Today is a happy day for the Indianapolis Colts and Frank Reich, who will be introduced as the team’s next new coach.
It should be. It should also be a time of hope for fans because what the hell else is there for us in February following a 4-12 season with a franchise quarterback who may or may not play in 2018?
We could spend some time and energy examining the flawed methodology that led to today’s joyous introduction as the culmination of one of the wackiest coaching searches in NFL history. There is also reason to dig into the not so distant past (25 months ago) as owner Jim Irsay linked then GM Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano as the brain trust as evidence of a foundering enterprise whose glory days are in the rearview mirror.
Let’s ignore all the reasons for concern that led to this reality, and instead welcome back Reich to the franchise where his coaching career started in 2006 as an intern on Tony Dungy’s staff.
Legit optimism exists that Reich will prove to be the right guy to help shape the Colts roster into a team that might find a way to compete in the AFC South sooner rather than later.
Here are some of the reasons Reich has a chance to be the right hire:
- Reich coached and played under Tony Dungy and Marv Levy – two of the best respected men and coaches in NFL history
- He also played for Rich Katie who provided plenty of contrary lessons as to what a coach should not do.
- Reich coordinated a Super Bowl Champion offense led by a back-up quarterback, who less than two years ago considered quitting football.
- He’s a man of strong faith. I go ahead and assign that as a positive, but I know plenty of CYO coaches of considerable religious spirit who can’t win a game with sixth graders.
- Pagano preceded him. We have to feel very confident that Reich is going to be a better game manager than Pagano. Reich is also a very smart guy, and that can’t hurt.
We actually know much less about Reich than we would like to prior to exclaiming his arrival will usher in another generation of double digit wins.
He’s never done this before. Reich actually has significantly more experience running a seminary than he does as a head football coach.
Nothing less than time will tell whether he’s truly the right guy, but there is no reason not to indulge in hope.
That’s why we have the offseason.
Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.