Colts hire Frank Reich

Frank Reich has long been in a backup role. During his NFL career, Reich backed up Bill’s Hall of Famer Jim Kelly for most of his career, before leading the Bills to the NFL’s biggest comeback in NFL postseason history. Now, Reich was the backup coaching option for the Indianapolis Colts, the hope is, that he can lead the Circle City to an even bigger comeback.

Reich, 56, is getting his first shot as a head coach in the NFL. He returns to Indianapolis, the place where his coaching career began. In 2008, Reich was hired as an offensive assistant under Tony Dungy. Dungy retired following the 08’ season, quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell became the head coach and Reich filled his position. He would go on to serve the Colts and Cardinals as a wide receivers coach. Reich was with the San Diego Chargers for 2013-2015, spending the final two years as the offensive coordinator. Frank’s final stop before Indy was with the Philadelphia Eagles for the last two years, the latter of which Reich helped Philadelphia win its first Super Bowl.

Despite Frank Reich’s resume, he wasn’t Chris Ballard and Jim Irsay’s first choice to lead the franchise. Bill Belichick disciple and current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had been interviewed and reportedly agreed to a deal before backing out at the last minute. It is unclear why McDaniels backed out of the job, whether it be Andrew Luck’s uncertain future or, the more likely possibility, Josh McDaniels lack’s anything resembling integrity and the alleged conversation he had with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Belichick convinced him to stay in New England.

Being the second choice doesn’t bother Reich though. “The backup role has suited me well in my career,” Reich told Pat McAfee of Barstool Sports.

Joining Reich on the coaching staff is Matt Eberflus. The former Cowboys linebackers coach will become the Colts defensive coordinator and will change their defensive philosophy from a base 3-4 defense to a 4-3 Tampa 2. Ballard will have his work cut out for him this offseason, collecting new personel that fits this new scheme.

On the offensive side of the ball, Reich brought in former Chargers wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni. Reich will be the play caller for the Colts but he stresses the necessity of collaboration on the offensive side of the ball. Sirianni will have his opportunity to contribute to the offensive game planning.

The biggest challenge for Frank Reich will be changing the culture in Indianapolis. Under former head coach Chuck Pagano, the Colts seemingly fell into the playoffs thanks to a weak division. Indy couldn’t win primetime games or compete with legitimate contenders. After three straight 11-5 seasons, Pagano only won 20 of his next 48 games with the Colts.

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