Well, none of us thought that Frank Reich would be without a job for long, did we? The former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts will take the reigns in Charlotte, North Carolina as the sixth coach in Carolina Panthers history (or the eighth if you’re counting two interims, Perry Fewell and Steve Wilks).
This is a nice hire for them as he’s fully capable of leading the Panthers to the top of the watered-down NFC South. He kind of got a raw deal in Indy, and if you don’t believe that, just ask Nick Sirianni. He’ll tell you! Don’t feel bad for Frank though as he’s used to making comebacks. It’s kind of his thing.
Can former Eagles OC Frank Reich lead what might be the best comeback of his career?
If you’re a little older (or spend time on YouTube watching replays of NFL classics, you know much of Frank Reich’s career. As a player, he wasn’t too shabby. Believe it or not, he once engineered what was then the largest comeback by an NCAA quarterback in the history of college football.
His Maryland Terrapins trailed the Miami Hurricanes on the road in 1984, and in relief, he brought his team back from a 31-0 halftime deficit to win by a 42-40 final score.
At the professional level, Frank worked his magic again. Nine years after his finest moment as a collegiate star, he filled in admirably for Jim Kelly during a home Buffalo Bills Wild Card Game versus the Houston Oilers in 1993.
Houston led big early. They were up 28-3 at the break and took a 35-3 lead in the third quarter, but again Frank brought his team back. He helped orchestrate what’s still the largest comeback in NFL postseason history, leading his team to outscore the Oilers 38-3 the rest of the way to win 41-38 in overtime.
In Carolina, Frank will lead a comeback of another sort, this time from the sidelines. The Panthers punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50 to close the 2015-2016 season, but have only earned one postseason berth since then (2017).
The NFC South is ripe for the taking, and Carolina is home to the NFL’s wealthiest owner and a supportive fan base. With a young roster, the former Eagles OC has much of what he needs to bring his team back from the depths one more time. Truthfully, we think he can do it!
On another note, this may also affect the Eagles as their top two assistants, Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon have one less opportunity to land head-coaching gigs as the vacant Carolina job has now been filled.