Colts hire Eagles OC Reich as head coach
After a surprising and embarrassing renewed search for a head coach, the Indianapolis Colts hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich on Sunday.
Reich is expected to be formally introduced at a Tuesday press conference, the Colts announced.
The Colts’ decision to hire the Super Bowl-winning coordinator wrapped up an intensive coaching search after New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ stunning move to back out of an agreement in principle that led to the team announcing Tuesday that he would be introduced at a news conference Wednesday.
The NFL Network first reported Reich’s agreement on a five-year deal, and it was confirmed by other media outlets and ESPN, which reported earlier Sunday that Reich was the favorite for the job.
Reich, 56, emerged as the favorite for the job after meeting with Colts general manager Chris Ballard on Friday.
“We are excited to have Frank Reich as our new head coach,” Ballard said in a statement. “Frank is a leader of men who will demand excellence from our players on and off the field. I look forward to working with Frank to deliver a championship-caliber team to the city of Indianapolis.”
Reich’s resume was enhanced with quarterback Nick Foles leading the Eagles to a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots last Sunday in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles’ offense, led by Carson Wentz before his injury and then Foles, improved from 22nd in 2016 to seventh in the NFL this season.
The Colts finished an intensive round of interviews over the weekend after Ballard was left to explain the embarrassing circumstances in which McDaniels reneged on a deal. Ballard acknowledged there was no signed agreement with McDaniels.
In response to fans joking that they didn’t believe the Reich hiring to be official, the Colts tweeted a photo of their new coach holding up Sunday’s newspaper.
Ballard also interviewed Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on Saturday. New Orleans Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell had talks with the Colts on Thursday.
Reich, a former NFL quarterback, began his coaching career in 2006 as an intern with the Colts and eventually was promoted to coach the quarterbacks and wide receivers until 2012. He left to become the wide receivers coach for the Arizona Cardinals for one year and in 2013 was hired by the Chargers as their quarterbacks coach before becoming the team’s offensive coordinator the following year. He joined the Eagles in 2016.
“Frank is a tremendous coach and very deserving of this opportunity,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said in a statement. “As good as he is as a leader and teacher, he’s an even better person. We could not be more excited for him as he takes this next step in his career and we wish him and his family all the best.”
The Colts are coming off a 4-12 season and have missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, leading to coach Chuck Pagano’s firing. Quarterback Andrew Luck missed the entire 2017 season due to recurring pain in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder
The Colts will have about $85 million in salary-cap space, according to ESPN, and the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft.
Meanwhile, Colts officials will be in Atlanta on Monday to pay their respects to Edwin Jackson, the 26-year-old linebacker who was killed in a drunken-driving crash on Feb. 4.