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HomeSportsFrank Reich's firing reveals new Colts coach will want QB to succeed

Frank Reich’s firing reveals new Colts coach will want QB to succeed

Frank Reich’s firing turned inevitable for the Indianapolis Colts, a matter of when, not if. 

After Sunday’s humiliating 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots, that includes one of many worst offensive performances in franchise historical past, the fact felt tangible in Reich’s voice addressing the media. There was the play caller of an offense that could not enhance. The fingers had been pointed all spherical, relationship again to final season. It was quarterback Carson Wentz, in order that they traded him within the offseason. It was quarterback Matt Ryan — Wentz’s substitute — in order that they benched him. It was offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, in order that they fired him. The Colts ran out of individuals to level fingers at. It was Reich’s time. 

But perceive this, too: the Colts’ offensive points go far past Reich. One of them? The carousel at quarterback, an important place. 

For the brand new coach to achieve success — within the interim, it is going to be legendary Colts middle Jeff Saturday, who has no skilled teaching expertise, a surprising transfer — the franchise should discover stability on the spot. 

In Reich’s Colts tenure, which spanned 74 video games (77, together with the playoffs) in 4 and a half seasons, Indianapolis had seven beginning quarterbacks: Andrew Luck (2018), Jacoby Brissett (2019), Brian Hoyer (2019), Phillip Rivers (2020), Carson Wentz (2021), Matt Ryan (2022) and Sam Ehlinger (2022), the present starter. It’s really shocking Reich had as a lot success as he did — a 40-33-1 regular-season file (.547 profitable proportion) – with bridge-option quarterbacks post-Luck. But that is not a sustainable profitable mannequin, particularly not one for a proud Colts franchise, to usually contend for Super Bowls. 

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Of the 16 groups to play in convention championship video games since 2018, 10 had homegrown quarterbacks: the 2018 Patriots (Tom Brady), 2018 Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes), 2018 Rams (Jared Goff), 2019 Packers (Aaron Rodgers), 2019 Chiefs (Mahomes), 2020 Bills (Josh Allen), 2020 Chiefs (Mahomes), 2020 Packers (Rodgers), 2021 Bengals (Joe Burrow) and the 2021 Chiefs (Mahomes). 

The remaining six acquired their beginning QB by way of commerce or free company – the 2018 Saints (Drew Brees), 2019 49ers (Jimmy Garoppolo), 2019 Titans (Ryan Tannehill), 2020 Buccaneers (Tom Brady), 2021 49ers (Garoppolo) and the 2021 Rams (Matthew Stafford) – however solely three of them have been true stars: Brady, Brees and Stafford. Of the final two – Garoppolo and Tannehill – solely Garoppolo made the Super Bowl, which he misplaced. 

Offensively, a superb chunk of Super Bowl-winning groups have star energy at quarterback — often homegrown, with them often being acquired later of their profession. But anticipating a middling or outdated veteran quarterback who’s not a lock for Canton (like Brady or Peyton Manning are) to raise your group to championship standing is traditionally dangerous enterprise. The latter is the place the Colts have lived for years. 

We’re barreling towards the Colts utilizing their first-round decide in 2023, presently pegged at No. 15 general and trending earlier, on a blue-chip quarterback prospect (Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson are among the many prime 2023 prospects on the place). They virtually don’t have any alternative. They’ve been working on a hamster wheel with band-aids at quarterback since Luck’s sudden retirement. It can be organizational malpractice to proceed doing so. And it appears unlikely that the brand new Colts coach goes to place their job on the road for Ehlinger, a former sixth-round decide, because the long-term beginning quarterback. 

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If the Colts proceed as they have been, and don’t make investments their prime decide on a quarterback, their new coach might have the identical destiny as Reich: discover marginal success, solely to be let go when the constant disappointment turns into an excessive amount of to bear. 

Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He beforehand labored for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, the place he was the Titans beat author for a yr and a half. He coated the Seattle Seahawks for for 3 seasons (2018-20) previous to transferring to Tennessee. You can observe Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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