Frank Reich spent several years coaching Philip Rivers when he was a Chargers assistant coach and that history helped the Colts head coach sign off on the team’s move to sign the veteran quarterback as a free agent this offseason.
Reich knew he wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time teaching Rivers the offense because it’s so similar to what Rivers has done in the past. Knowing the offense is only part of the issue, however.
There’s also the question of how well Rivers can execute what Reich and company will want to do in the fall. After a 20-interception season in 2019, there are some doubts about his ability to reach a high level but Reich said his experience with Rivers has him convinced that the skills are still there.
“Obviously, when it came out that Philip was going to be available, it was an easy discussion to see that it was a fit with us,” Reich said, via the team’s website. “Does he still have it all left in the tank at 38? What does he have left in the tank at 38? Just having been there on the inside for the three years I was and knowing the quarterback position like I do, I was so confident that physically he was the right player and that he had not lost anything. All of the throws I saw on film and as I go back and studied him compared to previous throws, I really didn’t notice any physical gifts diminishing at all. I really didn’t.”
It’s a big bet that the Colts have made and it will be some time before they’re able to see if it is going to pay off on the field.