Frank Reich left Philly after the 2017 season. Four years later he’s still contributing to the team he helped win a Super Bowl.
“I was on the phone with Frank yesterday, I was on the phone with Frank the day before that too on the way home,” Nick Sirianni said after practice Friday. “I might have talked to him a little bit more this week than I talked to my wife.”
Reich and Sirianni may no longer work together, but they remain as close as ever.
Reich’s work with the 2017 Eagles earned him the Colts’ head coaching job, and one of his first moves when he got to Indy was hiring Sirianni as offensive coordinator. Sirianni and Reich had been together in San Diego from 2013 through 2015, Reich as quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator before heading to Philly and Sirianni as quality control coach and QBs coach, replacing Reich when he became offensive coordinator.
The only times Sirianni and Reich haven’t been together since 2013 are 2016 and 2017, when Reich was here, and this year, when Sirianni is here.
But just because they're coaching different teams doesn't mean they're no longer working together.
Sirianni said Reich has remained a valued adviser and friend since the Eagles hired him to replace Doug Pederson (who hired Reich here five years ago).
As Sirianni prepares for his first game as an NFL coach, he’s leaned even more on Reich, whose Colts teams have made the playoffs in two of his first three years as head coach.
What do they talk about?
“Anything and everything,” Sirianni said. “That's a guy I'm really close to and it's not just football. It's not just X's and O's. It's the communication with the team, leading the team and then just life in general as well.
“Gosh, I can't say enough good things about him. Shoot, I know the city can't either, right? You guys won a Super Bowl with him as offensive coordinator. He's like a big brother to me. Again, it's just not football things. It's super helpful to have that.”
Everything Sirianni is about to go through, Reich has already been through.
Fortunately, the Eagles and Colts are in different conferences and don’t face each until next year … unless both make the Super Bowl. So there aren’t any competitive issues here.
“I think you ask anybody in life, to be able to talk through things, problems, good times, bad times, whatever, situations you're going through, everybody needs somebody like that,” Sirianni said. “I'm just lucky that I have somebody like that in Frank.”
Sirianni may be calling Reich constantly, but he’s not the 40-year-old rookie head coach’s only trusted adviser and confidante.
Sirianni comes from a football family, and his brothers and father have combined to coach for more than 75 years. So whether there’s a question about how to deal with a player’s personal issue or how to attack a specific defense, the answer is a phone call away.
“I feel really confident that I can call guys that I trust,” Sirianni said. “You know what, I got a dad who was a coach and I got brothers who are coaches, too. I feel like I got a lot of good people in my corner.”
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