklin said that Steichen competes hard and gets after it, so the team competes hard and gets after it. The head coach is gritty, so the team is gritty.
Colts have taken on Shane Steichen’s personality
Following the game, defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo essentially echoed this statement, saying that Indy “has a different type of fight than it did last year.” That’s not only demonstrated in Indy’s ability to not give up, but even in how they play, especially offensively. The offensive line for the Colts have been physical and moving opposing teams.
These are all the kind of values that Steichen told everyone he would use to build this team. Since he got the job, he’s routinely used words like compete and relentless. Players have talked about how Steichen integrates competition into everything they do on and off the field. As a coach, he’s not only enhancing their skills, but he has made it a conscious effort to improve their competitive mindset as well.
So far, it’s working. The Colts are tough and relentless, and they fight hard on every down, regardless of the score. Indianapolis is already developing into the kind of team Shane Steichen wants them to be, and that should lead to a lot more wins.