After what has been the most painful process of selecting a new Colts head coach in franchise history, the wait is finally over. In some strange way, it feels like Frank Reich landing the position makes perfect sense.
The move to court McDaniels and potentially provide him with his second chance as an NFL head coach was certainly driven out of a desire to put together an incredible coach and quarterback combination that could be devastating to opponents. In Reich, it appears they may be able to accomplish the same goal without sacrificing any integrity or taking a chance on a man who has a questionable past with power and chemistry with players.
There were a number of mistakes that could have been made along the way in this process. The Colts could have ended up with a coach who was so inexperienced that he would present a major gamble. They could have chosen well respected coaches with a defensive background who were really secondary options. They could have panicked and ended up with someone who wasn’t prepared. Instead, after a wild and bumpy ride, the team ends up with a former Colts coach who is familiar to Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, Peyton Manning, and Tony Dungy and who just finished his season as the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl winners and not for the Super Bowl losers.
In many respects, Frank Reich already has many of the positive traits fans were looking for in McDaniels. He has many of the same accolades working with superstar quarterbacks and developing backups into winners. He has experience coaching Manning and an up tempo style of offense, he adjusted to the run pass option to get the most out of Nick Foles, and he has a lot of experience in a West Coast style of offense. He should be able to help mold the scheme to best suit his quarterback and the weapons around him.
He is also the anti-McDaniels in many other ways. He has been known throughout his career for his integrity. He is a motivational speaker, former pastor, and is very well respected by his former players. He is almost like an offensive-minded Tony Dungy. The only hope Colts fans can have now is that he is able to be a players coach in terms of respect and direction but also bring toughness and inspiration to lead his team into battle and back to winning football.
Somehow, after all the Colts fan base has gone through, this just feels right. It feels like it has been worth the wait.
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