Frank Reich

NFC East Notes: Rudolph, Eagles, Cowboys

Kyle Rudolph is expected to undergo foot surgery soon, and he may be in for extensive rehab. The new Giants tight end is believed to be dealing with a Lisfranc injury, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. The troublesome foot malady can be difficult to shake, but Rudolph expects to be ready for Week 1. This injury is similar to what Evan Engram dealt with in 2019. Engram underwent surgery to address his Lisfranc issue in December 2019 and was ready for training camp last year. Rudolph’s timetable is considerably more condensed, which likely led to the delay in the veteran tight end signing his Giants contract. Engram and Rudolph would give the Giants one of the NFL’s top tight end tandems, but the former’s injury history and the latter’s current issue cloud that situation to some degree.

Here is more from the NFC East:

  • GM Howie Roseman and Eagles scouts had differing opinions on which players to select with the team’s top two draft choices last year. The veteran GM and Eagles coaches’ preference for Jalen Reagor won out over the consensus scouts’ preference: Justin Jefferson. Roseman also veered from his scouts’ recommendation in Round 2, tabbing Jalen Hurts over safety Jeremy Chinn, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. The Eagles will bank on the latter move this season, having since traded Carson Wentz and seemingly signed Joe Flacco to back up Hurts. Chinn went to the Panthers at No. 64 — 11 picks after Hurts — and finished second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Going to the Vikings one pick after Reagor, Jefferson finished second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.
  • Frank Reich‘s future took a major turn in 2018, when Josh McDaniels‘ backtracking on his Colts commitment ended up re-routing the Eagles OC to Indianapolis. This came shortly after Reich played a key role in the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship. Reich nearly saw his status change in 2017, however. A front office push for Reich’s firing existed, according to McLane, who adds Doug Pederson managed to save Reich’s job. In Wentz’s first season — a 7-9 Eagles campaign, which was also Reich’s first as Eagles OC — the team ranked 22nd in total offense. They rose to seventh in 2017, with Wentz finishing first in QBR. The Eagles, who promoted Mike Groh to replace Reich and then fired Groh after the 2019 season, have since hired Reich’s top Colts protégé (Nick Sirianni) as head coach.
  • Brandon Graham agreed to restructure his deal to provide the Eagles with additional cap space last month. Graham’s adjusted contract can be classified as a one-year extension, with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweeting the new deal is worth nearly $20MM over two years. The Eagles converted Graham’s salaries into prorated bonuses, with the 11-year veteran set to earn barely $1MM in base salary in each of the next three seasons. The team tacked on three void years to the contract, per OverTheCap, which indicates each of Graham’s cap numbers over the life of this through-2023 contract are south of $10MM.
  • After hiring Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator, the Cowboys brought both Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee over from Atlanta. The latter’s deal will be worth the veteran minimum, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Kazee will count just $988K against the Cowboys’ cap. Attempting to return from an Achilles tear, Kazee will collect $250K guaranteed.

Colts HC Frank Reich On Carson Wentz

One of the (several) blockbuster moves this NFL offseason was the trade of Carson Wentz from the Eagles to the Colts. Philly moved on from the former second overall pick, while Indy will now have their fourth Week 1 starting quarterback in as many years.

The fallout from this trade will be significant, and will take years to take shape. One of the people who will be most impacted by however it turns out is Colts head coach Frank Reich, and in a recent interview with Albert Breer of SI.com he opened up about the deal for his new quarterback. Perhaps most interestingly, Reich revealed that the team was originally planning on drafting a signal-caller before they stumbled into the Wentz tradee.

“Was it going to be a draft pick? Honestly, I think Chris and I were thinking, somehow we were going to figure out how we were going to be able to draft the quarterback of our future. And then this thing came with Carson and it fell into our laps,” Reich said.

The “figure out how” part makes it seem like the Colts and GM Chris Ballard were plotting a trade up in order to draft one of this class’ top passers. It’s fun to think about how that alternate history would’ve played out. Reich expressed confidence that Wentz can turn things around after his disastrous 2020 season, and said he doesn’t need to go all the way back to 2017 to see that, but just the year before last.

