When the Indianapolis Colts’ season ended courtesy of the Buffalo Bills, they knew they were entering an offseason with many questions. They have a lot of decisions to make in terms of contracts, draft prep, and personnel. Indy has become one of the better front offices in football, so it is expected they planned for this offseason to be a big one.
What they expected to be a big offseason has grown into a huge one. The Colts’ offense will be under the microscope, as they have to fill some big holes on that side of the ball. One of those being the quarterback position with Philip Rivers retiring. They just suffered another significant loss, giving them another hole to fill this offseason.
Colts OC Nick Sirianni is now a head coach
The evolution of Indianapolis’ offense could be credited to their offensive coordinator, Nick Sirianni. He joined Indy’s coaching staff when Frank Reich was named the head coach. Reich brought him along as the offensive coordinator. He’s turned the Colts offensive into a run-heavy offense that runs opponents into the ground.
Sirianni won’t be calling plays for Indy any longer. The Eagles have hired him to be their head coach, per Adam Schefter. Sirianni and the Eagles have had extensive conversations about the head coaching opening starting on Tuesday. He and New England Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels were the final two candidates for the Eagles’ head coach job.
Sirianni will be replacing former Eagle’s coach Doug Pederson. Pederson was fired in early January after he and ownership couldn’t agree on a vision for the team. This season was Pederson’s worst, going 4-11-1 and having the Carson Wentz drama over the team’s head for the entire season. Sirianni will be inheriting Wentz and his $128 million contract.
The work Sirianni has done for the Indianapolis Colts is quite remarkable. He has given the team a run-first identity, something that has never been associated with Indy. His departure is a big blow to the Colts, leaving their offense with many questions going forwards.
The Indianapolis Colts have questions on offense
With their offensive coordinator now gone, the Indianapolis Colts’ offense has a lot of questions with very few answers. What is the team going to do at quarterback is one of them. They will have only one quarterback on the roster, and that is a second-year player who has no NFL experience. Finding out who the signal-caller will be should be one of Indy’s top priorities.
Finding a new offensive coordinator is now a new item on the Colts offseason list. With the news of Sirianni leaving, Indy will have to conduct a search to find their new OC. They don’t have to hire one if they don’t want to, however. Reich has experience calling plays, doing so with the Eagles before he came to Indianapolis. He might have his hand in playcalling already, so giving him full control could be a good idea.
Besides quarterback and offensive coordinator, the Colts have other question marks on offense. What is going to happen to T.Y. Hilton? His contract has expired, and he could test out the free-agent market. He had a rough start in 2020 but found his stride down the stretch. Would Indy franchise tag him so he doesn’t leave and they can work out a deal? How should the team go about replacing Anthony Castonzo, who also retired?
Indy must fill holes on win-now roster
The Indianapolis Colts were an 11-5 team last season with Philip Rivers at quarterback and Nick Sirianni calling the plays. Their offense was an above-average unit, scoring 28.2 points per game, tenth in the league per ESPN. Their 378.1 yards per game average was the tenth most in the NFL. If Indy wants to have similar or even more success than they had in 2020, they must fill the offensive holes on their roster.
Replacing Castonzo at left tackle won’t be easy. They could use the No. 21 overall draft pick to obtain one. The free-agent market for tackles isn’t deep, but some good players could become available. The rest of their line is solid, so getting an elite talent would make this line a dominant group. Finding a new OC will take some time, but Frank Reich being there makes this a little less of a worry.
The Colts have endless options at quarterback. It would be smart if they establish an offensive coordinator before deciding on a quarterback. The coordinator should have a hand in picking the man who will be under center. Nevertheless, Indy needs to get an above-average quarterback to go with this elite defense and superior O-line.
Nick Sirianni is leaving the Indianapolis Colts for a new opportunity with the Eagles. His departure gives the Colts another hole fill in what will be a busy offseason. Who knows how the Colts will go about hiring a new OC, but losing Sirianni is a massive blow to Indy’s offense going into the offseason.
Stats courtesy of ESPN