Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Feb 2018

Frank Reich to Be Indianapolis Head Coach

The Colts have quickly found a new head coach after the Josh McDaniels debacle, agreeing to terms with Philadelphia offensive coordinator Frank Reich. What I find interesting here is that Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo agreed to leave to become offensive coordinator in Minnesota just two days ago, even though he knew Reich was interviewing in Indianapolis. I wonder why he didn't wait a couple days to see if the Eagles' OC position might be opening up.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 11 Feb 2018

42 comments, Last at 23 Feb 2018, 8:28pm by LionInAZ


by theslothook :: Sun, 02/11/2018 - 6:27pm

Probably an imperfect analogy but this reminds me of the McVay signing. Gruden was hired to groom rg3/Cousins and successfully developed a pretty good passing game, much like Doug Peterson. It's hard to parse how much credit goes between head coach and offensive coordinator.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/11/2018 - 6:42pm

Because Pederson calls his own plays, maybe?

Minnesota might offer a more powerful OC role.

Now let's see if Reich signs his contract...

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:22am

How do we know Lurie didn't slip an Eagles renewal on top of his pad?

by andrew :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:08am

Speculation is DeFelippo will be a head coach soon, possibly by 2019.

And further speculation is that Zimmer will have to retire soon due to health reasons, so DeFelippo would be the Vikings next head coach as the coach in waiting.

That would make sense as to why DeFelippo left, if they dangled that in front of him.

by davepyne :: Sun, 02/11/2018 - 7:41pm

Let's see how the regime of the First Reich does. . .

by Scott P. :: Sun, 02/11/2018 - 9:33pm

He'll have the psychological advantage when Indy plays the Oilers.

by Richie :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 3:23pm

Yeah, but my question is: does this transfer to Texans games, Titans games or both?

by NJBammer :: Sun, 02/11/2018 - 10:32pm

And the Andy Reid offense will be run by another team. Chiefs, Eagles, Vikings, Bears, and now the Colts are all part of the new spread RPO style offense started by Reid.

by dank067 :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:20am

A style that Reid and others have heavily adapted from stuff that's been all over the college game for several years now.

Pederson fully deserves credit for his work on Philly's Super Bowl run (and the overall success of the Eagles offense this past season), but it's fun to notice how many of Chip Kelly's favorite plays and concepts the Eagles ran in the postseason this year. (You could certainly argue it kinda reflects poorly on Kelly, in that he had obviously good "stuff" but couldn't make it work in the NFL like Pederson, Reid and others have.)

It's also a massive credit to Andy Reid that he looked at the prevailing trends in college football—some of which were popularized by the guy he was replaced in Philadelphia with—and actively worked to incorporate them into his offense, even after 20+ years as a head coach.

by Cythammer :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 1:10am

I'm not sure that does reflect poorly on Chip Kelly because I don't think it's at all clear that he couldn't make it work in the NFL. As a coach Kelly was pretty successful in the NFL. His fall came because he was a terrible GM. After a good start in Philly Kelly the GM basically ruined it for Kelly the coach.

by xydux :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 3:33am

Also it might not have been entirely that his concepts didn't work so much as his personality wasn't right.

by dank067 :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 2:20pm

I didn't see much of Kelly's one year in San Francisco, but I know in his last year in Philly part of the problem they were having was that defenses began to anticipate certain play calls—Kelly wasn't disguising them well enough, or sequencing them in a way to keep the defense on their heels, etc. Something he might have struggled with because he had gotten so used to being able to overwhelm defenses with pace, superior athletes, etc.

by zenbitz :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 3:51pm

Kelly's team in SF was almost wholly devoid of talent, specifically depth (they did have a few decent players carry over from 2016-2017)

They turned over a huge fraction of the roster when KS took over and still lost 9 straight games.

by theslothook :: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 3:12pm

They were also injured. I felt like Kelly was set up to fail from the start. People didn't like him so that didn't help the situation.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:25am

Philly openly installed a lot of older stuff Foles had done well with in 2013.

I swear, coaching isn't that hard. I think other coaches keep guys like Fisher around to increase the external appearance of their own value.

by serutan :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 2:56pm

That part isn't hard, but figuring out what succeeds for a QB in the first place could be more difficult.
Was wr

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:54pm

Coaches kept Fisher around? Did you mean team owners or something? But then they don't have any motivation.

Without having direct experience coaching in the NFL I'm still pretty certain it's hard to do well...