“All you had to do, for me, was turn on the film in 2019, and with four games to go the Eagles needed to win out. And not only did they need to win out, but in each of those games, as I recall, looking at the film, Carson had to play great in the second half, and play a major role in that team winning those games in the second half,” he explained.

Reich also made it clear he doesn’t want to be viewed as a guru who’s going to work his magic and reinvent Wentz on his own. “I’ve already had a conversation with Carson, to say, ‘O.K., everybody’s throwing the word fix around and I get it,’” Reich said. “I wanted to get that off the table with Carson, because as a coach, you’re not trying to make it all about you. I’m not the fixer.”

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This Date In Transactions History: Colts Hire Frank Reich

Three years ago today, the Colts wrapped up one of the strangest sagas in league history. Earlier in the offseason, the Colts agreed to hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their new head coach. Then, soon after they announced McDaniels’ arrival, he left them at the altar. 

[RELATED: Colts Pursuing Carson Wentz]

The Colts were forced to restart their head coaching search in a hurry. Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell and Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier were among those considered in the second act, but general manager Chris Ballard ultimately chose Frank Reich, the Eagles offensive coordinator who helped guide the franchise to its first ever Super Bowl championship. Reich had previously interviewed for the Bills’ and Jets’ head coaching vacancies in 2015, but went a few years without HC buzz.

It wasn’t an ideal situation, but the Colts felt that Reich could help them salvage things. In addition to the SB ring on his resume, Reich’s offense had just placed third in scoring, seventh in total yards, and eighth in DVOA. Not bad for a last minute scramble.

Under Reich’s watch, the Colts have reached the playoffs twice in three years. His 11-5 record in 2020 was his best to date, though they were stopped by the Bills in the opening round. Reich will now look to build on that with yet another quarterback running his offense — and it just might be old pal Carson Wentz.

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Colts To Bring Back Philip Rivers In 2021?

The Colts gave QB Philip Rivers a one-year, $25MM deal this offseason in the hopes that Rivers’ familiarity with Indy’s offensive system and a strong O-line will allow the 38-year-old to recapture some of his former magic. And if he does, look for the team to bring Rivers back in 2021.

[RELATED: Latest On Contract Talks Between Colts, T.Y. Hilton]

Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters, including Mike Chappell of CBS 4, that he fully anticipates a multi-year relationship with Rivers (Twitter link). That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that Reich championed the Rivers signing and has repeatedly said that he has no concerns about the eight-time Pro Bowler’s abilities at this point in his career. Plus, Rivers himself has stated that he wants to play for two more seasons, so if he performs well in 2020, it stands to reason that both sides would want to run it back the following year.

On the other hand, the Colts have also said that they still see 2019 starter and current QB2 Jacoby Brissett as a potential long-term answer, but if the team re-signs Rivers in 2021, Brissett — who is entering the last year of his current deal — will almost certainly seek greener pastures elsewhere. Indianapolis also selected Washington QB Jacob Eason in the fourth round of this year’s draft, and he could take over as Rivers’ backup next season if Brissett leaves.

Of course, this may all be a moot point. There is understandably plenty of concern about how Rivers will play this year given his difficult 2019 campaign, and though playing behind a terrific O-line will help, not all of Rivers’ struggles last season can be attributed to the Chargers’ comparatively weak offensive front. If Rivers looks more like the 2019 version of himself than the 2018 edition, then Brissett and Eason could both become starting options, and the Colts could also look for a first-round signal-caller.

Reich, however, does not expect that to happen and fully believes Rivers’ end-of-career stint in Indianapolis will cover at least two seasons.

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Longest-Tenured Head Coaches In The NFL

Things move fast in today’s NFL and the old adage of “coaches are hired to be fired” has seemingly never been more true. For the most part, teams change their coaches like they change their underwear. 

A head coach can take his team to the Super Bowl, or win the Super Bowl, or win multiple Super Bowls, but they’re never immune to scrutiny. Just ask Tom Coughlin, who captured his second ring with the Giants after the 2011 season, only to receive his pink slip after the 2015 campaign.

There are also exceptions. Just look at Bill Belichick, who just wrapped up his 20th season at the helm in New England. You’ll also see a few others on this list, but, for the most part, most of today’s NFL head coaches are relatively new to their respective clubs. And, history dictates that many of them will be elsewhere when we check in on this list in 2022.

