Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich has emerged as the favorite to become the Colts’ next head coach, as Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com report. The two sides still have to work out contractual details, but Indianapolis wants to bring Reich aboard.
The Colts, of course, were left at the altar when their previous top choice, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, spurned Indy’s offer at the eleventh hour. After the McDaniels debacle, the Colts interviewed Reich, Bills DC Leslie Frazier, and Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell. In all, the team has interviewed eight candidates for the position, several of whom accepted head coaching jobs elsewhere before the Colts’ “second search” commenced.
Reich was a hot name at the beginning of this year’s coaching cycle, which makes sense considering how effective the Eagles’ offense was in 2017. However, over time, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo wound up garnering more attention from teams with HC vacancies thanks to his role in Carson Wentz‘s development (DeFilippo, of course, wound up taking the Vikings’ offensive coordinator position). Reich’s candidacy may also have been hurt by the fact that Doug Pederson is the play-caller in Philadelphia.
Reich, a former third-round pick from the University of Maryland, was an NFL quarterback for 13 seasons, though he started only 20 games during that time (posting a 5-15 record in the process). His playing career ended in 1998, and his coaching career began in 2006 as an intern with the Colts. He eventually moved up Indianapolis’ coaching ranks and served as the team’s WRs coach in 2011. He served in the same capacity with the Cardinals in 2012 and worked as the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach in 2013 before being named the Bolts’ OC in 2014. He worked in that role for two seasons before becoming the Eagles’ OC in 2016.
Speaking of the Eagles, this leaves the Super Bowl champs in a bit of a lurch. They are on the verge of losing two well-respected offensive coaches in Reich and DeFilippo, which means that current running backs coach Duce Staley could be in line to become the team’s new OC. Staley was also rumored to be the Giants’ current top choice for OC, so Big Blue will be left scrambling if Philadelphia does not let Staley get away.
In the end, the Colts may well get a Super Bowl LII OC, just not the one they expected. However, as Schefter and Mortensen note, neither GM Chris Ballard nor the team had any comment Sunday about this latest development. Given what Indianapolis just went through with McDaniels, no announcement will be made until after a contract is fully executed with a new coach, a source said.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.