Colts Fire Frank Reich After Five Seasons

Indinapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich
Indinapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 9 - According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Indianapolis Colts have officially fired head coach Frank Reich.

The news comes just one week after the Colts fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady. In the one game since, the Colts posted three points and 121 yards of total offense in a 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots. The Colts offense currently ranks last in the league in offensive DVOA and last in offensive scoring.

Hired in 2018, Reich led the Colts to a 40-33-1 regular season record with playoff berths in 2018 and 2020. At 3-5-1, the Colts were off to their worst start through nine games since Reich took over.

Reich faced the unique challenge of having a different starting quarterback in each of his seasons with the team. Reich was never able to find a quarterback to fill the role vacated by Andrew Luck, who unexpectedly retired. Over Reich's five-year tenure, seven different quarterbacks started games for Indianapolis.

 

Comments

65 comments, Last at 08 Nov 2022, 5:20pm

#1 by BigRichie // Nov 07, 2022 - 11:53am

GIVEN a new starter every year, 7 over those 5 years is actually remarkably stable.

Points: 0

#2 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:01pm

I think Reich is a great playcaller/OC.

Just don't think he's a good head coach. Lots of stuff there that indicates that: being super-confident in Wentz, the mess at OL this year, desperation firings. All of those things are just going to undermine player's confidence in you, and as soon as that happens, everything's shot.

Also starting a rookie when you're playing the Patriots is just never a good idea.

Points: 0

#7 by TomC // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:13pm

Possibly. But do you let Ballard try again? Or is he also out? And what advantage for the team* is gained by canning Reich now?

* The advantage for Ballard is obvious. He evidently won a Soviet-style "one of us is getting shot and it ain't me" back-room power struggle, and now he gets time to work on Irsay without any dissenting voices in the house.

Points: 0

#14 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:28pm

And what advantage for the team* is gained by canning Reich now?

That part's easy, in my opinion. Reich had almost certainly lost his players. He had OL guys commenting on Twitter as to why they're not playing, and then that guy does play and is just incredibly better (still not good, but "not worst in the league" was a massive step up). And swapping to Ehlinger mid-season really probably cost him a bunch of support as well, because I think Reich was probably preaching it's not one guy, and almost certainly the film review wasn't showing Ryan as the key problem. So you get lots of "um, okay, if they're just throwing guys in there, am I next getting tossed?"

So why fire Reich now? Basically to stem the confidence loss. Players aren't powerless in the NFL, especially now - if they see a sinking ship and they also see that they're gonna end up putting up bad tape for the league and possibly getting scapegoated, they're gonna start making noise about holding out or wanting a trade.

That being said, Ballard's been so godawful drafting that there's not that many of those guys there that you care about, sooo....

Points: 0

#20 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:43pm

I agree with most of what you said, except for the comments on Ballards drafting. That’s the one place I see him being better then the average GM. Looking at his drafts, there aren’t really any picks where there is some guy taken within the next 5 picks who would have clearly been the better choice at the time  

Obviously there are picks where with 4 years of hindsight you can say he should have drafted some other guy, but not really all that many. 

As I said in another post, in my opinion it’s free agency where Ballard has really failed. 

Points: 0

#24 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:58pm

Bleh, we're kindof double-replying to each other, but: part of it is trading for Wentz (losing a first-rounder, especially by choice, hurts), trading for Buckner and another part is going after low-impact positions.

His first-round picks have been: safety, guard, (none), (none), edge, (none). Two of those were effectively pickups for Buckner and Wentz. Obviously half of those trades worked at all, but I'd still say Buckner was not worth that trade overall because they coupled it with an extremely high contract. You might say "Ya-Sin was their first round pick, really, they would've picked him there anyway" - and that doesn't really help since he's probably not exactly a "hit" at the first-round spot anyway.

I'm sounding overly critical here, and I don't mean to be. It's not that he's bad, I just think on balance he's not anything special.

Points: 0

#28 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:13pm

And now back to this thread ;)

Yeah, I guess I look at the Buckner trade as that years “1st round pick”. In that sense, I think he’s been a reasonable return on the investment. 

I think we’re not the far off in our opinion on his drafts, but I guess it depends on where you set the bar for results. I’ve always felt that most GMs were below average drafters (and yes, I know that doesn’t make any mathematical sense, it’s like a reverse Lake Woebegone). So, I see a 2-3 solid starters every year as being a pretty successful drafter. 