Over one-third (12) of the NFL’s head coaches have coached no more than one season with their respective teams. Meanwhile, less than half (15) have been with their current clubs for more than three years. It seems like just yesterday that the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury, right? It sort of was – Kingsbury signed on with the Cardinals in January of 2019. Today, he’s practically a veteran.

Here’s the list of the current head coaches in the NFL, ordered by tenure, along with their respective start dates:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints): January 18, 2006
  3. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007
  4. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008
  5. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010
  6. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013
  7. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 2, 2014
  8. Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings): January 15, 2014
  9. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons): February 2, 2015
  10. Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles): January 18, 2016
  11. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017
  12. Doug Marrone (Jacksonville Jaguars): December 19, 2016 (interim; permanent since 2017)
  13. Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers): January 12, 2017
  14. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017
  15. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017
  16. Matt Nagy (Chicago Bears): January 7, 2018
  17. Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions): February 5, 2018
  18. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018
  19. Jon Gruden (Las Vegas Raiders): January 6, 2018
  20. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018
  21. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019
  22. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019
  23. Vic Fangio (Denver Broncos): January 10, 2019
  24. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  25. Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins): February 4, 2019
  26. Adam Gase (New York Jets): January 11, 2019
  27. Bruce Arians (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 8, 2019
  28. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020
  29. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  30. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  31. Joe Judge (New York Giants): January 8, 2020
  32. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020

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Colts DC Matt Eberflus Discusses McDaniels Ordeal

Back in January, Matt Eberflus was hired to be Josh McDaniel‘s defensive coordinator in Indy. Of course, things quickly changed. After having accepted the gig, McDaniels rejected the Colts and decided to stick with the Patriots.

The Colts ended up settling on Frank Reich as their new head coach, but general manager Chris Ballard still ended up honoring the coaching contracts that had already been signed. That meant that despite the unexpected coaching change, Eberflus ended up sticking around as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

While the Colts’ front office has been pretty clear about their feeling on McDaniel’s flip-flopping, the team’s coaching staff has been relatively quiet. Thanks to an ongoing interview series by Andrew Walker on Colts.com, we’ve got to hear some of Eberflus’ thoughts on the ordeal. While the entire article is worth reading, we’ve highlighted some of the notable soundbites below…

On his reaction to Josh McDaniel’s decision to not take the Colts coaching gig and remain with the Patriots:

“Yeah, when you get a situation like that — and I was here with Chris (Ballard), because Chris and I had been talking and I got hired here beforehand — so to me it was a situation where I trusted in Chris, where Chris’ vision was and what he was doing, what he’s all about — the kind of man he is; really the kind of organization this is, from Mr. (Jim) Irsay all the way down. And, to me, it was not unsettling at all. It was very calming to me; it wasn’t a problem, and I knew I wanted to be here, and I’m excited to be here in Indianapolis.”

On whether he was questioning his job security after the team hired Frank Reich as their head coach:

“No. Nope. As soon as it happened, Chris walked right in my office and we had a conversation, and it was done from that point.”

On his feelings about the defensive coordinator gig after learning about McDaniel’s decision:

“Well, you know what? In life adversities happen, and it’s how you handle them that count.”

On transitioning his mindset from being McDaniel’s defensive coordinator to being Reich’s defensive coordinator:

“Well, I just found out right from the beginning what kind of guy Frank Reich is. I mean, he is a high-character — same with Chris, same with Mr. Irsay. You find that out when those things happen, and you’re dealing with solid individuals and a solid franchise. And, to me, it was, ‘Step forward from there and let’s go.’”

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Colts Expected To Hire Nick Sirianni As OC?

After reports that the Colts were expected hire Chargers quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen for their vacant offensive coordinator role, ESPN’s Field Yates reports (Twitter link) that the team will in fact hire the Chargers wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni for the post. Nick Sirianni (Vertical)

The Colts requested permission to interview Sirianni on Sunday and moved fast to make him the team’s new offensive coordinator. Yates noted in a followup tweet that Sirianni is highly thought of with an extremely sharp mind and has the makings of a future NFL head coach.

