INDIANAPOLIS -- The contract is signed this time.
That was the easy part for new Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich. The Colts are scheduled to introduce Reich during a press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. And then Reich will spend time playing catch-up, since it’s already the second week of February.
First, he has to round out his coaching staff. The Colts are set at defensive coordinator with Matt Eberflus, defensive line coach with Mike Phair and offensive line coach with Dave DeGuglielmo. Those three will remain on staff after originally agreeing to be part of Josh McDaniels' staff before McDaniels changed his mind at the last minute to return to New England.
ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates reported Monday that Los Angeles Chargers receivers coach Nick Sirianni will be Reich’s offensive coordinator. Sirianni and Reich have a relationship from when the Colts head coach was on staff with the Chargers. Sirianni and Colts general manager Chris Ballard also have Kansas City ties. Sirianni had a wide range of duties with the Chiefs, including receivers coach, while Ballard was in the front office.
Reich still has to find position coaches on both sides of the ball. There is never a shortage of coaches available. It’s just a matter Reich hiring the right ones that fit in with the franchise and can develop what likely will be a young roster.
Will Reich call plays? The combination of being a playcaller and first-time head coach could be a lot to ask of Reich.
What Reich has in his favor is that he spent the past two seasons watching how Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson handled the role of being the head coach and playcaller while Reich had the title of offensive coordinator, with duties including putting together the game plan each week. Pederson, Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter, New Orleans' Sean Payton and Oakland’s Jon Gruden are some of the head coaches who also call plays.
It’s not out of the realm of the possibility that Reich will call the offensive plays, because the defense appears to be in good hands with Eberflus as the coordinator.
While Reich also needs to figure out how to get the most out of Andrew Luck, he needs to get Luck back on the field first. Then, hopefully, he can have the same type of relationship with Luck that he had with Carson Wentz in Philadelphia.
The waiting game for Luck to return from right shoulder surgery is now in its 13th month. There still isn’t a timetable for Luck’s return, as he continues to take the necessary steps before throwing a football for the first time since the middle of October.
Wentz was arguably the NFL’s MVP front-runner (3,296 yards, 33 TDs) until he tore the ACL in his left knee late in the season. A pairing with Reich could help a healthy Luck quickly get over the past three seasons, after missing a total of 26 games. The reality is that the Colts will only go as far as Andrew Luck can lead them.