Shortly after Doug Pederson's hire was first reported, the Eagles were linked to former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Reich was reportedly Pederson's top choice for the position, so that's an ideal situation for the Eagles. But is he actually any good? How much of an influence will he really have if Pederson is the one calling plays? In order to better get to know Reich, here's some interesting perspective from Chargers writer John Gennaro of Bolts From The Blue.
1) Reich won’t be calling the plays in Philadelphia like he did in San Diego. He’ll be assisting Eagles head coach Doug Pederson instead. Do you think he’s better suited for success in this kind of advisory role?
Yes. I'd go so far as to say that Reich's history as a QB coach, both in Arizona and in San Diego, is pretty great. Depending on who is taking the snaps on Sunday, Reich should be able to make him better.
2) What’s the overall impression of Frank Reich’s tenure as San Diego’s OC?
That he was in over his head and was probably asked to do too much of the play-calling, taking over for an expert [Ken Whisenhunt].
3) What are some of the good things Reich did?
He tried to use a lot of Ken Whisenhunt's plays. I also don't think his play design, assuming he was the one actually designing the plays, was terrible.
4) What are some of the bad things he did?
He went away from just about anything that worked offensively, stuck with things that didn't, and forced the ball to certain players for reasons other than "trying to win the game". He took the rushing offense from 12th best in the league to 31st.
Most criminally, Reich got scared. He leaned almost entirely on draws and shotgun passes because they offered Philip Rivers an extra quarter-second of security, and became incredibly predictable and utterly ineffective in the process. That reliance on offensive linemen moving backwards led to the catastrophic injuries across the line over the last two seasons, if you ask me.
Also, the team didn't really lose anything by him leaving. Mike McCoy was hired because of his own excellent play-calling, Philip Rivers called most of the plays at the line of scrimmage anyway, and the offensive strategy has only gotten worse and worse since Ken Whisenhunt left. Having Whisenhunt available (he was eventually hired to replace his own successor) made it incredibly easy for the team to move on from Reich.
5) To what extent did injuries and lack of personnel contribute to the Chargers’ offensive struggles?
Chicken and the egg. Which comes first?
Was it Reich's scheme that led to the injuries, and his poor coaching that led to ineffective personnel, or was he just a victim of bad luck? I suppose you could look at it either way.