The Pittsburgh Steelers have an offensive identity crisis of massive proportions. They don’t know who they are or, possibly, what they even want to look like. The offense needs fixing, but head coach Mike Tomlin clearly stated that significant changes are not coming in 2022. The team has to ride out the final nine games with what it has.
Naturally, Reich’s name has been linked to the Steelers, who are in desperate need of offensive direction.
“I’d have to think that teams with young quarterbacks like the Steelers, Jaguars, maybe even the Bears and Titans would have to at least explore the possibility of creating a role on staff for Frank Reich,” NFL insider and Heavy Sports’ Matt Lombardo tweeted.
“Especially given his track record of developing quarterbacks.”
It’s all merely conjecture, but could his name be in the conversation as Pittsburgh’s next offensive coordinator? It’s a long shot. The last external offensive coordinator the Steelers hired was Todd Haley in 2012.
If the shocking were to happen, would Reich fix the Steelers? Probably not. But it would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Frank Reich’s Resume
Frank Reich coached the Indianapolis Colts to a 40-33-1 record over five seasons. He’s an offensive-minded coach whose resume includes the 2017 Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Reich was the offensive coordinator for a young Carson Wentz, who has a reputation for being defiant and difficult to coach. In Wentz’s first two seasons, he had a quarterback record of 18-11 and threw for 7,078 yards.
Before that, he was Peyton Manning‘s quarterback coach during his first go-round in Indianapolis. Under Reich’s coaching, Manning won his record fourth AP MVP award in 2009 and continued to set records in 2010. He was quarterbacks coach for a spell with the San Diego Chargers, where Philip Rivers was at the helm.
As the head coach in Indianapolis, Reich never had an opportunity to do what he seems to do best: Develop young quarterbacks. Andrew Luck abruptly retired after Reich’s first season as head coach. Jacoby Brissett, Brian Hoyer and 39-year-old Rivers were the Colts’ quarterbacks the following two seasons, then a reunion with Wentz. The 37-year-old Matt Ryan experiment was short-lived and sixth-round 2020 draft pick Sam Ehlinger was thrown into the fire.
The Steelers, and their budding quarterback Kenny Pickett, could be just what Frank Reich needs to get his groove back.
“If you want to do right by your young first-round quarterback, Reich is probably the best quarterback-developer out there at the moment,” said Lombardo. “I could see him being a great fit in Pittsburgh.”
An added benefit is Reich not only played professional football but did so as a quarterback. That perspective and knowledge could be extremely valuable to Pickett.
Steelers Twitter Reacts to Colts’ Frank Reich Firing
Immediately after the Indianapolis Colts announced the move to fire head coach Frank Reich, Steelers’ Twitter erupted.
As badly as Steelers fans want offensive coordinator Matt Canada fired, they want Reich hired.
“Steelers need to give Frank Reich a call right now!” tweeted Jordan York.
The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly tweeted, “Frank Reich would look good coaching the Steelers’ offense.
Steelers fan Jared Kane played off Mike Tomlin’s general line of questioning for draft-day players. “Frank Reich … Mike Tomlin HC of the Pittsburgh Steelers. You healthy? Great man. We’re ready to make you our new OC.”
Frank Reich doesn’t have to be in a rush to decide among the myriad of options he’ll have. The Colts signed him to a five-year contract extension in 2021.