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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Reich has the inside

  • track on Philadelphia.He coached the quarterbacks [url=]Nyheim Hines Color Rush Jersey[/url] , helped construct one of the league’s most innovative offenses and worked closely with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz before leaving for Indianapolis in February.On Sunday, the Colts are hoping Reich’s knowledge could give them a leg up on the defending Super Bowl champs this weekend.“Nothing too dramatic, a few things here and there,” Reich said when asked about this week’s conversations with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.“Not anything that would be over the top. My experience is if you say too much it just confuses the matter. So you give a few personnel things, a few philosophical things, maybe one or two things to look for and then you let our defense play the way we’ve been playing.”Of course, Reich downplays the significance of this weekend’s reunion. Most coaches do.But Reich’s third game as a head coach will understandably be a big deal.It was in Philly where Reich went from rising assistant to head coaching candidate after spending two seasons with coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz, who is expected to make his season debut Sunday.It was in Philly where Reich finally put his fingers on the Super Bowl ring that eluded him so many other places.It was in Philly where Reich turned down interviews so he could focus solely on winning playoff games with Nick Foles following Wentz’s season-ending knee injury.And it was in Philly where he finally got the Colts’ phone call after Josh McDaniels reneged on a commitment to take over as head coach.Neither Reich nor his players see much point in making this game bigger than it needs to be.“I didn’t even think about that (Reich’s return),” quarterback Andrew Luck said Wednesday. “I don’t think anyone in this locker room needs extra motivation to win a game for him. I mean I think our guys are hungry to play. Yeah, that would be special, that would be special, that would be cool.”Reich already has given the Colts (1-1) a fresh perspective.They are off to their best start since 2013 and Luck has looked like his old self in an offense that, not so surprisingly, resembles the Eagles‘ plan.Four-time Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton is off to the best start of his career as he lines up in multiple spots. Running backs Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins delivered a one-two punch last week that was reminiscent of Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. Nyheim Hines possesses natural versatility [url=][/url] , like Darren Sproles, and the Colts’ tight ends are being asked to do more, too.Eberflus, who faced the Eagles twice a year while coaching previously in Dallas, has the Colts defense clicking, too.Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard was selected as the AFC’s defensive player of the week Wednesday after getting 18 tackles in last weekend’s 21-9 victory at Washington.Eberflus can always seek additional advice from linebacker Najee Goode, a free-agent signee who played with the Eagles last season.The Eagles know all about the potential pitfalls in facing their former offensive coordinator and are planning accordingly.“He (Reich) knows, obviously, our structure offensively, what we try to do, how we attack things and maybe even some of the terminology and verbiage. So, we have to be careful there,” Pederson said on a conference call with Colts’ reporters.“At the same time, we can’t change everything. There is some similarity [url=]Jacoby Brissett Jersey[/url] , but at the same time we’re aware of it. We are looking forward to seeing him again on Sunday and welcoming him back to Philadelphia.”Even if the reception is less than warm — as Eagles’ fans tend to make it.But Reich returns with fond memories of the city, organization and staff that welcomed him with open arms and nothing but gratitude for the opportunity he got. All he wants to do now is win.“It (leaving Philadelphia) was bittersweet in that it was such a great experience there, such a good relationship with everyone there,” Reich said.“But there’s only 32 of these things and if it’s a goal and it’s an aspiration, you have to seize the moment.”Notes: Indy has signed running back Jeremy McNichols to the practice squad, released quarterback Phillip Walker from the practice squad and waived running back Josh Ferguson from the injured reserve list. … Team owner Jim Irsay and his family have donated $100,000 to the Wheeler Mission to help the local charity expand the Center for Women & Children, which provides emergency shelter and long-term programs for homeless women and women with children. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — When the Indianapolis Colts were struggling in mid-October, coach Frank Reich saw signs of a turnaround brewing.He urged players and coaches to stay the course, asked fans to believe in the plan and pleaded for patience as the young Colts got acclimated to a new system, a new staff and a new mindset.Two months later, Reich's message remains essentially unchanged — even with the Colts on the precipice of making their first playoff appearance in four years. "I haven't even thought about it in those terms because I really just think — we're just convinced that the best way is not to weight the importance of it (the game) but to weight the importance of practice and the everyday process," Reich said Monday about this week's high-stakes game."I certainly understand all the outside variables and all the other things that everybody else would look at, but from inside out [url=]Reggie Wayne Color Rush Jersey[/url] , really the healthiest approach for us is to keep doing what we are doing."And why not given Indy's results?Since the Jets beat Indy 42-34 on Oct. 14, New York has one win — hardly a surprise for a struggling team with a rookie quarterback.But Andrew Luck and the Colts have won eight of nine to jump back into the playoff hunt and could become the third team in league history to make the postseason after starting 1-5.A win at Tennessee (9-6) on Sunday night would give the Colts a wild-card spot and a win, coupled with a Jacksonville (5-10) victory at Houston (10-5), would give Indy the AFC South title and a first-round home game.Reich might be the only one who truly believed it could happen when Indy was ranked No. 30 in the AP Pro 32 after losing to the Jets."It doesn't take much even within a season," Reich said Monday. "When I was a player (in Buffalo) I think we went from 2-14 to 4-12 and then I think we were 8-7 and then 12-4."In Philadelphia, we were 7-9 and then won the Super Bowl. What I've noticed is it's two things. It's playing good football, playing good football and establishing your identity and then just building the core players. You play good football. You make fewer mistakes and you find a way to be aggressive, but still play good football. That leads to better playmaking."His philosophy certainly worked for the Colts (9-6).Indy's rebuilt offensive line has kept Andrew Luck upright and allowed him to produce at the highest level of his career. He's already established single-season bests in completions (406) and completion rate (67.2 percent) and needs 453 yards and four TD passes against the Titans to establish career highs in those categories, too. He's also been sacked 17 times, the lowest total of any season he's started at least half of the Colts' games.Running back Marlon Mack has topped the 100-yard mark three times this season while receiver T.Y. Hilton and a handful of tight ends have performed at Pro Bowl levels, giving Indy's offense the balance it's long sought.The defense finds itself just outside the top 10 and has consistently forced turnovers and pressured quarterbacks even with key players out.In Sunday's victory, Indy managed to hold Giants rookie Saquon Barkley to 43 yards rushing and 77 yards from scrimmage despite playing without middle linebacker Anthony Walker (shoulder), starting safety Clayton Geathers (knee) or defensive tackle Al Woods (foot), who was placed on injured reserve last week. Reich said he's not sure if Walker or Geathers will practice Wednesday when the Colts return to the field.He's also uncertain about the status of starting center Ryan Kelly (neck) or starting tight end Eric Ebron (concussion).But if Reich's calm [url=][/url] , consistent approach has taught the Colts anything, it's this: The best results come when you stick to the plan."The only thing you can do is make sure one, do your job to the best of your ability, and you've got to start there," said Luck, who is 10-0 as a starter against Tennessee."When things are going tough, bring it back and bring it simple, stay calm and do your job. I hold that to heart. I think we all, especially at halftime (Sunday), just focused on doing our job, playing our piece of the puzzle and it managed to work out."
      August 14, 2019 8:44 AM CEST