Posted on February 11, 2018, by Travis Pulver
It’s been a unique search. You could even say it was a little crazy. But it appears that the Indianapolis Colts have finally found their next head coach, now-former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. The NFL Network was the first to report the development and was soon followed by ESPN and everyone else.
The story may be getting a little more attention than a team hiring a new head coach normally would. Not because the Colts are hiring the offensive coordinator of the Super Bowl champs. No, it is more because they tried and failed to hire the offensive coordinator of the Super Bowl runner-up.
It is not hard to argue that the Colts came out with the better of the two.
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Reich is coming off an incredible season. He had Carson Wentz looking like a potential MVP candidate until his season-ending knee injury. No one would have been shocked if the Eagles offense stalled out after losing Wentz and their season ended early. But instead, he took a backup quarterback and turned him into a Super Bowl MVP.
After finishing the regular season with the No. 22 offense in 2016, the Eagles offense morphed into a top ten unit this season (No. 7). Now imagine what he can do with a quarterback of Andrew Luck’s caliber (exciting, right?).
“We are excited to have Frank Reich as our new head coach,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said (via NFL.com). “Frank is a leader of men who will demand excellence from our players on and off the field. I look forward to working with Frank to deliver a championship-caliber team to the city of Indianapolis.”
Of course, the most important aspect of the hire is that it actually happened this time. The team had an oral agreement with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. They felt good enough about it that they even began hiring assistants for his staff. But then, at the last minute, he decided to change his mind.
So, when the Colts announced they had signed Reich, the Twitter comedians demanded proof. The Colts were kind enough to oblige and posted a picture of Reich signing the contract and then another of him with team owner Irsay while holding a copy of the Sunday paper.
Okay, so they really got someone this time. But if he was the right guy, why didn’t they get him the first time around?
We will not know for certain until next season at the earliest, but realistically, not until 2019. But clearly, McDaniels wasn’t the right guy. With McDaniels, fans were left hoping the ‘Belichick 2.0’ routine that failed in Denver did not come with him. It didn’t work then, and it wouldn’t have worked this time either. Since McDaniels was kind enough not to take the job, fans don’t have to suffer through three more years of futility.
Instead, the Colts have a guy with a track record of getting the most out of young quarterbacks; not someone who can ride on Tom Brady’s coattails.
However, both sides of the ball need a tremendous amount of work. The job back to relevancy is not going to be an easy one. But if the can get the offense back on track, the Colts can at least become entertaining—and maybe even competitive.