Frank Reich: It’s a passing league, but you have to run it to be a championship team

Carolina Panthers Introduce Frank Reich as Head Coach
Getty Images

For much of Frank Reich’s tenure as Colts head coach, the run game was the backbone of the team’s offense.

That was perhaps best on display in 2021, when running back Jonathan Taylor led the league with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns — though two bad losses at the end of the season prevented Indianapolis from advancing to the postseason.

But as Reich begins his tenure with the Panthers in 2023, he said when he met with the media this week that the ground game will be plenty important.

“It’s a passing league but you have to run the ball to be a championship team,” Reich said, via Mike Kaye of the Charlotte Observer. “There’s exceptions to that, but when you look at the analytics, the statistics over the years — you’ve got to be effective running the football and efficient running the football.

“That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about this roster — I know we can do that. We’ll get the pass game right, but I know we can run the football and we are going to run the football, because that just builds off the play-action, the [run-pass option] stuff, all the movement stuff, so that’s what you want to build.”

Despite sending Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers in a midseason trade, the Panthers still featured a strong run game with D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard down the stretch under interim head coach Steve Wilks. That was highlighted by a 320-yard rushing performance in the 37-23 victory over the Lions in Week 16.

As Reich said, the Panthers have a lot to figure out at quarterback. But his offensive philosophy should lend itself to what was Carolina’s strength in 2022.

4 responses to “Frank Reich: It’s a passing league, but you have to run it to be a championship team

  1. I think winning championships also means not making bone-headed calls in the playoffs in game situations Frank, colts fans would probably agree , re: against Buffalo in playoffs in 2020.

  2. Suddenly Reich knows what it takes to win after being fired a quarter into his last season. I’m not sure what the criteria is to be a head coach in the NFL. It’s like they just make it up as we go. Whatever a leader, yet undesirable candidate has, well, we want the other thing. The result is usually failure or mediocrity at best. Does Tepper even want to win?

  3. Oh man. Get ready for text book Reich play calling: 1st and 2nd down runs up the middle and pass on 3rd and 17

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.