Reich inherits a team that finished 4-12 last season and needed 41 days and two chances to find Chuck Pagano's replacement. He later worked for the San Diego Chargers in 2013, rising to the position of offensive coordinator. Ballard took the blame for the team's announcing the agreement with McDaniels before he signed the contract.
The Colts initially planned to hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, but last week, McDaniels backed out of the deal to remain in New England as the offensive coordinator, but with a larger roles in front office matters, working more with coach Bill Belichick. Indy lost in the Super Bowl to New Orleans.
But this wasn't just about sending a message. Frank has all the ingredients of a successful head coach: intelligence, innovation, character, organizational and leadership skills, and a commanding presence. "I feel extremely fortunate and could not be more excited for Colts nation and the future of our franchise".
He replaces Chuck Pagano, who was sacked hours after finishing the season with a 4-12 record and missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
When the six-week coaching search (finally) concluded, Colts general manager Chris Ballard decided against going with a flashy choice.
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The Colts also have a defense that showed steady improvement throughout the season, the No. 3 overall draft pick in April, almost $80 million to spend in free agency and a promising backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, who started 15 games in 2017.
An offensive-minded coach appeared to be the direction Ballard was leaning to the more he talked and raved about defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus last week.
Reich returns to the franchise where he started his coaching career as an intern in 2006 before becoming a full-time assistant in 2008. His first opportunity came with the Colts where he went from an offensive assistant to coach the quarterbacks and wide receivers in his four seasons.
Reich retained his title until taking over as Indy's receivers' coach in 2011, then moving to Arizona in 2012, where he also coached receivers. The Chargers promoted him to offensive coordinator in 2014 where he stayed until joining the Eagles in 2016. In the final game of the 1992 regular season, with Reich serving as the backup for Jim Kelly at the time, Reich was required to finish a game against the Houston Oilers when Kelly endured strained ligaments in his knee; during a rematch game, Reich led the Bills to the largest comeback in National Football League history.
Now, in his first head coaching job, he will be paired with the architect of the second-biggest playoff comeback, Luck.
Reich would become the popular backup to future Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, and filled in admirably in several key games when Kelly went down with injury. In 13 National Football League seasons, Reich would play in 118 games with 20 starts, completing 508-of-932 passes for 6,075 yards with 40 touchdowns to 36 interceptions.