The Indianapolis Colts have officially signed their next head coach in former Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich. Talks with Reich heated up last week after the Josh McDaniels hire fell through and they listed Reich as a prime candidate, with Leslie Frazier and Dan Campbell as other options. Fans were wary on twitter all day as reports began to emerge with Reich agreeing telling friends and family he was taking the Colts job. However, after the McDaniels fiasco, they wanted proof of Reich signing on the dotted line and making it official. Reich was responsible for leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl in conjunction with Doug Pederson.
Reich was vouched for by Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy and Bill Polian, among others, which led to him being a strong contender with the Colts. Reich was never viewed as a serious candidate because the team was unable to schedule an interview with him until the season ended because he wanted to focus and not mess up his game prep. He has played a significant role in Carson Wentz’s sudden rise to the MVP conversation and will be a major player in Andrew Luck’s quest back to the top of the league’s young quarterbacks.
Reich brings a creative offensive mind to a team that has lacked creativity and innovation in recent seasons. Reich’s philosophies in Philadelphia involved utilizing running backs to their strengths and allowing that to open up the passing game. Fans wanted more Marlon Mack due to his explosive ability as a change of pace from the slow plodding style of Frank Gore, but Chuck Pagano was unwilling to do so for whatever reason. Gore has expressed interest in resigning if Luck is healthy, which would lead to the Colts featuring a committee approach that would play to the players respective strengths. Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement were all prominent players in the Eagles quest for the Super Bowl title in their various roles, which Reich will carry into this next chapter.
Alshon Jeffrey was headed for being a one year wonder after a breakout season years ago that he was never able to match again due to injuries, suspension and inconsistent quarterback play before Reich helped resurrect him. Jeffrey was no longer the lone weapon that defenses could key in on as other weapons were developed around him to cover his weaknesses and force defenses to play him to his strengths. He has always been a stellar athlete in jump ball situations and was used in the red zone again as he finished the season with nine touchdowns. He may never again be the same receiver that totaled 1,421 yards receiving in his sophomore season, but Reich turned him into a player that his offense couldn’t live without and he will do the same with TY Hilton. Hilton has a tendency to disappear against elite or above average corners due to a lack of ability to create separation and physical traits to win jump balls. The Colts will most likely bring in some outside wide receiver help that could push Hilton to the slot in certain situations where he has been successful in the past.
Reich was ultimately the right choice for the job after McDaniels made it clear that he didn’t even want the job. While fans overlooked him for months with presumptions it was McDaniels or Dave Toub’s job to lose, Reich came along just in time and should lead the Colts back to prominence very soon.