Posted on February 11, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
After being left high and dry by Josh McDaniels earlier this week, the Indianapolis Colts have moved quickly to find a new head coach. Multiple sources are reporting that the Colts are set to name Frank Reich as their new head coach. The two sides have reportedly agreed to a five-year deal. Reich has spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. That means he’s just a week removed from helping the Eagles defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Reich actually got his start as an NFL assistant with the Colts. He was the team’s offensive coaching staff assistant in 2008. He then became the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2009 and 2010 before coaching the Colts wide receivers during the 2011 season. During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Reich worked with Peyton Manning in arguably his two best seasons with the Colts. Manning also won MVP under Reich’s tutelage in 2009.
Reich then moved to Arizona in 2012, meaning he left Indianapolis before the Colts drafted current quarterback Andrew Luck. Before becoming Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator in 2016, Reich spent three years in San Diego. He spent one season as the team’s quarterbacks coach and the next two as the offensive coordinator.
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Of course, Reich had a number of memorable moments as a player. As a quarterback at Maryland in 1984, he led the largest comeback in college football history. Behind Reich, the Terrapins erased a 31-0 halftime deficit to beat Miami 42-40. He was also under center for the NFL’s greatest comeback. While serving as Buffalo’s backup in 1992, Reich started the team’s wild-card game against the Houston Oilers, helping them overcome a 35-3 deficit to win 41-38.
Reich is now making a name for himself as a coach. As Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator the past two seasons, Reich had a hand in the development of Carson Wentz, who was an MVP candidate before getting hurt late in the season. He then helped Nick Foles go from a backup quarterback to a player who was nearly flawless for the Eagles in both the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl.
Now Reich will have a chance to work with another outstanding quarterback in Luck. Of course, after Luck sat out all of 2017, there are still questions about his health heading into the offseason. Luck is reportedly building up arm strength and should start throwing soon. But there is still speculation that he could need more surgery. If Luck isn’t back by the start of next season, Reich will have to find a way to win with backup Jacoby Brissett.
Obviously, the Colts were thrown for a loop when McDaniels backed out of their agreement at the last second. But they seem to have come out of it just fine with the hire of Reich. After the Super Bowl, Reich’s stock was sky high. The Colts were actually fortunate to be able to hire him on the heels of a Super Bowl win.
Of course, Reich is a first-time head coach who isn’t sure about the status of his quarterback and has to turn around a team that was 4-12 last year. He undoubtedly has a lot of work ahead of him. However, the Colts should be pleased with how they were able to pivot from the fiasco with McDaniels and end up with Reich as their new head coach.