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 truth 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, courting again to final season. It was quarterback Carson Wentz, so that they traded him within the offseason. It was quarterback Matt Ryan — Wentz’s alternative — so that they benched him. It was offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, so that they fired him. The Colts ran out of individuals to level fingers at. It was Reich’s time. 

However perceive this, too: the Colts’ offensive points go far past Reich. Certainly one of them? The carousel at quarterback, a very powerful 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 shocking 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 is really stunning Reich had as a lot success as he did — a 40-33-1 regular-season report (.547 profitable proportion) – with bridge-option quarterbacks post-Luck. However that is not a sustainable profitable mannequin, particularly not one for a proud Colts franchise, to repeatedly contend for Tremendous Bowls. 

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 Payments (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 Tremendous Bowl, which he misplaced. 

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 However anticipating a middling or outdated veteran quarterback who’s not a lock for Canton (like Brady or Peyton Manning are) to raise your staff to championship standing is traditionally unhealthy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

We’re barreling towards the Colts utilizing their first-round choose in 2023, at the moment pegged at No. 15 general and trending earlier, on a blue-chip quarterback prospect (Alabama’s Bryce Younger, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson are among the many high 2023 prospects on the place). They virtually haven’t any alternative. They have been working on a hamster wheel with band-aids at quarterback since Luck’s sudden retirement. It might 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 choose, because the long-term beginning quarterback. 

If the Colts proceed as they have been, and don’t make investments their high choose on a quarterback, their new coach may 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 activities. He beforehand labored for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Community, the place he was the Titans beat author for a 12 months and a half. He coated the Seattle Seahawks for SeattlePI.com for 3 seasons (2018-20) previous to transferring to Tennessee. You possibly can comply with Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.


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