Monday, June 17, 2024

Colts fire coach Frank Reich after 3-5-1 start to 2022 season

The sword of blame has landed on Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich.

The Colts fired Reich on Monday, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported, per a source informed of the decision. The club later confirmed the news.

It’s the third major move in as many weeks for a struggling Indy squad that came into the season with postseason aspirations, but faltered to 3-5-1 after its third consecutive defeat Sunday in a blowout loss to New England.

In a surprising twist, the Colts on Monday named former All-Pro offensive lineman Jeff Saturday as interim head coach. Saturday played in Indianapolis from 1999 to 2011 and has served as a team consultant over the past few years, per the team. He does not have any NFL coaching experience.

Indy will hold a 7:30 p.m. ET news conference with owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and Saturday.

Reich was hired in 2018 following the Colts getting spurned by then-Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He immediately helped the Colts make the postseason with a 10-6 record in his first season. But the revolving door at quarterback that began with Andrew Luck‘s sudden retirement became Reich’s undoing.

Monday’s firing is the first time in Irsay’s 25 years as Colts owner he’s dismissed a coach during a season. Just over a week ago, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Reich’s job was considered “safe.” However, that sentiment quickly changed following a 26-3 loss to New England.

Reich becomes the second head coach in the NFL to be fired in-season, joining the Panthers’ Matt Rhule on the unemployment line.

Reich generated a 40-33-1 regular-season record in four and a half seasons in Indy with a 1-2 postseason record.

The instability under center became the coach’s undoing. The Colts have started seven QBs in Reich’s tenure, including Luck (16 games), Jacoby Brissett (15), Brian Hoyer (one), Philip Rivers (16), Carson Wentz (17), Matt Ryan (seven) and Sam Ehlinger (two).

In the previous two weeks, Reich made moves to jumpstart a woebegone offense, benching Ryan in favor of sixth-round Ehlinger and firing offensive coordinator Marcus Brady. Neither move paid off.

With Reich out in Indy, the question becomes whether Ballard will be the man selecting the next coach or whether Irsay will elect to sweep out the entire front office as well.

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