Eagles

'Going dark' worked out well for Frank Reich

'Going dark' worked out well for Frank Reich

Frank Reich was not on the Colts' initial shortlist of head coaching candidates before they decided on and were burned by Josh McDaniels. 

Even if he was, he wouldn't have known. 

Because when Reich, introduced as the Colts' head coach on Tuesday, was still the Eagles' offensive coordinator, he was singularly focused on the playoffs. In fact, he wasn't prepared to even talk about another job while the Eagles were making their run to Super Bowl LII. 

Reich told his agent, Bob LaMonte, to hold his calls. 

"The stance that I took with my agent," Reich said, "the words were basically this: 'I'm going dark. I'm focused on the task at hand. And that's to help our team win playoff games and win the Super Bowl.' 

"And that meant no phone calls, no texts. Now, whether there was any activity or not, I was dark. I was focused on one thing. And after experiencing that and the importance of every detail in preparation for those games, I wouldn't change a thing."

That was a pretty big gamble for Reich. While John DeFilippo took a couple head coach interviews during the bye week, Reich didn't. That could have very well ruled him out from getting a top job and, really, it did until McDaniels backed out in Indy. 

Both Colts owner Jim Irsay and GM Chris Ballard said on Wednesday that they realized how big of a mistake it was to not include Reich on their original shortlist once they interviewed him for the job. 

"The more I think about it, the more I think how could you be so stupid and not see the clarity of it sooner?" Irsay said.

Even after McDaniels backed out of the Colts job, Reich said he never called his agent about Indy. He hoped the Colts would be interested but he wasn't going to chase them. If they didn't call, he was prepared to go back to work as the Eagles' offensive coordinator. Instead, he's one of 32 NFL head coaches. 

Reich's shining moment of his press conference came when he was asked if he loved or hated McDaniels for what happened. 

"The backup role has suited me well in my career," Reich returned, brilliantly. 

Of course, everything worked out great for Reich. His "dark" period didn't stop him from getting a job. In a weird way, it might have helped. And he was able to devote all of his energy to the Eagles' playoff run and he'll now get a Super Bowl ring out of it. 

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. 

Is it believable when Eagles call themselves underdogs?

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Twitter/@RealDGunnNBCS

Is it believable when Eagles call themselves underdogs?

On the latest edition of Eagle Eye, a Philadelphia Eagles podcast, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks share stories from their fishing trip over the weekend. Is it believable when the Eagles keep calling themselves underdogs? How OTAs are different today compared to when Barrett played. Also, Johnny Manziel is playing football again. Will we ever see him back in the NFL?

Also, how Barrett won an Emmy working on Hard Knocks.

1:00 - Gunner and Barrett's weekend fishing trip.
5:00 - Guys caught a hot streak fishing.
6:30 - What is Gunner's family like?
10:30 - Do you believe it when the Eagles use an underdog mindset?
14:30 - Difference between OTA's today compared to when Barrett played.
17:00 - Barrett won an Emmy working on Hard Knocks
21:00 - Guys think the Browns (yes those Browns) will be competitive this season.
25:30 - Johnny Manziel is back in football.

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Zach Ertz is only other player to leave field with Jason Witten's jersey

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USA Today Images

Zach Ertz is only other player to leave field with Jason Witten's jersey

For a long time, Zach Ertz has always said that he’s emulated future Hall of Famer Jason Witten. Ertz loved the way he played and the way he handled himself on and off the field. 

Turns out it’s mutual. 

Because after Ertz went on social media to say goodbye to Witten after the longtime Dallas Cowboy retired recently, Witten returned the favor and praised Ertz. 

That’s pretty crazy. Witten played 15 years, a total of 247 games including the playoffs. And, according to him, the only other person to ever leave the field with his jersey is Ertz. It's become commonplace for players in the league to trade jerseys after games. During an NFL season, a peek into someone's locker will reveal a few jerseys of different colors. Witten's was probably be in demand, but Ertz is the only player to ever get one. 

It’s clear that Ertz gained Witten’s respect and Witten has probably heard the praise from Ertz before. He heard it again when Ertz tweeted earlier in May. 

“First off, I want to say congratulations to someone that had a profound impact on my career, by just being the man he is!” Ertz wrote. “At 17 years old when I was trying to figure out what a tight end meant and what they embodies I started following the tight end for the Cowboys. Everything he did on the field and off, I tried to emulate.” 

Oddly enough, this season Ertz made his first Pro Bowl, but couldn’t go because the Eagles were in the Super Bowl. Guess who took his place? Yup, Witten. 

Earlier this spring, Ertz said it’s strange to think that other tight ends are now growing up and trying to emulate him. He’s just trying to set as good an example as Witten did.