5 top takeaways from Colts coach Frank Reich’s winning press conference

Frank Reich – the one in the middle – threw a perfect pass to Colts fans yesterday.

Okay, maybe the whole Josh McDaniels debacle worked out exactly the way it was supposed to.

If Frank Reich coaches like he performed in yesterday’s introductory press conference, get ready for banners being hung at Lucas Oil Stadium.  He was that good.

Reich spoke about teamwork, toughness, discipline, collaboration, preparation, character, and other attributes of winning organizations.  Words are cheap – we know that – but there was a palpable steel behind Reich’s words that inspired trust.

Any real evaluation of Reich’s ability to coach requires game action, clock management, schematics, leadership, and talent appraisal.  

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Yesterday, Reich’s performance made us forget all about Josh McDaniels, but his legacy will be defined by the on-field work by the players he helps to gather, teach, and motivate.

Here are the five quotes from Reich that were most memorable and illustrative of Reich’s football philosophies:

5 – The relationship between a head coach and a GM is critically important in any NFL organization. It became very apparent really early on that Chris and I shared a very common philosophy and vision for this team and for this organization. It really began with the idea that every person matters and that every detail matters in building a championship culture. One person at a time, one detail at a time, we will build a championship culture.

4 – When you step into a boxing ring, you want to impose your will on your opponent, and as an offensive team and as a team in general, we want to impose our will on the opponent.

3 – We’re going to be a close team. It’s going to be built around trust, respect and love – a love of the game. As Chris and I talked about what this team would look like, it was all about we want players that love the game of football, that love to come to work every day and players that love each other and players that have a vision and realize it’s bigger than them.

2 – There’s nothing better than collaboration. Collaboration doesn’t mean that there’s no leadership. It doesn’t mean that there’s no voice. It doesn’t mean that there’s not clear conviction on where we’re going. Collaboration means there’s respect in the room. There’s talent in the room, and our job as leaders is to get the best talent, the most-talented staff and to draw all of that out of them, to draw the best ideas.

1 – Every time that we step on the field to compete, there will be four marks that will mark our team:

  • The first one is that we will be the toughest. We will be the toughest both mentally and physically. What I mean by that is there will be a relentless pursuit to get better every day. A relentless pursuit, relentless every day, to get better and an obsession with finishing strong.
  • We will be the most disciplined team. We will have the structure, we will have the system and we will have the processes that cultivate discipline.
  • We’re going to be the most prepared…what we’re going to be about as an organization and as a football team is creating and cultivating habits, championship habits and championship thoughts.
  • We’re going to be the most united team. We’re going to be a close team. It’s going to be built around trust, respect and love – a love of the game.

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That’s Frank Reich in a nutshell.  No chopping wood, no iron sharpening iron, no jingoistic pablum.  Collaboration, love, respect, discipline, imposing will, and preparation.  Everyone knows those are the ingredients to winning in football, business, and life.  Does Reich have the ability to combine them into a delicious championship level concoction?

We’ll begin the process of finding out in eight months.

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.

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