I also agree with you that successful picks at low impact positions isn’t a great resume line. I just don’t see where Ballard has clearly missed on a pick. I think the 2019 draft that you mentioned is the closest. Picking Paris Campbell in third a few picks before DK Metcalf is a miss. Ya-Sin in the 2nd was a miss too. Though the colts were in desperate need of a CB that year. 

Points: 0

#29 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:23pm

In that sense, I think he’s been a reasonable return on the investment. 

It's the pick plus the contract. You've gotta have a perennial All Pro at that point. For that contract, I think they could've gotten Buckner in free agency. Now, granted, you could say "but someone else could've traded for him to prevent that" and I agree, but trading a first-round pick for negotiation rights for a guy who isn't exactly a top player at his position (just normal very good at his position) is a bad move.

I also agree with you that successful picks at low impact positions isn’t a great resume line. I just don’t see where Ballard has clearly missed on a pick.

From the way you're looking at it, I get it- but the problem is you don't have to look at it like that. You just can't take a guard at #6. Like, the Raiders took Kolton Miller like 10 picks later and I think that might be a better pick. Nelson's a way better player, but tackle's just more important and it's not a position you can get in free agency easily. You absolutely could've snagged Nelson in FA especially being willing to blow up the market.

What I'm saying is that Ballard's "ok in draft, bad in FA" is essentially the same thing. If you go for low impact positions in the draft (which is easy!) it means you have to go after high impact positions in FA. And those guys are inherently worse.

Points: 0

#33 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:04pm

That last point is a really good one. I’ll admit I’ve never thought of it that way. You’re absolutely right that it’s nearly impossible to fix high impact position problems through FA. Those guys just don’t hit the market. So, almost by definition, you have to fix them via the draft.

So, even drafting really well at low impact positions doesn’t actually improve your team, unless you’ve already got the high impact positions nailed down for the next 5 years. 

The risk of course then is that you become the Browns or the Bears or the Lions or whatever and never nail down those positions…

Points: 0

#37 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:22pm

 

The risk of course then is that you become the Browns or the Bears or the Lions or whatever

You only become the Browns/Bears/Lions by actually being an incompetent franchise. You can't "bad luck" your way into being a disaster. Sometimes you can "good luck" your way out for a short while, which might've been what happened to the Colts while Manning was there.

But the problem with those franchises is that they don't know what they're doing with drafting those positions. And yes, I know the Bears QB just had a great game, but it's a long-term thing, not a short-term thing.

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#38 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:26pm

You can't "bad luck" your way into being a disaster.

That just makes you the Chargers.

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#3 by halfjumpsuit // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:07pm

Ballard should have been fired too if you're making this move now.

Points: 0

#6 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:13pm

In reply to by halfjumpsuit

If the intent is to hire an interim head coach, keeping Ballard as a lame duck GM until the end of the season should be fine.  The trade deadline has passed and there likely isn't too much pressing that needs to be done right now.  Better to take their time and line up candidates.

On the other hand, letting Ballard hire the new go forward head coach would be ridiculous.  They need a new GM so get that GM first, then let the GM hire the coach.

Points: 0

#9 by halfjumpsuit // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:21pm

Better to take their time and line up candidates.

That is one of the reasons why Irsay should have fired him today. You can't get a head start until you actually start.

(Well, you can, Stephen Ross has tried and failed a few times but he's not a standard you want to be.)

Points: 0

#11 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:24pm

Is this really true? Just how much is a team gaining on prospective head coaches with half a season's head start? 

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#15 by halfjumpsuit // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:28pm

I thought you meant GM candidates, so I was talking about getting a head start on a new GM. 

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#4 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:07pm

Ballard is out of excuses.

Irsay has one left.

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#8 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:18pm

Ballard should be out of excuses. I'm sure he could spin it - it's easy enough to say you relied on Reich's opinion on what he could do with both Wentz and Ryan and that the OL stabilization over the year just shows what they could've done in week 1 with better coaching.

It's just hard to know what the dynamics were behind the scenes. How much was Ballard getting guys that Reich wanted, for instance? When a HC is just willing to offer himself up as a sacrificial lamb like Reich was on the Wentz thing, any smart person would take that opportunity to buy themself a get-out-of-jail-free card and make sure to hedge yourself (like saying "well, it's incredibly important to have that QB/HC connection, so if Frank's certain, I think we should do this"). Now it's a win/win. After all, Reich wasn't Ballard's first choice. 

None of this should be taken to be supportive of Ballard.

