Frank Reich, backup to Jim Kelly during the Buffalo Bills’ glory years and quarterback for the greatest comeback in NFL history, may be interviewing for the Bills’ vacant head coaching position for the second time in two years.
Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News was the first to report Buffalo’s interest.
Reich has been a coach in the NFL since 2006, when he joined Tony Dungy’s staff as an intern. He coached wide receivers with the Colts, and also served as Peyton Manning’s position coach for a season. He was the wide receivers coach in Arizona during the 2012 season before moving to San Diego as the quarterbacks coach for Philip Rivers in 2013. He was promoted to offensive coordinator after Ken Whisenhunt left to take the head coaching job in Tennessee.
San Diego was 5th in yards and 12th in points under Whisenhunt in 2013, including a 13th-ranked passing offense and a 4th-ranked rushing offense. In 2014, Reich’s Chargers were 18th in yards and 17th in points. They dipped to 30th in rushing offense and were 10th in passing offense. They rebounded to finish 9th in yards in 2015, but dropped all the way to 26th in points. The team was 31st in rushing and 4th in passing in 2015.
As the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, Reich has received some praise for his working relationship with rookie Carson Wentz. Philadelphia’s offense ranked 22nd in yardage and 16th in points scored. They were 11th in rushing and 24th in passing on the year.
Reich’s Buffalo connections go back to his playing days, when he was a third-round pick out of Maryland in the 1985 NFL draft. After serving as the third-string quarterback to the, shall we say, less-than-effective quarterbacking duo of Vince Ferragamo and Bruce Mathison (they combine to throw 9 TDs and 31 INTs on the season...how is that even possible?!), Reich settled in as the primary backup to Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Reich appeared in 93 games while with the Bills, making 8 regular season starts (and 2 playoff ones...you might remember the 1992 Wild Card playoff against the Houston Oilers). He also played with the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets before finishing his career with the Detroit Lions.
Reich interviewed for Buffalo’s top job in 2015, but lost out to now-former head coach Rex Ryan.