Frank Reich was fired as coach of the struggling Colts
The day after one of the Indianapolis ColtsIn one of its worst offensive performances in recent memory, the team fired five-year head coach Frank Reich.
Colts’ 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday was their third straight loss. It was the latest example of their deepening offensive challenges that are beginning to look insurmountable despite a recent quarterback change from Matt Ryan that Sam Ehlinger and last week’s firing of offensive coordinator Marcus Brady.
Reich, 60, was 40-33-1 (.547) in the regular season and had a 1-2 record in two playoff appearances. It was a tenure defined by constant changes at quarterback; The Colts had different starters in each of Reich’s five seasons as the franchise struggled to find a quarterback to fill the shoes of Andrew Luck, who retired before the 2019 season. The terms of the past two — Carson Wentz and Ryan — ended in ugly fashion (Wentz was traded after one season and Ryan was benched after seven starts).
The Colts have been unraveling since the end of last season, when Indianapolis lost its final two games despite needing just one win to clinch a postseason berth. Final 2021, lost 26-11 to 3-14 Jacksonville Jaguarswas a particularly unsightly performance that drew the ire of owner Jim Irsay and prompted him to rededicate himself to fixing the problems that led to the poor finish.
After all, the year 2022 did not bring significantly different results.
Offensively, the Colts (3-5-1) are in the worst shape of Reich’s tenure. After Sunday’s game, the longtime NFL quarterback and 2017 Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator. Philadelphia Eagles alluded to the Colts’ frustration at being so inept on offense, his area of expertise.
“Offensive performance, that’s why I was brought here. That’s my responsibility,” he said. “So we’ve got players. We’ve got players who are good enough. I’ve got to do a better job. It starts with me on offense. I’ve got to do a better job of getting guys ready to play, putting guys in a good position to win and getting answers when we face problems.”
There has been no response lately.
The Colts failed to convert any of their 14 third-down attempts on Sunday, which was tied for the worst in a single game in the NFL in 30 years. Indianapolis had 121 yards of total offense, the team’s lowest output since 1997 and the fewest of Reich’s tenure by 84 yards.
Reich built a reputation during his time in Indianapolis for being able to bring a team back from the brink. The Colts have been notoriously slow starters, but have steadily come on strong in the late seasons. The Colts started 1-5 in 2018, but finished 10-6 and made the playoffs. Last year, they started 1-4 before rallying to 9-6, only to lose the final two games of the regular season.
What remains unclear is the fate of general manager Chris Ballard, the man who assembled the team and hired Reich.
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