Points: 0

#10 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:23pm

Yeah, while Reich wasn’t part of the solution, he was far from the main problem. Ballard has a pretty solid draft record, but has totally failed at free agency. Even his trades have been okay, except for the Wentz one. The scuttlebutt on that one is that Reich was really pushing for it. 

I understand the desire to “build from within” and not overpay for free agents. Sometimes though, there are glaring holes on the roster that you can’t fix on the cheap. 

Points: 0

#18 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:37pm

Ballard has a pretty solid draft record, but has totally failed at free agency.

The problem with this is that he actually spent draft to acquire players, so a lot of the "okay at draft" is tempered by the fact that he had less to work with... and that's his own fault.

In terms of just pure numbers, in his entire 5 year stretch of drafting, I think there's only like, 3 Pro Bowl level players and all of them are at low-impact positions. Which is another knock on a GM: it's easier to get great players at low-impact positions (just think about drafting a RB high).

Points: 0

#22 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:53pm

We’re responding in different threads here, but the only disastrous trade from a draft capital perspective that I can think of is the Wentz one. If anything in draft weekend he’s happy to trade back for more picks. 

Even with the Wentz trade, with the QB market being set by the Stafford trade that offseason, I’m not sure what the other options where. There was an interesting post on here sometime in the last few weeks looking at the QBs drafted over the last 20 years or so. It was interesting seeing how few mid-tier QBs were drafted during the 2010s. There’s certainly some good ones at the top, but it falls off quickly. There just aren’t many Cousins/Carr/Tannehill type competent starters in the league right now. 

Points: 0

#44 by BigRichie // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:31pm

There's no mathematical reason whatsoever as to why it should be "easier" to get Pro Bowl players at low-impact positions.

Spare me your thinking. This would be a thing very easy to empirically show if it's indeed true.

Points: 0

#45 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:38pm

Assuming that probowl is even a clear representation of who is good; especially for low impact positions (which really just reads no reliable counting stats).

On top of probowls being skewed by wins and losses(when you can't accurately proportion the credit pie, you just simply give it to everyone); I think there are biases that come from playing on good teams. Its easier to pass block when you are head. Its easier to play defense when you have the lead. Its easier to do anything when the circumstances are in your favor. Peyton Manning makes everyone's job, including his coaches, much easier because he is Peyton Manning. Ergo, it stands to reason how someone like Matt Ryan or Sam Ehliger can do the opposite. 

Which goes back to my original point. If the Colts had landed a top QB are we even discussing how good a head coach Frank Reich is or analyzing Ballard's draft record?

Did anyone bother with Matt Lafleur's reputation until now?

Points: 0

#47 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:44pm

Its easier to pass block when you are head

I don't agree with this statement. Making a proper pass set has very little to do with the scoring margin, and plus, late game you don't even do pass blocking much at all.

If the Colts had landed a top QB are we even discussing how good a head coach Frank Reich is or analyzing Ballard's draft record?

The best QB in the league would've walked over to Frank Reich in week 1 and pointed to the left tackle and said "that guy can't block. Pull him or pull me."

Points: 0

#48 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:53pm

I don't agree with this statement. Making a proper pass set has very little to do with the scoring margin, and plus, late game you don't even do pass blocking much at all.

Pressure Rates sure are affected by game scripts as are sacks. Not too mention, being out of a million third and longs helps you pass block. I don't think that's really up for debate. 

Points: 0

#49 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:56pm

Not too mention, being out of a million third and longs

How does being ahead keep you out of a third and long?

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#50 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:06pm

Its easier to do anything when the circumstances are in your favor.

What I wrote above. I don't really understand why this is a source of disagreement or why it took 3 responses unless you think down distance and win probability are completely irrelevant to the difficulty of being a pass blocker, in which case it would save a lot of time if you just came out and said that instead of picking out one part of a sentence. 

Points: 0

#52 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:21pm

It's just win probability. Down and distance are obvious. I don't understand how having a lead in Q4 makes it easier to pass block. I mean, at that point the defensive linemen are going wacko crazy to try to kill you, and if you take a play off you'll get your QB killed.

Pressure rates would show a residual correlation because having a lead in Q4 is correlated with being a better team.

Points: 0

#54 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:42pm

having a lead in Q4 is correlated with being a better team.

Except this is true even if you compare pressure rates by team. Why thats true, I don't know. I can come up with theories but since neither you nor I play in the NFL, its meaningless conjecture. But the numbers are what they are. 

