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Less than a week after Josh McDaniels bailed on the Colts, Jim Irsay found his man. The Indianapolis Colts snared Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Reich is the latest Eagle to leave the nest after quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was hired as the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. McDaniels was seen as the dream choice to rebuild the Colts offense around Andrew Luck but like the sniper at the All-Star game for the Springfield Isotopes, McDaniels backing out was a blessing in disguise. McDaniels had a lot of credentials but it’s clear he didn’t have the maturity for the job. It was one thing to change his mind but another do to so and leave newly-hired assistants in the lurch.

Reich brings not only a Super Bowl ring and a breadth of experience but he brings the ability to develop a quarterback. Considering that he not only turned second-year quarterback Carson Wentz into an MVP candidate, but he also resurrected back up Nick Foles. When Wentz tore his ACL, everyone outside of Philadelphia put a fork in the Eagles Super Bowl chances. Thanks to Reich and the rest of the staff, Nick Foles went from almost being out of football to a Super Bowl MVP. For Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, this is great news.

Luck hasn’t been seen throwing a football since having surgery in January of 2017. Before his injury, it was clear that while he had all the talent in the world, he didn’t have the proper guidance. The Ryan Grigson administration was content to let Luck win them games rather than hire people to help make him better. It was the less successful version of what the Ted Thompson regime did in Green Bay. Reich’s offense is flexible enough to make the best out of Luck’s skill set. New general manager Chris Ballard will make it his mission to build around Luck as best he can. This includes getting him a line and more weapons than T.Y. Hilton. They also need to build a defense that can hold a lead leaving less wear and tear on their franchise quarterback.

Prior to being the Eagles offensive coordinator, Reich served as the quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator for the Chargers. Philip Rivers showed improvement under Reich’s offense. Prior to working with the Chargers, he also served as a wide receivers coach for the Cardinals and Colts. He also was Jim Kelly‘s back up in Buffalo from 1985-1994. His playing career ended in 1998 with the Detroit Lions. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is finally ready to run his own team.

The Colts have a franchise quarterback but now have the right coach in place to take the team back to the playoffs. If Luck is healthy then that should happen sooner rather than later. If he still can’t play, Reich should make backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett a better player in the interim. It was embarrassing to be stood up by Josh McDaniels but Frank Reich should give the Colts the last laugh.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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