Frank Reich hopes to bring Marv Levy's meticulous attention to detailed preparation to his new job as Indianapolis Colts head coach.
The Bills' famed former backup quarterback held a news briefing at the NFL Scouting Combine Wednesday and was asked what aspect of Levy's philosophy he most wanted to embrace.
"Marv Levy, of course, had a huge impact on me," Reich said. "A team's morale is directly proportional to the degree that they're prepared. So if we want to bring the juice into our stadium and we want to bring juice to this city and we want high morale, we want to be excited about going out there, it's really going to be all about our preparation. That preparation involves every level, not just the practice. It involves meetings, walk-through, weight-room. It all matters."
Reich, 56, was named the new Colts coach on Feb. 11. He was renowned for his own preparation as the backup to Jim Kelly from 1986 to '94.
One of Levy's favorite quotes was: "Plan your work and work your plan. If you have everything prepared, the rest will take care of itself."
"As a player, I prepared very hard," Reich said. "As a backup quarterback, I felt like since I wasn't as talented as Jim Kelly, I had to learn to lean on the rest of the team and understand how to do that, understand the strengths of the team, understand building that rapport and chemistry with every guy on the team. I think was part of leadership."
Reich said the importance of team chemistry was driven home to him during his Bills days.
"The camaraderie in the locker room was truly like family," he said of the Bills' Super Bowl teams. "There was always a real healthy respect among the teammates but also a real competitiveness. We competed every day in practice, whether it was throwing one and ones vs. the DBs or the offense going against the defense. It was a highly competitive environment. I think guys thrived on that."
Reich finished hiring his assistant coaching staff on Tuesday. The staff has Western New York connections.
The offensive coordinator is Jamestown native Nick Sirianni, and the director of sports performance is Rusty Jones, who served as the Bills' strength coach from 1985 to 2004.
Sirianni, 36, got his break into the NFL coaching ranks with Kansas City in 2009 and served the past five years as an aide with the Chargers.
"We worked for three years together in San Diego," Reich said. "It didn’t take me long during that tenure there, I thought if I ever had this opportunity, he would be the guy I would want to be my coordinator. He's extremely intelligent. He's very energetic, very passionate about ball. He's a great teacher, very systematic in his thinking. Just the way we see the passing game and the way we think of offensive football is very similar. I'm very excited we could get Nick out and be here with us."
Reich said a no-huddle, up-tempo offense will be a significant part of the Colts' philosophy.
Reich on Jones: "In every way, I think he's been ahead of his time. Probably more than anything — yeah Rusty's really smart, yeah he's on the cutting edge of all this stuff — but he's just a really good teacher. He's very passionate about it. He's got great people skills, and the players just know this is a guy they can trust. You talk to Rusty for five minutes and you know his only agenda is to help you."
Reich said he is confident that Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed all of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury, will return to the field this season.
Story topics: Frank Reich