The Indianapolis Colts have seen enough. They have fired head coach Frank Reich.
Multiple reporters have confirmed the news. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and ESPN’s Adam Schefter virtually broke the news at the same time.
The Athletic’s Zak Keefer and Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star confirmed those reports on Twitter.
Colts owner Jim Irsay also took to Twitter to announce Reich’s firing.
Keefer also reported that the Colts plan to hold a press conference on November 7 to announce an interim head coach. The top candidate to run the team the rest of the season is special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone.
Colts Fire Frank Reich After Benching Matt Ryan & Firing OC
This is the third straight week where the Colts are making a significant change to their team.
On October 24, Indianapolis benched Matt Ryan in favor of second-year signal caller Sam Ehlinger. After that decision, there were rumblings from multiple Colts reporters that Irsay played an intricate role in the quarterback change.
With that change, Reich’s coaching seat appeared to be getting very warm. Benching Ryan for Ehlinger seemed like the Colts were giving up on the season, but Reich was steadfast after the decision that that was not the case.
After losing by a point to the Washington Commanders in Week 8, the Colts fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady. With that decision, Reich avoided the majority of the blame for another week, and talk of the Colts making a change at head coach seemed to cool a little after NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Reich was not on the hot seat.
“Multiple sources say Reich is in no trouble at all,” Rapoport wrote before the loss to Washington on October 30. “His job status is best described as ‘safe,’ sources say, and in good shape.”
But after the New England Patriots embarrassed the Colts, beating them 26-3 while holding them to 121 yards of offense, that was not the case. The Reich era is finished.
Reich Era Comes to an End in Indianapolis
With a very tumultuous 3-5-1 start to the 2022 campaign after a highly disappointing ending to the 2021 season, firing Reich is understandable from the Colts’ perspective.
One could argue a midseason firing is never the approach to take, but if the decision is already made, waiting until the end of the season is not the right thing to do either.
Regardless, Reich is out in Indianapolis after four and a half seasons. He will be remembered for failing to clinch a playoff berth in the final two weeks of the 2021 season despite playing the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team who held the worst record that season, and for the offense’s collapse in 2022.
The Colts posted a 3-7-1 record in Reich’s final 11 games.
But Reich’s legacy in Indianapolis is much more complicated than that.
He arrived in Indianapolis when Andrew Luck was still quarterback. With a healthy Luck in 2018, he led the Colts to a 10-6 record and a playoff win.
The following year, he dealt with the fallout of Luck’s retirement, which no coach would have been able to overcome on short notice. Luck announced his retirement decision in August. In light of that, the Colts finished the 2019 season with a 7-9 record.
Over the next three seasons, Reich and the Colts would begin a quarterback carousel that would end with five different quarterbacks starting Week 1 in Reich’s five seasons as head coach.
The carousel in 2020 started with an 11-5 season with Philip Rivers, but ultimately, all that success would do is embolden the Colts into believing veteran signal callers could be the answer to their problems.
Trading for Carson Wentz and then Matt Ryan over the next two years proved to be a big part of Reich’s demise. As was the team’s failure to score any points on the opening drives of games in 2022.
That used to be a coaching strength for Reich, as his offenses executed his game scripts to near perfection in 2020 and 2021. It was the exact opposite this fall.
Reich ended his tenure in Indianapolis with a 40-33-1 record (.547 win percentage).