The confusion is only par for the course for this Colts offseason. The team expected to hire Josh McDaniels as its new head coach following Super Bowl LII, but the Patriots offensive coordinator backed out at the last minute after several assistants had already signed contracts. The Colts then swooped in for Frank Reich, the Eagles offensive coordinator, and signed him to a deal on Sunday.

Sirianni received his first job in the NFL as an offensive quality control coach with the Chiefs in 2009. He served in that position until being named the team’s receivers coach in 2012. In 2010, he worked with the team’s quarterbacks and helped Matt Cassel earn his lone Pro Bowl selection. He became the Chargers quarterbacks coach in 2014 and transitioned to receivers coach in 2016.

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Colts Request OC Interview With Chargers’ Nick Sirianni

The Colts have participated in one of the strangest coaching searches in recent memory, but they concluded the process of identifying a head coach upon hiring Frank Reich earlier on Sunday. Now, they’re moving on to addressing key assistant positions.

Reich is targeting Chargers wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni for his offensive coordinator post, with Albert Breer of SI.com reporting (on Twitter) the Colts have submitted a request to meet with Sirianni.

The Chargers will grant this request, Breer reports (on Twitter).

Reich has a history working with Sirianni. The Bolts’ OC from 2014-15, Reich oversaw Sirianni’s work as San Diego’s quarterbacks coach. Over the past two seasons, Sirianni has worked with the Chargers’ wideouts.

The Colts have gone through some names in this complex search. Initially, the would-be Josh McDaniels-led staff was thought to feature former Raiders assistant Jake Peetz as OC. The franchise also has Darrell Bevell on its radar, repeatedly bringing up the ex-Seahawks OC’s name during interviews. Bevell is a coaching free agent, and although he’s linked to the Giants’ job as well, he would not require any permission to interview.

However, Reich’s history with the 36-year-old Sirianni probably shouldn’t be underestimated. Sirianni worked with the Chiefs during Scott Pioli‘s four years in Kansas City, serving as assistant QBs coach in 2010, before relocating to San Diego prior to the 2013 season.

This is, however, the first time Sirianni’s name has come up in a coordinator search. He was on the quality control level as recently as the 2013 season, when Reich was the Chargers’ QBs coach during a 9-7 campaign that doubled as the franchise’s most recent playoff appearance.

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Colts Hire Frank Reich As Head Coach

The Colts have hired Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich as their new head coach, the club announced today. It will be a five-year deal for Reich, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link), who first reported Reich had agreed to terms with Indianapolis. Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com indicated earlier today that Reich was the favorite for the Colts’ vacancy.Frank Reich (Vertical)

Indianapolis, of course, was forced to restart its head coaching search last week after Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels — who’d already been announced as the club’s choice — rejected the Colts’ offer. Reich was one of three candidates interviewed by general manager Chris Ballard, who also met with Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell and Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub was expected to be a candidate for the Colts, but was never interviewed.

Reich will reportedly utilize several of McDaniels’ staff choices as his assistants, as the Colts are expected to honor their contracts for defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, and defensive line coach Matt Phair, all of whom inked deals with Indy before McDaniels spurned the club. On the offensive side of the ball, the Colts are high on ex-Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell, but it’s unclear if Reich will hire the free agent play-caller.

After helping lead a Philadelphia offense which ranked third in scoring, seventh in yards, and eighth in DVOA, Reich was expected to garner head coaching interest this offseason, but he didn’t receive a single interview request until the Colts called. It was a similar story last year, when Reich was thought to have a meeting lined up regarding the Bills open HC job, but never formally spoke with the club. Reich last interviewed for head coaching vacancies in 2015 when he met with both Buffalo and New York.

The 56-year-old Reich, who is perhaps best known for leading the Bills offense back from a 32-point deficit in a 1993 playoff game, has worked as an NFL coach since 2008. After spending time with the Colts and Cardinals, Reich was the Chargers’ offensive coordinator from 2014-15 before joining the Eagles the following year.

Philadelphia has now lost its top two offensive assistants from its Super Bowl-winning staff, as quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is now the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. Running backs coach Duce Staley could be the favorite to take over as the Eagles’ OC, as Philadelphia is not expected to allow the division-rival Giants interview Staley for the same role on their staff.

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Frank Reich Favorite For Colts’ HC Job

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.

Frank Reich (Vertical)

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.

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