BLOOMINGTON — In taking over as offensive coordinator at Indiana, Nick Sheridan vows to continue an attacking style the Hoosiers showed under Kalen DeBoer this past season.
“The biggest factor that goes into winning and losing is turnover margin and creating explosive plays. That’s how you score points,” Sheridan said. “Everything that we do, everything that we put together is an attempt to help us win and help us score points. That’s what we’re really trying to accomplish.”
The 31-year-old was introduced as IU’s offensive coordinator Saturday. Indiana coach Tom Allen said a strong endorsement from DeBoer played heavily into his decision to promote Sheridan, who was the tight ends coach this past season and the quarterbacks coach in his prior two seasons at IU under former OC Mike DeBord.
“Kalen came to me even before he actually knew he was leaving, just talking about what Nick brings to our staff and the mind that he has and the offensive abilities that he has,” Allen said. “Kalen was just raving about him and what he felt he brought to our staff both schematically and in personnel. So that just all the more gave me the confidence and I feel with very strong confidence to make this decision.”
DeBoer led IU to the second-ranked passing offense (302.4 ypg) and third-ranked total offense (432.8 ypg) in 2019, as the Hoosiers scored 30 or more points in nine of 13 games. IU returns its three top receivers (Whop Philyor, Ty Fryfogle and tight end Peyton Hendershot) and two top running backs (Stevie Scott III and Sampson James) from the 2019 squad, along with quarterbacks Michael Penix Jr., Peyton Ramsey and Jack Tuttle.
Expectations will be high, and Sheridan welcomes those expectations.
“Our expectations are to do better next year than we did this year, and it will always be that way,” Sheridan said. “We’re looking to try to grow and improve, and the challenge to the players is just because you had some success last season has no impact on what’s going to happen in the future. You have to earn it every day in this league.”
There is a risk in that Sheridan enters the job as a first-time play caller, having not called plays at any level in college. But Allen is confident Sheridan will adjust quickly because of his mind for the game and ability to communicate. Sheridan hasn’t determined whether he will call plays from the press box or the sidelines, saying he will do what’s best for the players at the time.
“I look at everything as an opportunity, and I think the selection of plays on game day is critical,” Sheridan said. “That’s an important part of this role, and I’m really looking forward to doing that.”
Said Allen: “Being on the headsets throughout all the games for three straight years, and Nick was the one I communicated a lot with on the headsets the first two years in conjunction with Mike DeBord, I just feel without hesitation he has the feel for the game and the understanding of the game, the ability to have a big picture of it all.”
Allen has yet to have any formal updates on other staff changes. According to multiple reports, William Inge is leaving his position as special teams coach to take over as defensive coordinator at Fresno State under DeBoer. According to several reports, former Carmel and IMG Academy football coach Kevin Wright is expected to be hired as tight ends coach to replace Sheridan, though Allen wouldn’t confirm those reports Saturday.
“We’ve got some positions we’ve got to get squared away,” Allen said. “Nothing is official with all that. I know this is the time of the year those sources confirmed are flying around like crazy on Twitter and beyond, so, but, yeah, I hope to have everything squared away with our staff. I’ll have some questions answered probably within the next five or six days.”