Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich was named the next Indianapolis Colts head coach on Sunday, making him the second Eagles assistant coach to earn a new job during the weekend.
Reich, 56, has been with the Eagles during the past two seasons as Doug Pederson’s top assistant on offense. He will take the job that remained vacant when New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels backed out last week after reaching an agreement with the Colts. Reich was previously an assistant coach with the Colts from 2008-2011 and spent 13 years as an NFL quarterback.
“Frank is a tremendous coach and very deserving of this opportunity,” Pederson said in a statement. “He was a valuable member of our staff and we have all benefited from working with him over the last two years. As good as he is as a leader and teacher, he’s an even better person. We could not be more excited for him as he takes this next step in his career and we wish him and his family all the best.”
Although Reich did not call plays for the Eagles, he had a big role in the offense. He helped create and install the system when Pederson arrived and was a key sounding board for Pederson. The two would meet for more than an hour on the night before games and go over the play sheet.
He also helped in the decision to draft Carson Wentz and in the development of the quarterbacks on the roster as part of the quarterback-focused coaching staff that the Eagles assembled in 2016. His job included funneling information from Pederson to the position coaches and back to Pederson.
“As the role of offensive coordinator, that’s what you do: you coordinate,” Reich said last month. “You take all the great resources that you have as far as the staff and our head coach, and you pile your ideas together and then you’ve got to narrow them down and that’s what we do. And we get a lot of good input from a lot of different ways, and that’s fun. I mean, it’s fun to work with the guys we work with and have the players that run those plays.”
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) February 11, 2018
In Indianapolis, Reich will work with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, one of the NFL’s most promising quarterbacks when healthy. Luck, 28, missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. The Colts went 4-12 last season. Reich replaces Chuck Pagano, who spent six seasons with the Colts and failed to reach the playoffs the past three years after leading them to the postseason during his first three years. The Eagles host the Colts next season.
The Eagles already lost quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo on Saturday when DeFilippo was named Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator. Losing both Reich and DeFilippo disrupts a coaching staff that helped the Eagles to the Super Bowl, although it’s one of the consequences of success.
Pederson now must replace two of the most important assistant coaching jobs on his staff. If the Eagles decide to replace Reich internally, running backs coach Duce Staley could be a candidate. Staley, a former Eagles running back, has been on the Eagles’ coaching staff since 2011. The Eagles interviewed Staley for the head-coaching job after firing Chip Kelly.