This past week, the Indianapolis Colts fired their head coach Frank Reich after five seasons. Reich was brought in to succeed Chuck Pagano, with the vision being that he would finally capitalize with the Colts. Indianapolis had spent years building a team that could compete to win in the AFC.
Reich was supposed to bring it all together. He was coming off Super Bowl winning success as a coordinator in Philadelphia. The Colts appeared destined for greatness.
This of course didn’t happen. Here’s the thing, does Reich deserve some of the blame? Sure. No coach in a failed situation without blame. To say Reich is 100% innocent here would be ignorant. It isn’t ignorant to say that he was sort of dealt a bad hand in Indy.
Chris Ballard is a fantastic GM. One of the best in the league in my opinion. He has consistently hit on draft picks and provided the Colts with an abundance of talent. With the exception of two positions however: wide receiver, and more importantly, quarterback.
Being fair to both, they actually were both dealt a horrible hand. Both thought they were going to have Andrew Luck playing QB for the next ten years in Indy. That clearly didn’t end up happening. Luck’s shocking retirement sent the Colts into a crisis, one which they never really recovered from.
Since Luck, the Colts have had a different starting QB every season.
For Reich, this obviously doesn’t make your job particularly easy. An offensive minded coach essentially having to change his system and play style every season isn’t exactly a recipe for success.
Aside from Carson Wentz, who I believe is the best signal caller the team has had since Luck, the starters have been very bad and/or limited. Even Wentz, who I think is treated unfairly at times, had his limitations.
Those QBs also didn’t have much to throw to. The team has had TWO, two good receivers in the last five seasons. Not at the same time either. T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr. is all they’ve had, and the rest of the receiving corps had been pretty bad.
Why am I talking so much about the Colts and their downfall? Well, I’m trying to say that Reich got the short end of the stick. He is truthfully a good coach.
Reich just never got a QB, or even a QB that he could build an offense around for more than a season. Despite all this, he was still able to keep the Colts competitive during his tenure. Reich finished in Indianapolis with a 40-33-1 (.547) career record, with two playoff appearances and a 1-2 (.333) career playoff record.
Not bad for a guy who had zero consistency in his offense at QB.
Now to the point of this article. I think the Patriots would be absolutely idiotic to not make a run at Frank Reich to be the new offensive coordinator in New England.
Like bird brained, moronic, straight stupid. Not just “in talks” either, I mean offer the man a contract and pay for his first class flight to Foxborough.
I know Belichick wants to keep his guys employed. I get it, and respect it. He’s loyal to his people, and is more comfortable working with people he has familiarity with. That being said, change is good. It’s very much necessary for this franchise as well.
It’s no secret the offense has been struggling. A lot of that has to do with Belichick’s decision to not appoint an actual OC. It appears sticking two non-offense oriented coaches with play calling duties doesn’t work. Who would have thought.
Reich can be the cure to all the offensive issues in Gillette. Want an offense that’s more run oriented? That’s been the Colts’ offense the past two or three seasons. The emergence of Jonathan Taylor helped make it possible, but the Colts have been more run heavy of late.
Reich has also gotten sort of used to working with QBs who are, how do we put this, not athletically gifted? I mean, Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers are the definition of immobile. Having a quarterback like Mac Jones will not both Reich. He’ll make it work.
The Patriots need a change, and it’s not going to come from within. They tried that, and it’s failed horribly. If Bill is serious about winning, he needs to swallow his pride and accept that change is necessary.
Frank Reich can help get this offense to where it needs to be. He’s a Super Bowl winning coordinator that outsmarted Belichick himself. If you can’t beat them, join them. In this case, if you can’t beat them, recruit them.
It would not be a very Belichickian move, but if the Patriots want to win anytime soon, this is the right move to make.
Featured Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports