Yesterday was a day of rave reviews for the Colts hiring of Frank Reich as their Plan B head coach, with Reich’s affable, professional demeanor exactly what they needed after being suddenly jilted by Josh McDaniels last week.
In fact, it was so good that it made owner Jim Irsay why they didn’t realize Reich was such a good fit sooner.
As he recalled his first meeting with Reich, Irsay told Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star he was struck by how natural a fit it seemed to be.
“I know you would think [this is] natural for me to say,” Irsay said. “But the more I think about it, the more I thought, ‘Jim, how come you were so stupid? How could you not have seen the clarity of this sooner?’”
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard said that Reich was on their initial list of potential candidates when they fired Chuck Pagano, but his name was culled as they shortened the list and interviewed candidates in January. The fact Reich hadn’t yet helped lead a backup quarterback to a Super Bowl win probably had something to do with that.
“I’ve thought a lot about that, too,” Ballard said. “I thought about it after I got done interviewing him. I go, ‘My Lord, what was I thinking?’”
Reich might have been easy to overlook, because the top spot on the depth chart was never really his as a quarterback. But as he did in so many comebacks in his career, Reich showed Tuesday he’s good on his feet. When asked by former Colts punter Pat McAfee whether he loved or hated McDaniels for the situation that led him to this point, Reich replied: “The back-up role has suited me well in my career.”
It was a perfectly timed one-liner, and perhaps the perfect answer for a Colts team that has overcomplicated simple things in recent years.