The Colts’ surprising move of installing Jeff Saturday as interim head coach was followed by another surprising move in Saturday naming pass game specialist/assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier as the club’s offensive play-caller.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Frazier confirmed he’s never called a play in a game before — though he mentioned he has called some things in walk-through and practice. But on Sunday, Frazier will be in the booth at Allegiant Stadium calling the plays for young quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
While Frazier didn’t divulge why he thought Saturday picked him for what is essentially the role of interim offensive coordinator, Frazier did say he’s looking forward to the opportunity.
“I just know how I prepared,” Frazier said in his press conference. “I know where my mindset is. I know that we have a staff that I love and appreciate. These guys have stepped up to the plate and they’re already helping me so much. We have so many guys with such good experience.
“I think a lot of it was those guys have roles. Me stepping into this role allows everybody else to keep their same roles and a lot of those processes stay in place, which I think is a big part of it. For me, I’m confident in my abilities. I’m never going to say that I have all the answers because I don’t think anybody has all the answers and this is what I told the guys, ‘I’m going to work my tail off though to find them.’ That’s all that I can do, is say I’m going to give you my best. That’s what I bring to the table.”
Frazier, 30, has been thrust into the spotlight because the Colts fired former offensive coordinator Marcus Brady a week before firing Frank Reich. Now, Frazier said he’s sharing the duties of leading offensive meetings with other members of the offensive staff. He related stepping in as a play-caller to how players talk about the “next-man-up mentality.”
“When you’re playing the game you constantly go through and think, ‘I’ve got to be ready to go even though it’s not my time.’ I think in coaching that’s kind of been my approach,” Frazier said. “Whatever role I was in — when I was Frank’s assistant, I was taking the approach to the job as if, ‘If I’m a head coach, what would I do?’ When I’m the assistant quarterbacks coach I’m watching Marcus and I’m watching [QBs coach] Scott [Milanovich], ‘What would I do if I was in this position?’
“Now, having worked closely with the play-caller obviously the last couple years — really, everything that I do I’m saying, ‘How do I want to do it?’ I think that’s a part of growth. I think when you take the approach of doing that, then I think that you’re learning. Obviously, you don’t get that experience of doing it, but when you take the approach of ‘How would I do it,’ and you put yourself in that position, it gives you the ability to be ready.”
We’ll see how Frazier fares beginning with this week’s game against the Raiders.