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#56 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:47pm

Except this is true even if you compare pressure rates by team.

I mean being a better team in game. If you've been getting pressure on the other team, you're more likely to be in the lead in Q4, regardless of whether or not you've been good at getting pressure the rest of the season. And if you've been getting pressure on the other team the rest of the game, it's not going to stop in Q4.

It's definitely true there will be fewer opportunities to pass protect if you have a lead, and the outcome is less likely to be a sack because the QB is more likely to be playing well.

Points: 0

#60 by serutan // Nov 07, 2022 - 9:55pm

"I don't understand how having a lead in Q4 makes it easier to pass block. "

In a direct sense, it does not. Indirectly it does because you aren't forced to pass. Indeed, you're going to want to kill clock so you're going to run a lot more, and defenses have to honor this which means less pressure on the QB which means pass blocking is easier.

Points: 0

#63 by Pat // Nov 08, 2022 - 10:32am

There are still situations where you do need to pass, though. You don't just hand the ball back to the opponent freely. And in situations where the opponent's desperate, it can be harder to pass block.

That's what I was saying - if you correct for the fact that you're passing less often and the defense is geared to prevent a pass (along with the obvious "I'm better than you" biases), I doubt a high win percentage makes it easy to pass protect. You could say "well, yeah, but those things are part of having a lead," of course, but they're not guaranteed (and they're not exclusive to having a high win percentage).

Points: 0

#46 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:41pm

This would be a thing very easy to empirically show if it's indeed true.

It... has been? LB/S/C/G all had the highest All Pro rates from '86-'10.

Running backs are lower but that's a tougher situation since the demand for the position's changed so much.

Points: 0

#51 by BigRichie // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:12pm

Every year there are 2 All Pro safeties, Every year there are 2 All Pro cornerbacks.

What in the Sam Hill 'rate' are you talking about here??

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#53 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:27pm

In reply to by BigRichie

The highest rate of players drafted in the first round who make All Pro at some point from that 25 year span comes from LB/S/C/G.

There's a Bleacher Report article on it.

Points: 0

#55 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:43pm

And not coincidentally, all positions that put up 0 counting stats of note. I wonder if that is playing into this. 

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#57 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:55pm

This is my point. I'm not trying to say Ballard actually drafted high-end players. He drafted guys who get recognition easily because they got drafted high. Complete tautology.

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#58 by BigRichie // Nov 07, 2022 - 5:31pm

OK, that's the rate you're talking about.

Which is reason FOR! drafting that 'great' guard prospect rather than that 'good' tackle prospect in the first round. (to the extent All Pro selections are legitimately telling) A greater likelihood of actually hitting on a player type is reason to take a shot on such player type, rather than a lesser likelihood of hitting therefore being reason to take such shot.

'This Player is more likely to bust than That Player, so let's choose This Player'. Umm, no.

Points: 0

#59 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 5:48pm

The salary disparity between guard and tackle is pretty big, like $5-7M/yr. You're basically giving up almost a full round in value. Yes, you can find elite ones slightly better, but a below All Pro tackle is just as valuable as an All Pro guard.

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#21 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:51pm

How much would free agency fix an offense this broken? You could probably give Ryan an all star roster and the best version of that team is still just an ok offense. 

I truly believe the magnitude of scrunity is tied 1 for 1 with the quarterback situation. If the QB stinks, everything looks a lot worse but that just makes it a bad process.

Take any regime out there currently and replace their incumbent QB with some short term stop gap and a win now mandate. Just who is going to be left with a job in 5 years? Once again, I can probably come up with 3-4 names I feel good about. That's why I think this all goes back to Irsay. 

Points: 0

#23 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:55pm

I certainly can’t argue that the QB carrousel hasn’t hurt the team. This years train wreck is solidly on the o-line in my opinion though. That’s a Ballard failing. 

As for the best possible version of this Colts team, that’s probably the Tannehill Titans. Granted, they were the number one seed last year, but I don’t think anyone thinks that’s a Super Bowl quality roster/team. 

Points: 0

#25 by Pat // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:05pm

This years train wreck is solidly on the o-line in my opinion though. That’s a Ballard failing. 

It's not purely a Ballard failing. Dennis Kelly had been lobbying internally (and on Twitter) to get a shot, and when he finally did, he was clearly the right option. That's not on Ballard, that's on Reich.

