The Indianapolis Colts had an eventful day on November 7, firing head coach Frank Reich before hiring former offensive lineman Jeff Saturday — who has no collegiate or professional coaching experience — to be the team’s new interim coach.
Reich amassed a regular season record of 40-33-1 in his 4 1/2 seasons as the Colts coach, going 1-2 in the playoffs, and his dismissal came as a bit of a surprise. A former NFL quarterback who played 14 years in the, Reich is one of the most well-respected offensive minds in the league, and Heavy’s NFL insider Matt Lombardo thinks teams with promising young QBs “have to at least explore the possibility of creating a role on staff” for him.
Frank Reich Has Solid Resumé
Reich began his coaching career in 2008, and has worked with some marquee names at quarterback. Reich served as quarterbacks coach for Peyton Manning in Indianapolis when Manning was named NFL MVP in 2009, and he was both QBs coach and offensive line coach for Phillip Rivers with the Chargers from 2013-2015.
Reich won Super Bowl 52 in 2017 with the Philadelphia Eagles as the team’s offensive coordinator under Doug Pederson before getting the head coaching job in Indy.
Here’s a complete rundown of Reich’s coaching experience in the NFL:
- Indianapolis Colts (2006–2007) – Coaching intern
- Indianapolis Colts (2008) – Offensive coaching staff assistant
- Indianapolis Colts (2009–2010) – Quarterbacks coach
- Indianapolis Colts (2011) – Wide receivers coach
- Arizona Cardinals (2012) – Wide receivers coach
- San Diego Chargers (2013) – Quarterbacks coach
- San Diego Chargers (2014–2015) – Offensive coordinator
- Philadelphia Eagles (2016–2017) – Offensive coordinator
- Indianapolis Colts (2018–2022) – Head coach
Reich’s Connection to Matt Eberflus Can’t Be Ignored
Before getting the head coaching gig in Chicago, Bears coach Matt Eberflus was hired by Reich in 2018 to be the Colts’ defensive coordinator. The two coaches didn’t know each other well at the time, but they developed a quick rapport and formed a tight bond in their time together.
“There was a real quick connection,” Reich said in February of 2022 about working with Eberflus, via Sean Hammond of Shaw Local Media. “[We’re] both very principle-centered, family-oriented, obviously love everything about ball. Both connected on a faith basis, different ways of expressing that. I’m maybe a little bit louder about that than Flus would be, but the commonality there was really good.”
Reich also noted he and Eberflus approached coaching in a very similar fashion.
“I think we were both very process oriented. We live in a results-oriented business, but the importance of practicing hard, the importance of practicing at game speed, we were both very linked up right there. So, that made it easy for us to grow in that relationship over the four years.”
The Bears already have an offensive coordinator (Luke Getsy) and a quarterbacks coach (Andrew Janocko), and both have recently started to get the best out of Justin Fields. Perhaps it would be a good idea for Chicago to add an advisory role for Reich this season with the opportunity to grow into more in the future.
Getsy was a head coaching candidate this past offseason, and if he can continue to get the most out of Fields, other teams will likely come calling. Having Reich around to slide into the OC role would be ideal.
That said, Reich will surely get attention from multiple teams in need of offensive guidance, so it will be interesting to see where he lands.