Frank Reich getting the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job this offseason might have been even more improbable than his most famous football moment.
Reich, who led the Buffalo Bills to the biggest comeback in NFL history against the Houston Oilers after the Bills trailed 35-3, was the beneficiary of Josh McDaniels changing his mind. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Reich will be the Colts next head coach, a job McDaniels incredibly turned down hours after agreeing to it (and weeks after the Colts assumed he’d take it when he officially could). McDaniels’ change of heart opened up one NFL head-coaching job. Reich was the hot name after the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl. Reich, as offensive coordinator, helped devise a game plan that put up 41 points on the Patriots in the win.
Timing is everything, and Reich was the hottest candidate at the moment McDaniels backed out. Garafolo reported the two sides agreed to a five-year deal (though, as we learned this week, nothing is completely official until a contract is signed).
Reich is best known as the Bills’ longtime backup quarterback behind Jim Kelly, but has climbed the ladder in the coaching world since his first job with the Colts in 2006. Reich was with the Colts mostly as an offensive assistant from 2006-11. He then spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers, with two seasons as the Chargers offensive coordinator before moving onto the Eagles.
The Eagles offense cruised through the playoffs despite having to turn to quarterback Nick Foles after Carson Wentz was injured. Eagles coach Doug Pederson calls the plays but Reich was instrumental in orchestrating the offense too. It’s easy to see why the Colts quickly identified Reich as a top candidate. The Eagles have also suffered two big losses to their staff since the Super Bowl. Highly respected quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo left the Eagles to become the Minnesota Vikings’ next offensive coordinator.
The Colts found an offensive coach and former quarterback who should be a good fit with Andrew Luck, assuming Luck is healthy. The Colts also found someone who actually wanted their job.
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