5 Big Stories in the NFL This Week
After a week of drama in Indy, all the NFL head coaching vacancies are now filled. A star quarterback hopes to resume his NFL career. And there are changes coming in Jacksonville. So much for a slow offseason! Here are 5 Big Stories in the NFL This Week:
Colts Hire Former Intern as their Head Coach
One week after he won a Super Bowl ring as the offensive coordinator of the Eagles, Frank Reich flew to Indianapolis to sign a contract to become the new head coach of the Colts. The Colts inked Reich five days after they were jilted by Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels who, less than 24 hours before he was to be introduced as Colts head coach, changed his mind and stayed in New England rather than taking over in Indy.
Reich is best-known as the long-time NFL quarterback who spent nine of his 14 NFL seasons as Jim Kelly’s backup for the Buffalo Bills. During a Bills-Oilers Wild Card game in 1993, Reich entered a game in place of Kelly and rallied Buffalo from a 32-point deficit to beat Houston in overtime, 41-38. It was the largest comeback in NFL history. In college for the University of Maryland, the Terrapins trailed the Miami Hurricanes 31-0 at halftime. Reich entered the game for Stan Gelbaugh and engineered a 42-40 victory, the largest comeback in NCAA history.
Reich began his coaching career in 2008 as an intern/quality control offensive assistant for the Colts. He was promoted the next season to QBs coach, and later to wide receivers. He left in 2012 for Arizona, and has also coached for the Chargers. In 2016, he joined Doug Pederson’s staff as the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator.
Now Reich is back where his coaching career started: Indianapolis. One of the assistant coaches on his new staff is Matt Eberflus, the former Cowboys’ linebackers coach who left Dallas to become the Colts’ defensive coordinator. Eberflus thought he was going to work for McDaniels in Indy. But McDaniels bailed-out of the job, and now Eberflus works for Reich.
Eagles Losing Key Assistant Coaches
The Eagles are now experiencing what other Super Bowl winning teams go through: the loss of key personnel following a championship. Frank Reich is not the only assistant coach who has left for a new job. John DeFilippo, the quarterbacks coach for Carson Wentz & Nick Foles, is now the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. DeFilippo takes the spot of Pat Shurmur who signed two weeks ago as the new head coach of the New York Giants. The departures of Reich and DeFilippo mean that head coach Doug Pederson (who also calls the plays for the Eagles’ offense) is without two key staff members who helped him put together the offensive game plans.
Colts Honor Slain Linebacker with Memorial Scholarship
The Colts will honor the memory of linebacker Edwin Jackson with a $25,000 gift to establish a scholarship fund.
Jackson was killed on February 4th when he and his Uber driver were struck by a drunk driver. Colts owner Jim Irsay also paid for the funerals of Jackson and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe.
“This scholarship will honor Edwin’s memory and his determination, work ethic and character,” Irsay said in a statement. “My family and the entire Colts organization are proud to have been associated with Edwin, and we are honored to help continue his legacy in the future. Edwin was such a wonderful young man and was beloved by his family and friends across the country, especially by his Colts family here in Indianapolis. We are all better people for having known him, and we already miss him so much.”
The drunk driver who killed Jackson & Monroe was apprehended and charged with four felonies.
Johnny Football Tries to Resurrect His Career
Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M, wants pack in the NFL. He hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015 with the Cleveland Browns and he’s gotten more attention for off-the-field behavior and on-field exploits.
In an interview with Good Morning America which aired Monday, Manziel said he was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder last year and now takes medication. He also says he has stopped drinking alcohol.
“I am taking medication for bipolar, and I am working to try to make sure I don’t fall back into any type of depression, because I know where that leads me and I know how slippery a slope that is for me,” said Manziel. “At the end of the day, I can’t help that my wires are a little bit differently crossed than yours. I can’t help my mental makeup or the way that I was created.”
As for going sober, Manziel said: “I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression. When I would wake up the next day after a night like that, going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that is all gone. That liquid courage, or that liquid sense of euphoria that is over you, is all gone. You’re left staring at the ceiling by yourself, and in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself, super-depressed, thinking about all the mistakes you made in your life. What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced.”
Manziel has a job offer in Canada to play for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats, but he has not yet signed a contract. He remains hopeful an NFL team will give him another shot to resume his career.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Are Getting a Makeover
The Jaguars are getting a re-do both on-the-field and in their stadium this coming season.
Not only will they have new uniforms which will be unveiled this spring, they finally have enough fan interest and ticket demand to remove the tarps at their home stadium.
Tarps have covered portions of the upper bowl of EverBank Field, but the tarps are coming down in 2018 and those seats will be sold for as low as $45. The removal of the tarps adds another 3,501 seats in the upper deck. The Jaguars also announced they are lowering prices on several items at concession stands. Next season items like hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, and soda will cost only $5!