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Reich Impresses in First Address as Chargers OC
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If there is one thing learned from Frank Reich’s press conference with the media on Wednesday, it’s that the team’s new offensive coordinator is an intelligent, focused individual.
If there was a second thing, it would be his plans to insert an aggressive mentality in his new position.
“What I learned being with Ted Marchibroda in Buffalo, what I learned being with Tom Moore in Indianapolis when he was a coordinator and I think (Ken Whisenhunt) was this way as well, but I think you have to be an aggressive play caller,” he said. “That doesn't mean more passes than runs. It means situational football, knowing what to do, how to take advantage of it and trusting your players to be able to do what you call.”
One player he undoubtedly trusts is Philip Rivers. He considers the Chargers’ quarterback to be the smartest player on the field, comparing his special combination of retention, diagnoses and talent to that of a super-computer.
“When Philip Rivers walks in the building or steps on the field, he is the smartest person on the field,” he said. “When you have a guy like Philip Rivers, you can run multiple programs at a time and it's not too hard for him. He is built for that. Philip Rivers is built to run an offense like this. He can handle it. It's not too hard."
Part of that offense that he is built to run is the no-huddle, which Reich said he is particularly fond of. The Bolts version of it contains aspects of the famed K-Gun that he was an integral part of and has a lot of history with.
"I love everything about the no-huddle,” he said. “I have been involved with it for a lot of years. I always have looked at it like a prize fight. You are a heavyweight champion and you get in there and you have to dictate the pace of the fight. Sometimes you go in there and it's a flurry. Other times you stick, you jab, you move. There are other times you are just kind of moving around trying to get to the next round and then you throw the knockout blow. You are setting up things. You mix the tempo. You mix what you are doing. You keep teams off balance and get them tired. It presents communication problems for them. “
Aside from his excitement and knowledge for the X’s and O’s, Reich is grateful for the opportunity that Head Coach Mike McCoy and the Chargers have given him, and he looks forward to continuing the strategy that was put in place this past season.
“It's an exciting opportunity with a great head coach who really brings strong leadership to the whole team and specifically the offense,” he explained. “Mike's energy, excitement and enthusiasm carry over to everyone, but specifically the offense, just because of his expertise and experience. What we started, we just want to continue to build on that."
According to General Manager Tom Telesco, the Bolts were lucky to have an opportunity to promote such a strong candidate from within.
“We are very fortunate that Frank’s on our staff right now that we could appoint him,” he said. “Frank’s been a big part of this process this year. Obviously (we were) very disappointed to lose Ken, but we knew this year, if we had some success, there was a really good chance he was going to end up as a head coach somewhere. So this was something that we had planned for. Mike planned for this from probably the day we hired Ken. So we’re very lucky to have Frank here and Frank’s going to do a great job. I have all the confidence in the world in him to come in here and put a little bit of his stamp on the offense too. It gives us continuity, number one, and it gives us Frank’s intelligence.
Telesco also noted that while this will be the first time Reich will call plays from the sideline, he has plenty of experience and success doing so as a player.
“Frank’s been doing this for a long time,” Telesco explained. “What you saw of him as a player, you see as a coach. Frank won’t say this, but when Frank was a player in Buffalo and they ran a lot of no-huddle before it was in-vogue, they ran it and Cincinnati ran it, but that comeback game when Buffalo beat Houston in 1993, Frank called that whole game from beginning to end. And the next week they went to Pittsburgh, played a tough Pittsburgh team away in a divisional game, he called the whole game. A different perspective, he’s in the huddle doing it, but that’s pretty hard. And then even in the Super Bowl when he came back in when (Jim) Kelley got hurt, he called the rest of the game there. So he’s done it in big moments. He’s done it from the field. Now he’ll do it from the sidelines. We’re looking forward to his expertise this year.”