Frank Reich Continues To Back Up Aggressive Mindset


Frank Reich Continues To Back Up Aggressive Mindset

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Frank Reich Continues To Back Up Aggressive Mindset

Again, on Sunday, Frank Reich showed that he will be a man of his word in maintaining his aggressive style of coaching.

Zach Bolinger| Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – For many, it would be a worthwhile debate.

For some, they would have done the exact opposite.

But for Frank Reich, it was so obvious.

4th-and-1 from your own 35-yard line. Leading by 3 points. Game clock shows 2:24 in the 4th quarter.

Go. Go. Go.

“I’m not trying to sound like a tough guy, but it really didn’t cross my mind,” Reich said of punting in that situation.

“We have a lot of confidence in our offensive line. There was no other thought.”

In Reich’s 4th game as head coach last season, we quickly saw that he would practice what he preaches in being an aggressively minded play caller/decision maker.

The Colts went for a 4th-and-4 with 27 seconds to go in overtime from their own 43-yard line, against the Houston Texans last year in Week Four.

The odds of successfully converting that down and distance, versus a 4th-and-1, like we saw on Sunday in Nashville, is totally different.

If you trust your offensive line has much as the Colts do, and you’ve seen the success of 6-4, 238-pound Jacoby Brissett when attempting a quarterback sneak, it was close to an obvious decision.

“I really didn’t consider anything else other than going for it,” Reich said after Sunday’s comeback victory in Nashville. “I just thought since we had the timeouts, it makes sense to try to draw them offsides. I figured we weren’t going to get them. At that point, with the confidence in our offensive line, confidence in Jacoby, he’s a pretty big, strong guy as well, there’s no chance we were not going for it.”

Having top-20 picks in Quenton Nelson at left guard and Ryan Kelly at center, along with knowing that a Tennessee defensive line had to be worn down in 95-degree heat, had to have bolstered Reich’s already aggressive mind frame.

While the Colts had more than favorable odds to get the 4th-and-1, extend their drive and continue to try and drain the remaining clock, the ramifications of a failed attempt could not be totally ignored.

A bobbled snap or a huge push by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey would have given the Titans the ball in field goal range, down just 2 points.

The win probability would have completely shifted to the Titans, with the Colts staring yet another 0-2 start in the face.

But Reich didn’t let his mind go there.

“That he has trust in not just me, but everybody that he put out on that field,” Jacoby Brissett said of the message Reich sent by not even debating the 4th-and-1 call.

“It's up to us to make him right, but I think everybody in the stands knew that we were getting that fourth down. I don't think our offensive line would have been denied, no matter what (the Titans) would have done.”

In case the players didn’t understand the full magnitude of what Reich did, Owner Jim Irsay felt the need to speak up in the post-game locker room:

“What this man said to all of you was, ‘I believe in you,’” a passionate Irsay said to the players.

“And what you said back to him was, ‘I got your backside.’”

That’s the truth.

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