"Frank is a leader of men who will demand excellence from our players on and off the field". I told him, 'Look, this is a rebuild situation.' He knows that.
Colts officials posted a photo of Reich signing the deal on the team's website. Eight hours later, McDaniels backed out of the deal and made a decision to remain with the Pats in the same job.
On Wednesday, Ballard answered questions for almost 20 minutes before finishing with "the rivalry is back on".
Reich brings not only a Super Bowl ring and a breadth of experience but he brings the ability to develop a quarterback. At halftime of the comeback game, while Darryl Talley was firing up the troops, Reich was quietly telling the offensive guys to take it one play at a time.
But this wasn't just about sending a message.
"We really feel blessed having Frank as our head coach", added team owner Jim Irsay. He also has a stellar reputation, and his myriad of life experiences and the people he has worked with make him the ideal fit for us and our fans.
"Today is a new chapter", he explained, "and I could not be more excited".
Indy is getting a coach who is almost the opposite of Chuck Pagano, who was sacked just hours after the Colts regular-season finale.
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He said Reich never asked about Andrew Lucks health status, noting he only volunteered the medical background at the end of their discussion. The 28-year-old missed the entire 2017 season while recovering from right shoulder surgery, and it's still unknown when he'll play football again. Luck still hasnt thrown a football since October and his rehab from a partially torn labrum will enter its 13th month next week, which was supposed to be the biggest uncertainty about Indys job.
The Colts also have a defense that showed steady improvement throughout the season, the No. 3 overall draft pick in April, almost $80 million to spend in free agency and a promising backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, who started 15 games in 2017.
While the scheme and staff Reich constructs in Indianapolis remain a work in progress, it's likely he'll want to utilize the up-tempo, no-huddle attack the Bills became famous for during his playing days.
"There's been a lot of instances in this league, maybe not to this extreme, but just because you're the first choice doesn't make you the right choice", Ballard said last week.
Reich still has to find position coaches on both sides of the ball.
He spent 2012 as the wide receivers coach with the Cardinals before following fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt to the Chargers a year later. He has been the wide receivers coach since 2016. Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement were all prominent players in the Eagles quest for the Super Bowl title in their various roles, which Reich will carry into this next chapter. His most famous performance came in 1993 when he led the Bills back from a 35-3 deficit to beat the Oilers in an AFC Wild Card game.
"No. Absolutely not. Conversely, I went to Jim only because I was so shocked when I happened to get off a plane in Hartford, Connecticut and my phone blew up with people calling and asking for comments".
Then Wentz went down, leaving Reich and QB coach John DeFilippo the daunting task of getting Nick Foles ready for a playoff run. "He has a creative offensive mind".