Frank Reich’s offense: The NFL years Over the next few days I’m going to give you more intricate details on what I expect the 2018 Frank Reich led Indianapolis Colts offense to look like. I have arrived at this conclusion based on his history as a player and a coach. I will say http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-matt-slauson-jersey , that while this is an educated theory (I subjected myself to all 16 San Diego Chargers contests of the 2014 season for this series, you’re welcome) it is at best a theory. We don’t know, beyond a shadow of a doubt what his offense is going to look like, but I feel I can get pretty close considering his influences and what the man himself has said. Tomorrow morning we will cover Frank Reich’s time as an assistant coach and progress as the week goes on, culminating in what I expect The 2018 Indianapolis Colts offense to look like. I hope you enjoy reading about the Colts new head coach as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing this piece.The NFL YearsFrank Reich was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 3rd round of the 1985 NFL draft. Reich essentially redshirted his rookie year in the league and sat behind Bruce Mathison and Vince Ferragamo. Going into his sophomore season, Reich had to feel good about his chances to earn a starting gig, as neither Mathison or Ferragamo were on the ‘86 Bills roster — and even if they had been, the two men combined to throw 9 TD’s to 31 INT’s. Reich was in a very good place. At least on paper. Three years before, the Buffalo Bills drafted Jim Kelly with their second 1st round pick. Little did they know Kelly had no interest in playing for the Bills and decided to sign with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL. The Bills still owned his rights and by all accounts the organization was hopeful Kelly would change his mind. With that said, Kelly seemed content in Houston and even went so far as to say that he would like to play for the Raiders in California if the NFL were to become a possibility. Jim Kelly really hated cold weather and in case you have a really short memory here’s a picture of the last time the Indianapolis Colts played in Buffalo:Looks cold to meTimothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports1986 rolled around and the USFL began to fold. Kelly’s Houston Gamblers had merged with the New Jersey Generals. I am about to type the most insane sentence containing historical fact about the current Colts head coach that can be written: In 1986 Bills General Manager, Bill Polian, received written permission from Donald Trump, owner of the Generals, to negotiate a contract with Jim Kelly. A few days later, Jim Kelly became the NFL’s highest paid player, earning $1.5 million per year over 5 years, eclipsing Joe Montana’s contract of $1.3 million per. In a weird way Cheap Chester Rogers Jersey , Jim Kelly, Bill Polian and Donald Trump all came together and forever changed the course of Frank Reich’s professional football career. Sad.Once Kelly got to town, it was Jim’s show and Frank was smart enough to realize what his role was. Reich served as the #2 QB in Buffalo for the next 8 seasons making an average of 1 start per year in that time. Despite all of that, the 1986 season brought about one change that impacted Frank Reich and the Buffalo Bills franchise more than anyone could have known. When Reich was drafted, legendary defensive innovator Hank Bullough was in the middle of an unsuccessful stint as a head coach. Bullough is credited, along with Chuck Fairbanks, as the creator of the 3-4 defense. Innovative as he may have been, he was a better coordinator than head coach and after a 2-7 start, Hank Bullough was relieved of his duties and Marv Levy was hired. The K-GunThe Buffalo Bills record improved for the next two years, finishing 12-4 in 1988, complete with a 21-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game. 1989 came and with it saw the retirement of long time offensive coordinator Jim Ringo, his replacement should sound familiar to Colts fans: Ted Marchibroda. Both Marchibroda and Levy were smart enough to realize they had something special in Jim Kelly. They also knew they had been beaten by the Bengals who were using a no huddle offense with great success. With those two realizations the now famous K-Gun offense was born. The offense got its name, not from Jim Kelly but rather Keith “Killer” McKeller, a tall pass catching tight end who had a penchant for coming up with big plays while in the hurry up offense. There were two things that stood out about the K-Gun, one was the tempo. It’s been said that when the Kelly led Bills were clicking, they could run a play every 16 seconds. Not 16 game seconds, but 16 actual seconds. The second thing that stood out is the fact that Marchibroda and Levy largely handed over play calling duties to Jim Kelly. As a result Kelly was calling plays in the no huddle going as fast as he could down the field and the Buffalo Bills offense was deadly.According to Frank Reich (from that last link) some games the Bills would run the same 20 to 25 plays over and over again. That tells us the Bills weren’t necessarily trying to trick anyone http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-denico-autry-jersey , they were instead executing at a very high level. So what did the K-Gun look like? What was the aim of the system? If we want to take what is a very complex system (as most in football are) and simplify it as much as possible I would tell you the entire point of the K-Gun is to give the quarterback and receivers a numbers advantage. It’s a fancy way to make sure you have at least one more receiver than they have defenders in any one part of the field. So that doesn’t tell you much while also telling you everything. The K-Gun is another system used to spread and stress a defense. Its goal is to make an out numbered secondary make a choice and to exploit the choice so that no matter what, the offense is in a favorable position. It all sounds simple, it’s a story as old as time; I have 4 guys, you have 3 guys, I have the advantage. The issue, isn’t the system, it’s having a leader that can read and recognize where the advantage is going to be and then being able to deliver an accurate pass. Jim Kelly was a guy that could do just that. If I were to look into the K-Gun a little deeper I could tell you that it was based off of the old June Jones, Run and Shoot offenses (that was based off of an old Ohio high school offense) that relied exclusively on 4 receiver sets and what would become option routes that would require the wide receivers and quarterback to both read the defense in real time and adjust their routes accordingly. In theory, this means someone should be open on every play, regardless of the called defense. Let’s look at a K-Gun/Run and Shoot staple:The 4 Verts ConceptThere has been a lot written about “4 Verts” especially since