The surprises have continued to come for the Indianapolis Colts.
New interim head coach Jeff Saturday has reportedly chosen pass game specialist/assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier as Indianapolis’ offensive play-caller starting in Week 10 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero was the first to report Saturday’s choice for play-caller. ESPN’s Stephen Holder and Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star confirmed the news as well.
Frazier, who is only 30 years old, has been an assistant on the Colts coaching staff since Frank Reich arrived as head coach in 2018.
Who Is Colts New Play-Caller Parks Frazier?
Saturday choosing Frazier as the team’s next play-caller is a surprise, but no matter who the team decided to place in the role was likely to be an unexpected choice. With head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady fired within the last week, the Colts had no obvious choices for their next offensive play-caller.
While Frazier is only 30 years old, he’s now the longest tenured Colts offensive coach on the staff. He’s been in Indianapolis since serving as Reich’s assistant from 2018-19.
In 2018, Colts insider Zak Keefer then of The Indianapolis Star reported that to prove his worth to the franchise, Frazier worked as much as 18-hour days as Reich’s assistant. At the beginning of his coaching career, Frazier slept in the front seat of his truck.
In 2020, he became the team’s quality control coach. He rose to assistant quarterbacks coach last season and then added pass game specialist to his title in 2022.
Frazier will now receive the chance of a lifetime — calling offensive plays for an NFL team.
“He’s a stud,” former Colts offensive coordinator and current Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said in 2018. “He’s gonna be a star.”
Who Will Be Available on Offense for Frazier in His First Game?
With his promotion, Frazier now holds a lot of responsibility in how successful Saturday’s tenure as interim head coach will be in Indianapolis. Frazier will be trying to ignite an offense that’s ranked 27th in yards, 30th in giveaways and last in points scored.
The new play-caller will have to find solutions while working with his new boss — Saturday, who will presumably be aiming to fix the team’s offensive line. The Indianapolis front has allowed a NFL-high 35 sacks this season.
During his introductory press conference, Saturday answered a couple questions about who Frazier will be working with in Week 10. Sam Ehlinger will start at quarterback for the third straight week while rookie Bernhard Raimann will make his fourth career start at left tackle.
The last big remaining question for Frazier and the Colts offense is whether or not 2021 All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor will be available.
Taylor missed Week 9 because of an ankle injury. The Colts declined to place him on injured reserve, but really, all that means is he won’t miss each of the next three contests. Frazier probably won’t know whether or not Taylor will play on November 13 until late this week.
The third-year running back has struggled to get going behind a slumping offensive line this season. But Taylor is still Indianapolis’ best offensive player. When in doubt, Frazier can fall back on calling a play where Taylor gets a touch.
That’s if Taylor plays. Should he not dress, Frazier’s job in his first week will likely be a lot harder. And given all that’s happened for the Colts offense this season, it’s going to be hard as it is.