The continuity of offensive coaches that Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts said was so beneficial to his continued growth has been broken.
Indianapolis announced the hiring of Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to become the Colts’ new head coach on Tuesday.
Steichen, 37, had been with the Eagles for two years — hired by Nick Sirianni in 2021 when he became the Birds’ head coach.
Steichen was handed the play-calling duties this season from Sirianni, who said he wanted to concentrate on overall game management.
Hurts developed into one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks this season, leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl and finishing second in the MVP vote. This past season was the first since high school that Hurts had the same offensive coordinator two years in a row.
Steichen replaces interim coach Jeff Saturday, whom the Colts plucked out of ESPN despite having no coaching experience. Saturday won his first game then lost the final seven games of the season.
Saturday replaced former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
Challenges await Steichen taking over a 4-11-1 team with no obvious answer at quarterback. Matt Ryan will turn 38 before next season. The Colts also have Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger on the roster.
Given Steichen’s ability to develop Hurts, the Colts might make a move in the NFL Draft to land a quarterback. The Colts hold the fourth pick. There are at least three highly regarded quarterback prospects in this year’s draft.
The Eagles have several in-house candidates they could promote to replace Steichen — quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson or passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo. Another possibility could be run game coordinator/offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who was linked to offensive coordinator jobs before signing a contract extension earlier this month.
The downside of a Stoutland promotion would be losing him as the NFL’s best offensive line coach.
Another in-house possibility is Alex Tanney, the Eagles’ assistant quarterbacks/offensive assistant coach.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon reportedly interviewed with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday for their head coaching job. Gannon is considered one of the front-runners for the job.
When teams make the Super Bowl, their coordinators often are considered top candidates for vacant head coaching jobs.