Who deserves more credit for the Colts’ turnaround, Shane Steichen or Chris Ballard?

The Indianapolis Colts had an incredible turnaround in 2023. Who was the catalyst for the success, head coach Shane Steichen or general manager Chris Ballard?

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp
Indianapolis Colts Training Camp / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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The Case for Shane Steichen (continued)


Steichen doesn’t talk about much about what goes on in the locker room with the media but you can see by his actions that he holds this team (and himself) accountable on a consistent basis. We saw something as minor as being a healthy scratch for a game after a poor performance to getting cut from the team completely. In season cuts this season included RB Deon Jackson (ball security issues) and former All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard (performance). We also saw the organization suspend WR Isaiah McKenzie and CB Tony Brown for conduct detrimental to the team.

Steichen’s predecessor had hardly any accountability on that staff. With Reich, it was staying the course, and everything will work itself out. Steichen doesn’t waste any time and if you don’t live up to the standards that he requires. This type of accountability has helped him not only build respect in the locker room but also trust. Trust in him. Trust in his staff. Trust in his process. This type of accountability and trust will not only help the current roster but the future players they might look to bring in this offseason in free agency and the draft.

Final Verdict

Both staff and individuals have been instrumental in the success of this team this year. However, it is Shane Steichen and his staff that are the biggest reason that this team finished 9-8 and exceeded expectations. While Ballard and his staff were an important piece to the Colts puzzle this season, it’s Steichen and his staff that must go out and get the results on the field. We also saw how much Ballard struggled to put together a consistent winning team with Reich at the helm. Granted this is a small sample size so far but if Reich couldn’t win with a similar team, then it’s the piece of evidence that points to Steichen winning this argument. Regardless of who you think should get more credit for the success this team achieved this season, the future is very, very bright in Indianapolis with Steichen in the driver’s seat.