Eight NFL teams are looking for head coaches right now and they’ll all profess great excitement about how their choices are everything they ever wanted at press conferences, but it’s worth remembering that a backup option wound up being one of the best hires off of last year’s coaching carousel.
Frank Reich was the Colts’ plan B after Josh McDaniels decided to return to the Patriots at the 11th hour and he’ll be coaching the team in Kansas City next weekend after beating the Texans 21-7 on Saturday afternoon. That win was the Colts’ 10th since starting the year with a 1-5 record and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton explained after the game why the team bought Reich’s message that the year wasn’t over at that point.
“He played the game, and he has a way of communicating with players that lets you know he cares about you,” Hilton said, via ESPN.com. “So everything’s about the players, and when he talks about everybody coming together for each other, it’s easy to all rally around that.”
After Reich was hired last February, Colts owner Jim Irsay gave one of those press conference pronouncements about how perfect the fit was with Reich. It sounded like a bit much at the time, but it was much easier to believe Saturday’s pronouncement that Reich “should have been our first choice” all along.