The Colts couldn't have the losing offensive coordinator in Super Bowl LII, so they'll settle on the winner. The team confirmed the hiring of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich as the 20th coach in franchise history. He'll be introduced in a press conference on Tuesday.
Reich will be introduced as the Colts new coach less than one week after Indianapolis was spurned by Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Reich, 56, spent the past two seasons working in Philadelphia alongside Carson Wentz on coach Doug Pederson's staff. He spent the two years prior to that working with Philip Rivers as Chargers offensive coordinator. From 2008-11, Reich cut his NFL coaching teeth with the Colts, first as an offensive assistant (2008), then as Peyton Manning's quarterback coach (2009-10) and finally working with wide receivers in 2011, when Manning missed the season to undergo neck surgery and the Colts' 2-14 mark positioned them to select Andrew Luck with the first overall pick the following spring.
Reich, then, has familiarity with the Colts organization, which perhaps was considered a positive since McDaniels ultimately never became comfortable enough to make the move.
Reich is also a sharp offensive mind who has helped bring out Wentz's and some of Rivers' best work in recent years, an obvious selling point as he prepares to try and rebuild Luck's career.
But the Colts could still have work to do in selling Reich to their fan base. He wasn't as popular of an interview candidate as expected this offseason on the heels of the Eagles' sensational campaign. Moreover, Reich — who has limited play-calling experience after being a coordinator under Pederson and Mike McCoy — wasn't a part of Ballard's first round of interviewees.
Nonetheless, the Colts are acting quickly to attempt their comeback after McDaniels left them high and dry, and in Reich, they found not only the guy who beat him in the Super Bowl, but the former Bills backup quarterback who authored the greatest playoff comeback ever.
Reich, Hall of Famer Jim Kelly's longtime backup, led Buffalo from a 35-3 third-quarter deficit to the Houston Oilers in the 1992 wild-card round, to a 41-38 victory.
Whether Reich is ready to be a head coach might be debatable. Lest we forget, it was only two years ago that many of us were debating whether Reich's old boss and the newest Super Bowl-winning head coach, Doug Pederson, was ready.
As for Pederson's Eagles, it's easy to say this is the downfall of success: losing their coordinator and quarterbacks coach, John DeFlippo, who took the coordinator vacancy in Minnesota. But it won't be easy replacing Pederson's top two assistants, at least one of whom he didn't expect to have to replace as recently as a few days ago.