Frank Reich Speaks, Shares Vision For His Colts
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INDIANAPOLIS – One week ago, Frank Reich was still in the bliss of Super Bowl joy, a couple of days away from taking part in the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade, believing he would be returning to Philadelphia as their third-year offensive coordinator in 2018.
One week ago, the Indianapolis Colts had announced the hiring of Josh McDaniels as their new head football coach. A press conference was coming on Wednesday afternoon.
But that script was too blah.
A twist was coming, and Reich was about to return to the place where his coaching career began back in 2006.
Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon and the Colts were finally inside of Lucas Oil Stadium, introducing Frank Reich as their new head coach.
“Today is a new chapter,” Reich said first, after thanking the Eagles’ organization for the opportunity the last 2 years.
“Today is a new chapter and I could not be more excited.”
That seems to be the sentiment of the vast majority of Colts’ fans.
On Tuesday, Reich showed the values that Chris Ballard fell in love with during last Friday’s interview.
Winning any press conference doesn’t equate to wins in the fall, but Reich’s leadership qualities were evident on Tuesday.
Reich’s pillars for his football team will revolve around: toughness, discipline, preparation and unity.
“There will be a relentless pursuit to get better every day, a relentless pursuit, relentless every day to get better, an obsession to finishing strong,” Reich said on Tuesday. “Growing up in my household with an older sister and younger brother, my dad used to tell us all the time, tell me all the time growing up playing football. ‘Frank it’s not always a question of who is the toughest, it’s a question of who is the toughest the longest.’ We will have a tough football team.”
“Secondly, we will be the most disciplined team. We will have structure, we will have a system and we will have the processes that cultivate discipline. Why is it so important? I’ve had two quotes on my desk since my rookie year in 1985. One of them reads, ‘The sweat of discipline and the hard work and repetition always proceeds of spontaneity in any pursuit of life.’ So discipline is going to be foundation that is going to create a lot of joy out on that field and in this city and when we wear the horseshoe we will be wearing it with a lot of joy and a lot of pride in our hearts. It’s going to be fun to be a part of that.”
“Thirdly, we’re going to be most prepared team. The second quote that I’ve had on my desk since 1985 simply reads this: ‘No man becomes suddenly different from his habits and cherished thoughts.’ What we’re going to be about as an organization and as a football team is creating and cultivating habits, championship habits and championship thoughts.’ That’s the vision.”
“Fourth, we’re going to be the most united team. We’re going to be a close team. It’s going to be built around trust, respect and love. A love of the game. Chris and I talked about what this team would look like. It was all about we want players who love the game of football, love to come to work every day. Players that love each other and players that have vision, realize it’s bigger than them. It’s about the city. It’s about this city, right here in Indianapolis. There will be a love that will be so contagious, that will bring a closeness and result and produce a championship culture we all want. And what we know is this, when you have a championship culture, it’s going to result in many victories.”
Reich will call the plays in Indianapolis and he will do so for an offense predicated on being multiple—in personnel and formations. It will be an aggressive system, one that will thrive on changing up the tempo and using a “strong element” of no-huddle.
“When you step in a boxing ring you want to impose your will on your opponent,” Reich said describing his offense. “As an offensive team and as a team in general we want to impose our will on our opponent. So as an offense what that looks like is to impose your will means you run it, when you want to run it and you have to run it, and you throw it, when you want to throw it. You speed it up when you feel you have somebody on the ropes and you feel you can put them down for the count, and you slow it down sometimes when necessary. That’s the analogy. That’s what it’ll be. We’ll build the players around that kind of scheme.”
Reich will be retaining the 3 assistant coaches that were initially supposed to work under McDaniels. New defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is someone Reich calls a “home-run hire” after the two faced off in the NFC East.
With Reich returning to Indy, he’s thought back to the characteristic in those teams that he wants to be there for his squads.
“Character matters,” Reich says. “It matters a lot. Every detail matters. (Be) exhaustive in preparation. The way we win is just as important as why we’re going to win.”
When Reich inked his contract with the Colts on Sunday evening, Jim Irsay had a plea, that sounded like a fan.
“Frank, help us bring the joy back into the city of Indianapolis,” Irsay told him. “For the great traditions we have here, all the games we’ve won, let’s bring that back again.”
Reich has been asked to fill-in before under unforeseen circumstances.
He’s been called to do it again.
“That’s what we’re here for, and we’ll do it,” Reich says of Irsay’s wish. “One person at a time, one detail at a time, one player at a time and one player at a time.”