The Kelly/Nelson/Kelly/Pryor/Smith OL could've started week 1. If they had, there's a huge chance Ryan's still starting and they've got a winning record. There's just no way around this. When you've got offensive linemen that can't pass set and it isn't necessary, blaming it on anything except the head coach is unavoidable.

Points: 0

#5 by theslothook // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:10pm

Three things:

First: I think firing the coach mid season is just an ego flex by the owner. Something along the lines of, "we are now serious about accountability". But accountability isn't the problem. The offense sucks because the qb and the talent sucks. I think Irsay knows that too, but whatever, he has to do SOMETHING.

Second: I think Reich is a good coach and this result is just the inevitability of what happens to teams trapped in the middle. When your QB sucks, every decision you make becomes magnified and nit picked. We keep giving every other coach with a great qb a pass because the QB makes sure they win so its all swept under the rug. All of the ex post narratives to me are meaningless unless we apply this standard across the league which absolutely no one is doing. 

Third: The real story behind all of this isn't so much the reaches at QB, which were always desperation moves that were akin to Russian Roulette. Eventually, you are going to get a bullet in the head in the form of Matt Ryan. No, the real story is what motivated those decisions in the first place and I suspect both Reich and Ballard knew that Irsay was unwilling to take the low and slow bbq approach to qb grooming. Instead, on paper they had just reached the AFC divisional round with a good roster so taking a backward step towards a long term potential gain was just not acceptable. So viewed through that lens, this group did about as well as they could. Its easy to laugh at the Wentz decision and the disaster trade that came with it, but who else were they going to grab in free agency that would represent a credible upgrade? Even if Reich was gung ho about the move, its on the GM to overule those decisions. We separate GM and head coaching duties for a reason. I posed this question before. Replace Reich with whomever you want and is this offense really any better? Maybe you can come up with one or two names but its mostly deck chairs on the titanic stuff.  

Sustained winning is hard. Its nigh impossible without a top end QB. And the success and failure of coaches is far more tied up in the stock of their QBs than anyone cares to admit. Don't be surprised if we are reading Matt LaFleur has been fired next year. Or Todd Bowles for that matter. 

Points: 0

#16 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:36pm

I agree that firing a coach midseason is rarely beneficial. If anything, Irsay usually errors on letting things go too long (my assumption being he doesn’t want to be seen as being like his dad). That being said, if he does nothing, he ends up looking like the living embodiment of the “This of fine” comic. 

I don’t think firing Reich is going to fix anything, but slow marching him down death row for the next 9 weeks doesn’t seem like a particularly good option either…

Points: 0

#36 by KnotMe // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:17pm

Well, the alternative would be to accept you can't do anything and stay the course. Start Ehlinger on the off chance he turns into something and take your draft pick.  I think Reich is a decent (probably above average), so if you don't fire him, you have that piece in place. Hiring coordinators wo HC experience is a major roll of the dice (seems at least 50% don't work out, although it might be better if you just don't hire ones who worked for Belichick), 

 

Maybe Irsay's plan is to tank for a top 2 pick and go after Sean Payton? Can't any other obvious good HC candidates out there, and he at least has chance of getting Payton from the saints. 

 

 

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#41 by Spanosian Magn… // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:11pm

Your last point touches on something important that's easy to overlook: Reich, or almost any lame duck coach, would probably prefer to be fired asap (assuming the outstanding paychecks are unaffected). We almost always look at these situations solely from the team's perspective, but there is another party involved, and while they might not have much real (or nominal) leverage, keeping someone around who really doesn't want to be there usually isn't good for anyone. It's easy for me to spend other people's money, I suppose, but a six-figure new expenditure for an interim coach doesn't seem too significant when one's already committed to a nine-figure annual outlay (on one's ten-figure asset), even if only for vibes and human decency reasons.

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#12 by dmstorm22 // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:25pm

I'm hoping this is step one, with step two being canning Ballard in the offseason. There is no reason to let him have any part in picking the new coach or the new QB.

While we all can like his background and making some decent draft picks, he's ignored what had been the most glaring need the Colts had for years (edge rushers), banked FA money without spending it when they really should have given their short-term thinking at QB from the Rivers season onwards, and over-invested in an OL that admittedly is doing way worse than I think anyone would have imagined.

Yes, he was blindside by Luck's retirement, but this is Y4 post Luck and they are on a clear downward trend.

As for Reich, I hope he gets a chance elsewhere as given the QBs he was given he ahd decent results. Granted, Reich shoulders a lot of the blame for the Wentz gamble to begin with.

