BY JEFF FALK
PHOTOS COURTESY OF INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The Indianapolis Colts could take the next step in the process, improve and still not record as many wins as they did last year. That’s the nature of the business. That’s the nature of the NFL.
Or Indianapolis could improve, win more games and advance even further in the playoffs. Those outcomes are long-term pay-offs for doing things the right way.
Frank Reich knows there are things out of his hands. His job as head coach is to control the things he can control – and blur the lines between the two as much as possible.
Reich, a 1980 graduate of Cedar Crest High School, is entering his second season as Indianapolis’ head coach with expectations that are much more defined than in his rookie year. It’s simply the territory that comes with the reigning AFC Coach of the Year, a seven-win improvement and an unexpected playoff appearance.
“Like every team, we want to win our division,” said Reich, recently by phone from Indianapolis. “That’s always the first goal, but we’re in a very good division. Then you want to get homefield advantage. If you get into the playoffs, you want to win a championship. Every team has those goals.
“But we’re realy focused on the day-to-day approach, of gettting better every day,” continued Reich. “That’s where we get our energy. That’s where we get our traction.”
Given the lay of the NFL landscape, Indianapolis is in a really good spot.
Currently, the Colts are about midway through their training camp preparations for a 2019 NFL season that will open Sunday, September 8 at the Los Angeles Chargers. According to a couple of projections, the Colts are forecasted to win nine games this year and they’re odds for winning the Super Bowl are about 15-1.
Reich is in his 12th season of coaching in the NFL. He became the Colts’ head coach in 2018, after helping the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl as their offensive coordinator.
“We understand that last year there were low expecations and that this year there are high expecations,” said Reich, 57. “That’s great. But we’re not focused on outside expectations. Our expecations are based on the process and how we’re going to come to work every day. If we have high expecations, we understand that the result is wins.