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Indianapolis Colts hire Frank Reich to be next coach

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One of the guiding forces behind the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl victory will be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich signed a contract Sunday to become the Colts' head coach, the team announced. It's a five-year deal, a source informed of the talks between the sides told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Indy's decision wraps up a whirlwind coaching search for the Colts after New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels withdrew from an announced agreement to become the team's head coach on Tuesday.

"We are extremely excited to announce Frank Reich as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts," Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in a statement. "Frank has all the ingredients of a successful head coach: intelligence, innovation, character, organizational and leadership skills, and a commanding presence. He also has a stellar reputation, and his myriad of life experiences and the people he has worked with make him the perfect fit for us and our fans. I feel extremely fortunate and could not be more excited for Colts Nation and the future of our franchise."

Reich, 56, emerged as the favorite for the job after meeting with Colts general manager Chris Ballard on Friday. The Colts also interviewed New Orleans Saints assistant head coach/tight ends Dan Campbell and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

The team will formally introduce Reich as their head coach at a news conference Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

"We are excited to have Frank Reich as our new head coach," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said. "Frank is a leader of men who will demand excellence from our players on and off the field. I look forward to working with Frank to deliver a championship-caliber team to the city of Indianapolis."

Getting a head coach into the facility as soon as possible was a priority for the Colts even though Ballard stressed on Wednesday the team had no specific timetable. Reich was considered among the possible candidates for a head coaching job this offseason -- a distinction enhanced by quarterback Nick Foles leading the Eagles to victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

With Reich leaving for Indy, Eagles coach Doug Pederson has two prominent vacancies in his offensive coaching staff. Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was hired as the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator Friday.

Reich, who has more than a quarter-century of NFL experience as a player and coach, was hired by Pederson in 2016 to run his offense. He helped Carson Wentz establish himself as one of the league's premier rookies last season and helped the quarterback develop into a legitimate MVP candidate before he suffered a torn ACL and LCL in December.

Before his coaching stint in Philly, Reich served as the San Diego Chargers' offensive coordinator for two seasons after initially being hired as the team's quarterbacks coach in 2013. He worked as the Arizona Cardinals' wide receivers coach in 2012.

Reich's coaching career actually began with the Colts in 2006 when he was hired as an intern before being promoted to offensive assistant and later quarterbacks coach. Working with Peyton Manning, he helped the soon-to-be Hall of Famer pass for more than 9,200 combined yards over the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He worked as Indy's wide receivers coach in 2011 after Manning missed the season because of injury.

The Colts are hoping Reich's success with Manning, Rivers, Wentz and Foles will carry over to Andrew Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season due to a nagging shoulder injury -- a major factor contributing to the team's 4-12 season and coach Chuck Pagano's firing. The Colts' brain trust will be leaning hard on Reich to ensure the former No. 1 overall draft pick will rediscover his form in 2018. Getting the most out of Luck will be critical for a team eager to erase its three-year playoff drought.

The other challenge for Reich will involve his coaching staff. Multiple assistant coaches signed Colts contracts thinking they'd be working under McDaniels. Former Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, who will be Indy's defensive coordinator, is among those under contract. Although Ballard expressed confidence Wednesday in these coaches working well with whoever they hired to lead the team, most head coaches typically have the freedom to hire their assistants.

Still, Reich's hiring will help the Colts move on from what's been a strange and turbulent week for the franchise following McDaniel's flip-flop. Ballard has plenty of areas on his roster that need tinkering, but it appears he's confident Reich can help Indy climb back to the top of the AFC. Having him in the building more than two weeks before the start of the NFL Scouting Combine will help the franchise move closer toward normality.

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