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#13 by Theo // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:27pm

The Steelers should hire him as OC asap. 

Not that he changes much, as long as NHALS is the HC, but Reich > Canada

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#39 by Spanosian Magn… // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:46pm

Blame Canada

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#27 by TomC // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:10pm

Frankreich > Canada.

Tja logisch, s'ist näher, warmer, und einfacher zu erobern.

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#34 by KnotMe // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:11pm

Same with the Packers or the Pats.  

Lot more OC openings that usual  it feels like. 

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#43 by dmb // Nov 07, 2022 - 3:21pm

Would love to add Washington to that list, but since Ron Rivera has not previously worked with Reich, realistically there's no chance of it happening.

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#17 by Shylo // Nov 07, 2022 - 12:36pm

Colts should do Ballard too, hopefully they won't.

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#26 by johonny // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:07pm

The Jags are on the phone to him this off-season for offensive coordinator.

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#31 by Sixknots // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:34pm

The Jags need to can their GM even more than the Colts.

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#30 by Paul R // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:26pm

Shocking to consider that, for all the dumpster fire, the Colts are in second place in the AFC South. If they actually make the playoffs, this will look like a genius move. 

If Derrick Henry breaks his foot again, the Titans could go belly-up. Then there will be a dismal feeding frenzy at the bottom of the AFC South swamp and the Colts could come out on top.  

(Just imagine if the Colts make the playoffs behind Nick Foles. Wentz would just hate that.)

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#32 by Johnny Ocean // Nov 07, 2022 - 1:58pm

It's 1974 and a portly gentleman is pacing back and forth on the Baltimore Colt's sideline.  He approaches The HC and demands that Bert Jones be sent in to replace Marty Domres and the longest running tantrum in sports history begins.   The Irsay family has, from the inception of their ownership, shown a general lack of respect for their players, coaches, and communities they operate in.  Their primary strategy for improving their team is to tank so they get better draft picks.  Firing Frank Reich, ordering that Ehlinger is to start from now on is all part of a planned effort to lose as many games as possible for the remainder of the season.

The NFL Rules committee should put in place an anti-tanking rule that forces teams deemed to be tanking intentionally to draft last in each round. Maybe require a two thirds majority of owners or set up an independent panel to determine when tanking is in use and recommend the team for action.

Points: 0

#35 by Ben // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:14pm

For as terrible an owner as Bob Irsay was, I don’t think Jim is anywhere near that bad. I truly think he wants to win football games, he’s willing to spend money to do so, and usually doesn’t meddle in the day to day operations of the team. There are plenty of worse options out there. 

I don’t think this is trying to tank. I think it was this team had become so disfunctional that sitting around and doing nothing was no longer an option. 

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#64 by turbohappy // Nov 08, 2022 - 3:44pm

I actually think the moves this week (as insane as they seem) are actually a sign that Irsay is NOT trying to tank. If he'd just done nothing they would have continued into wholly unwatchable oblivion, with the dysfunction of the offense eventually dragging down the defense as well. This move might give them less chance to win this week, but I think it gives them at least a shot of being a watchable and reasonably competitive team the last 5 games of the season. Maybe it doesn't work, but I could easily see this team winning 3 or 4 games down the stretch at the end of the season which would totally destroy their chance at a top pick. This team is really important to the city and being unwatchable is worse than just not being a winning team.

Points: 0

#40 by Steve in WI // Nov 07, 2022 - 2:51pm

If you wanted to go that route, I think letting the owners determine tanking is a nonstarter because absent something really egregious and outside the norm, how many owners are going to want to set a precedent of tanking being punished when they know that their team might be in a position to benefit from it?

Plus I still think outside of a team sitting all of its starters in week 18 in an attempt to secure the number one pick, tanking usually isn't a binary thing. You could say it's whatever some independent panel determines, but that also is ripe for abuse.

Points: 0

#62 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 08, 2022 - 12:08am

Yet the guy that's been there longer and has a worse win% (and <.500 btw) survives in Ballard. 

Sure Reich isn't blameless but this still reeks. Let a new GM decide on the next HC (even if that meant retaining Reich, since a case can be made, ask all the film guys). I highly doubt Reich was toxic enough to warrant a mid season firing. We would've heard about it. Doubt 3/4 winnings seasons (including the last two) would earn a little patience. 

Doubt Reich is jobless for long. Hmmm, maybe he can go back to PA and take over for Matt Canada. 

Points: 0

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