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:55pm

[Space accidentally reserved]

by jtr :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:26am

>And the Andy Reid offense will be run by another team

I wonder if it's going to reach the point where this offense "saturates" and stops being very efficient because of too many teams running it. It happened with the Tampa 2 in the 2000's. When too many teams run the same scheme, they all start competing for the same players and driving up the price. Everybody who runs this is going to want an athletic, improvisational point-guard style QB now, for instance. Plus, it becomes easier for opposing teams to prepare for since they see a lot of the same looks from multiple opponents.

by Richie :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 3:28pm

I'm ready for some team to "zig" while the rest of the league "zags" and switch to the 1972 NY Jets offense. 16 yards/completion but under 50% completion rate.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 4:52pm

Josh McDaniels ran this offense in Denver.

by Richie :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:39pm

I guess not very successfully. In 2009 they averaged 11.2 yards/completion, which was only 18th-best, and completed 61% of their passes.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:46pm

For some reason, I was thinking Josh was still around for the Tebow offense

by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:37pm

He was, just the worse version of it in 2010.

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:03am

The "50% completion" part is right (exactly 41/82 in 2010), and under McDaniels he had the highest yards/attempt of his career at 8. Still a far cry from 16 though.

by xydux :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 2:54am

That's exactly 16 yards per completion, actually (look back upthread to the post that started this part of the discussion).

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 6:15am

Oops you're right, I was looking at the wrong stat

by Richie :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 4:09pm

Ahh, so Tebow had the 16 yards/completion, but the team only got to 12.9 since Orton had most of the attempts.

by Travis :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 5:15pm

Tebow didn't start until Week 15 of 2010, and McDaniels was fired after Week 13. Let's call it the Eric Studesville offense.

by Shattenjager :: Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:30am

He was not. Tebow did not play until after he had been fired.

by ChrisS :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:48pm

This offense could be effective, if the team has a very good defense since you need plenty of stops to give your high variance offense the large number of drives needed for success. It would also exploit the QB market by avoiding over-priced "good", salary-cap consuming QB's and using cheap/mediocre running QB's with accuracy issues that are easily replaceable (since the running makes them easily injure-able). But humans generally like the comfort/assurance of the crowd, as sticking out and being unsuccessful is much more career damaging then just being unsuccessful.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 02/11/2018 - 11:04pm

It's usually better, in terms of getting a head coach job, for a coordinator to be on the opposite side of the ball from the head coach. Zimmer pretty much gives his offensive coordinators complete autonomy.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 4:27pm

reich might eb good. wer will see. andre w luek maygbe not healthy anymnore. over/under 8 games. would probably take the uder.

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:14am

This seems like a much better hire for Indy in every way. Reich is much less of a risk--even before McDaniels' recent flightiness--and I'm not seeing any good reason their potential is any different. The only advantage McDaniels had over Reich is head coaching experience, which Josh has demonstrated he likely did not learn much from, besides the fact that head coaching gigs grow on trees.

As much as I dislike bumbling your way to success, the only team that can even screw success up is further east, so the Colts are probably going to be fine.

by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 2:32pm

Josh McDaniel - the Frank Burns of NFL coaches

by Bobman :: Thu, 02/15/2018 - 4:38am

Ferret Face? Couldn't commit to Hot Lips (Indy) and went home to "mommy" (Bill)? Or nobody likes him? Thinks he's hot stuff but really isn't?

The guy I want running my team is the Colonel Flagg of the NFL. Team will suck, but hot damn, it will be a wild ride.

Which brings up the inevitable question: Which MASH character would make the best HC?

Potter, the crusty war horse?
Radar, the deceptively competent wallflower?
Hawkeye: great skill, great ego.
Charles: Uh, same, but less fun.
Henry: Everybody loves him, but nobody respects him.
Margaret: Tough on the outside, mushy inside.
Trapper: He'll leave after two seasons.
BJ: Big feet, dubious moustache, wants to get back to the Bay Area.
Sydney Freedman: watches, listens, calm, the only sane guy in the room.
Klinger: Dresses really well, just not appropriately. Hairy.
Flagg: Spikes the opponents' locker room water with tiny devices that react with stomach acid to activate a chip that enables him to track and predict their movements. Then has his MLB tackle a security guard who accidentally drank the same water because he "looks like a commie disguised as a security guard." Concludes press conferences by breaking his own limbs and diving off the podium.

by Sixknots :: Thu, 02/15/2018 - 1:53pm

Father Mulcahy: "The ball will ALWAYS bounce favorably with Him in the backfield". (points up)

by LionInAZ :: Fri, 02/16/2018 - 6:29pm

Burns was the incompetent who blamed others for his mistakes.

As for coach, I'd go back to the movie and pick either Lt Dish for bringing back Painless from the dead, or Spearchucker Jones for being someone who actually knows football.

by LionInAZ :: Fri, 02/16/2018 - 7:08pm

Frank Reich is at least someone new, not the usual retreads. I wish him luck, if only that he is not worse than Pagano was.

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 02/20/2018 - 5:41am

Luck, or luck?

by LionInAZ :: Fri, 02/23/2018 - 8:28pm

Indianapolis needs more "luck" than Luck.