INDIANAPOLIS – If Shane Steichen mentioned it once, he mentioned it a dozen times.
Consider that the Phrase of the Month as Steichen and the Indianapolis Colts continue to determine how to address their lingering, maddening quarterback situation.
And that’s the reason the Colts are working out Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud Monday in Southern California, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Senior NFL reporter Albert Breer was first to post specifics of the Monday workouts while Peter King mentioned the Colts also will work out Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis.
General manager Chris Ballard holds the No. 4 pick in the April 27 draft and oversees a franchise that is committed to snapping a five-season streak of revolving starting quarterbacks.
It’s likely the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans will select Young and Stroud in some order with the first two picks in the draft, but that’s hardly a given.
Hence, the due diligence.
Along with settling into his first head-coaching position, Steichen has worked with Ballard and the team’s personnel staff at evaluating what’s perceived to be a deep quarterback class for the upcoming draft.
“Obviously you’ve got to do your due diligence on all positions, especially the quarterback,’’ Steichen said at last week’s owners’ meetings in Phoenix. “We know how important that position is in this league. Really still going through that process right, watching tape.
“Get a chance to talk to these guys, and then we go from there.’’
The importance of the decision is compounded by the difficulty of finding the right quarterback.
Of the 14 quarterbacks taken with a top-10 pick since 2017, five failed to fulfill expectations, and two others remain question marks.
“If there was a perfect method to quarterback and picking the right one, everyone would have really good quarterbacks,’’ Steichen said. “There’s not a perfect method to it.
“You’ve got to do your due diligence on those guys and try to find the best one. . . . We’re doing our due diligence on everything. You just never know how this thing will play out with the draft and going into the season.’’
The position already has undergone major change. Again.
Matt Ryan was released March 14, one year after being acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. He’s the latest of failed attempts to stabilize the position, following Carson Wentz.
That was followed by signing Gardner Minshew II to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. Minshew was Steichen’s backup quarterback the past two seasons in Philadelphia behind Jalen Hurts.
“We did our due diligence on all the quarterbacks in free agency, but obviously I was around Gardner for a while the last two years,’’ Steichen said. “I’ve got a ton of respect for him as a player and as a person. Really excited to have him.
“He has a great natural feel for seeing the game and processes information very quickly. Just when you talk to him in the meetings and then when he goes on the practice field, the way he sees it and throws it to the right guy. That’s part of the thing, throw it to the right guy, and know where to go with the football at the right time.’’
Minshew has appeared in 32 games and is 8-16 as a starter in four seasons with the Eagles and Jacksonville. He has posted a 93.1 passer rating on the strength of 44 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
His presence allows the Colts to ease a rookie into the lineup.
“I’m not going to make any hypotheticals whether he’s the starter or anything,’’ Steichen said. “We’re just going to go through the process. He’s coming in to compete.’’
It’s imperative for the Colts to find a long-term answer. However it shakes out, they’ll follow a different starting quarterback for a sixth consecutive season (Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Wentz and Ryan).
“It’s big,’’ Steichen said. “When you’ve got a guy back there as the signal caller who gives you a chance to win every Sunday, you feel good about that.
“When you don’t have that guy, it’s tough.’’
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