5 Things To Know About New Colts Head Coach Frank Reich
Mitchell Leff | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – With 25 years in the NFL as a player and a coach, Frank Reich has an extensive background that ultimately made him an attractive candidate for Chris Ballard and Jim Irsay.
Reich is a first-time head coach for the Colts after being an offensive coordinator with the Chargers and Eagles for the last 4 seasons.
Let’s get to know more about Frank Reich:
- He Coached Peyton Manning: Reich joined the Colts as a coaching intern for the 2006 season. Three years later he was the position coach for Manning. Strong recommendations from Bill Polian and Tony Dungy came during the interview process for Reich. Besides a position coach for Manning, Reich also was a position coach for Reggie Wayne (2011 season), Larry Fitzgerald (2012 in Arizona) and Philip Rivers (2013 in San Diego), before becoming an offensive coordinator.
- First-Time Head Coach: This will probably be the biggest question for the 56-year-old Reich. Is 4 seasons as an offensive coordinator, with just 2 of those as a play caller (with the Chargers in 2014 and 2015), enough experience for Reich to be ready to lead his own operation. Reich did not call the plays in Philadelphia’s recent run to the Super Bowl title, but he was heavily involved in the weekly game planning, along with developing Carson Wentz into an MVP-candidate and preparing backup Nick Foles, who eventually became a surprise Super Bowl MVP.
- Comeback King: Reich played in the NFL for 14 years. He was Jim Kelly’s backup quarterback in Buffalo. But the Bills did need Reich big-time in early January 1993. During the ’93 Wild Card, Reich brought the Bills back from a 32-point third-quarter deficit. The 41-38 overtime victory was the largest comeback in NFL history. Reich, who was a third-round pick out of Maryland in 1985, played in Buffalo for 10 seasons, making 4 straight trips to Super Bowl. Reich also played for the Panthers, Jets and Lions. Being an ex-player could help Reich better relate to his players.
- Brings Offensive Mind To Indy: It was not necessarily a pre-requisite for the Colts, but hiring an offensive-minded head coach makes plenty of sense. Andrew Luck has had 3 offensive coordinators in his career. He will now have a definite system in place with Reich, one that will not be leaving Indy anytime soon. Remember, last week Chris Ballard echoed how happy he was to have new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus in place. So, with the defensive side of the ball already set, a hire of a coach with heavy offensive background made a lot of sense.
- Dungy 2.0?: Think Tony Dungy when talking about the type of man the Colts are getting in Frank Reich. An ordained minister, Reich is often praised with being a true professional. No matter if it was as a backup quarterback, a high-level starter, or even a staff member of an NFL organization, the approval rating for Reich is a far cry from a Josh McDaniels. Unlike a hiring of McDaniels, you would be searching for quite some time to hear a negative word from players who have played with, or under Reich.