Frank Reich: NFL coaches have obligation to set mask example

USA TODAY Sports

Colts coach Frank Reich acknowledges that wearing a mask while coaching is not convenient, and is difficult to maintain.

He is also aware that is not remotely the point.

Via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star, Reich said he thought the visibility of his job made it important for coaches to be seen wearing masks during games, after five coaches were fined $100,000 for not wearing them.

“I think it’s everything,” Reich said. “To say it’s optics could be taken as a negative, but the NFL has a huge platform. Optics is important, at some level. We’re trying to set an example for the country. I respect the fact that the league is running a tight ship on this with the testing, and I think our players and coaches have said, ‘Whatever the league says, that’s what we’re going to do.’”

Reich said he tried 20 different models, before settling on one that he found easiest to talk under. It’s still not a perfect solution — as his nose was still poking out at times. But as the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s mindful of complying.

“Because you’re talking a lot, there are times that it came down, and then as soon as I think about it, I pull it back up,” Reich said. “There is a little conscious effort. It requires a little more enunciation and speaking a little bit louder, but it’s fine. You adjust to it and make it work.”

And as Vic Fangio, Pete Carroll, Kyle Shanahan, Jon Gruden and Sean Payton found out this week, it’s costly if you don’t.

7 responses to “Frank Reich: NFL coaches have obligation to set mask example

  1. Dont fine them, that doesnt fix anything. Make the coaches coach from the pressbox area. Most coaches want to be on the field, this could fix. But if they continue to do so, suspend them from the field.

  2. Hey Coach! The mask needs to cover both the mouth and nose.
    If you’re not going to wear it correctly, then why bother?

  3. I don’t really understand the need to pull the mask or gaiter down to talk to someone a few feet away. I am teaching classes 4 hours a day with a mask on and while it isn’t ideal, the kids in the back of the room 25′ away can hear me just fine. So no need to keep pulling it on and off. Whether coaches who are tested daily should be forced to wear masks is another issue, but as long as they do, just keep ’em on.

  4. Good for Reich for taking the time to try to find a mask that feel decent. He’s still not doing a fantastic job wearing it, but he’s doing better than a lot of other coaches.

    I’m always looking at mask designs. A lot of progress is being made. There are masks that are partially see-through, and some new innovative models that are entirely see-through. One, a brand-new Made in America design called the Leaf, looks especially good. You’d think with how much money they’re paid that a coach would buy the best and that it would be something he would keep on because it would work and be relatively comfortable. Actually, considering how much these guys are on camera, I’m a little surprised that the innovative companies aren’t falling over themselves to offer their masks to coaches.

  5. Well said,Frank. Sadly, skeevy coaches like Sean Payton have never been interested in setting good examples.

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