it’s the concept that won Alabama their most recent national championship. There’s nothing new about it and the concept is designed to provide the QB with a numerical advantage deep down field. The receivers (or mix of backs, tight ends and receivers) do exactly what you would expect them to do with a concept called 4 verts, there are 4 guys who run vertically. Also, just a note, this concept could have one of a million names based on all sorts of things, there isn’t a single NFL offense where a QB would call “4 verts” in the huddle and everyone would just know what to do, but for those of us without a specific offensive system or formation we’re going to focus on 4 verts as an idea that can be run from almost any formation.The idea is to put stress on the DB’s, wait for them to make a decision and exploit whatever decision they make. Depending on the defensive look Cheap Malik Hooker Jersey , the QB is going to have either a single high safety or a two safety look. The play is slightly different based on the number of high safeties, obviously a single high safety is advantageous for the offense. One (or more) of the vertical routes (a receiver in the slot or a TE) is going to change slightly based on the number of deep safeties in an effort to further stress the decision making of the safety on that side of the field. In the video below I breakdown Alabama’s now famous overtime winner:The most important aspects the K-Gun offense are tempo and decision making. As you might expect from an offense whose plays were being called by the quarterback multiple variations of a shotgun formation were often used. It was an offense built on speed and execution, ideas that might sound familiar to Colts fans old enough to remember what a Peyton Manning led offense truly looked like. This is a small portion of what Frank Reich watched during his time in Buffalo. Reich went on to play for the Panthers in 1995, following Bill Polian (you’ll soon see a trend) to the upstart team from Charlotte, the Carolina Panthers. In 1996 Reich had a rather awful season with the New York Jets who went 1-15, but he did spend that season under offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt, who was one half of the creators of the famed Erhard-Perkins offensive system. Reich left after a single season and joined up with none other than Bobby Ross, his old college coach. Perhaps you remember his “revolutionary” offense at Maryland, it just so happens that Barry Sanders had his best season statistically under Ross, hardly shocking given what we know. Frank Reich called it a career after two seasons in Detroit at the age of 37. Though he ended his playing career after making a few stops in other cities, none of them could have possibly had the impact on his football ideology that those explosive years in Buffalo did. Frank Reich’s offense: An introductionFrank Reich’s offense: The Maryland yearsFrank Reich’s offense: The assistant coaching years, part 1Frank Reich’s offense: The assistant coaching years, part 2Frank Reich’s offense: The 2018 Indianapolis Colts, part 1Frank Reich’s offense: The 2018 Indianapolis Colts, part 2 Figuring out where the Titans are coming from defensively requires a lot of film study, and that might not even be enough to solve the riddle.Defensive coordinator Dean Pees has consistently changed where players line up and seems to be constantly switching their responsibilities.Linebacker Wesley Woodyard said it's easy to see on game tape just how much Tennessee is confusing opponents."Some of the looks we give quarterbacks, you can clearly see once you watch film that they're confused Jabaal Sheard Jersey , don't know where the blitz is coming from, don't know which defensive system we're in, so it's cool man to keep that mixed-up look for the offense to keep them off balance," Woodyard said.Rookie coach Mike Vrabel talked about how the Titans would show multiple looks on defense after being hired in January. So did Pees.Now the Titans (5-4) are putting all that talk into results on the field where they lead the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 16.8 points per game. They're also first inside the red zone, allowing touchdowns on only 34.8 percent of opponents' possessions.The Titans also have not allowed more than 23 points in eight straight games, the longest streak in the NFL this season. It's the longest such streak for this franchise since the first 10 games of the 2008 season and faces a stern test Sunday when the Titans visit Andrew Luck and the Colts (4-5).Pees said Thursday he believes the Titans are getting better and getting more comfortable with how he changes up defenses from week to week, even if the changes aren't much different."I think they understand now kind of the philosophy what Mike wants, what I want, what we want, and that's being multiple in the front, being multiple in the back end, disguise things," Pees said. "I think they're starting to feel comfortable with that, comfortable with the philosophy of how we're going to attack the teams."Linebacker Brian Orakpo said the Titans now see exactly what Vrabel was talking about when he talked about multiplicity for the defense."Rather than just talking about it and putting it on the whiteboard, we can actually play on Sundays and distribute what we learn, and it shows Jack Doyle Jersey ," Orakpo said. "We turn on the film, and guys are flying around. Quarterbacks don't know what to do with the ball. It's just satisfying to see when things start working."Making all that work requires players buying in and doing the studying, especially when they need to slide over to spots they might not normally play."Sometimes I'm over the center, sometimes I'm on the edge," Orakpo said. "We're all over the place. (Defensive lineman Jurrell) Casey may be on the edge, inside we got a linebacker blitzing in the middle, outside we got people all over the place. We got nickel Logan (Ryan) coming all the time now in certain situations. You have to know multiple positions to kind of make this defense thrive, which we're doing so far."The Titans finished last season 17th in points allowed in Dick LeBeau's final season as defensive coordinator.So far, the Titans also rank sixth in total yards, tied for 10th in rushing and sixth in passing yards allowed even with some key starters missing games to injuries. Linebacker Derrick Morgan has missed the last three games with an injured shoulder. Woodyard was out the first two games in October with an injured shoulder. Safety Kenny Vaccaro missed all three October games."It's definitely fun," Orakpo said. "It keeps the offense and quarterbacks on their toes, and we can just go out there and make plays."Notes: RT Jack Conklin (concussion protocol) practiced fully for the first time since being hurt in Dallas on Nov. 5. LG Quinton Spain (ankle) was limited.Follow Teresa M. Walker at teresamwalker
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