Pat McAfee endorses Reich as new Colts head coach

Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee (1) takes the field before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The Colts introduce their new head coach at a 3:30 p.m. news conference Tuesday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Unlike Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Frank Reich is fully committed in his return to where his NFL coaching career began.

One of the quarterbacks Reich coached in Indianapolis is better known for his punting and kicking, or today perhaps his comedy and new media company, Barstool Heartland. Pat McAfee is the star and chief operating officer of Barstool Heartland since retiring from football. He gave his endorsement for the hiring of Frank Reich on his SiriusXM radio show Monday afternoon.

"The Colts name Frank Reich new head coach, sign him to a five-year deal. The Colts win in this particular situation,” McAfee said during the final segment of his show broadcast from the Barstool Heartland downtown Indianapolis studios.

Reich was the Colts quarterbacks coach when McAfee was drafted in 2009.

"I would be the emergency quarterback, third string quarterback because I could throw the ball and run a bit,” said McAfee in an interview after the show. “Frank Reich, who was the quarterback coach at the time, immediately became my quarterback coach. We would take snaps once a week. I knew three, five step drops. I had like 12 to 14 plays. He was so patient, so upbeat, so knowledgeable. I think his aura will radiate throughout the building. I think it's something the Colts facility has been missing for quite some time now."

McAfee learned the basics of NFL quarterback while Reich worked primarily with Peyton Manning.

“Watching Peyton look to this guy for advice and to lean on this guy was awesome,” said McAfee.

Reich led the greatest comeback in NFL playoff history in a January 3, 1993 wildcard game. As a backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, Reich brought the Buffalo Bills back from a 35-3 deficit to beat the Houston Oilers, 41-38. McAfee thinks the Colts backup choice for head coach can make a great comeback in Indianapolis.

"If Frank Reich comes in here and does what everyone is expecting him to do, which is change the culture, make it an upbeat place, make it a happy place to go to work, make it a successful corporation, nobody will even remember the fact that McDaniels spurned us before even getting to his press conference. But people will remember that they hate the Patriots and that the Colts are great again. Frank Reich brings this sense of calm, cool, and collectiveness that is needed in that building for not just the players — equipment managers, athletic trainers, business — to really hopefully bring that entire building to harmony."

McAfee kidded that he was hoping he would get an interview for the Colts coaching vacancy after McDaniels backed out of his verbal agreement last week.

"I think I could have done it. They already had a defensive coordinator signed. I mean you sign an offensive coordinator, all I have to do is motivate and set a schedule. I mean I can do that. Let them run their things and let's keep it moving. But (Colts general manager Chris) Ballard went with a much better choice I assume in Frank Reich."

So the former emergency quarterback will keep his on-air job. McAfee is planning to be at the news conference Tuesday to ask his old quarterbacks coach a few questions.

“The Colts appeared to have lost at the moment because they didn't get the quarterback guru that led to the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady. But whenever you find Frank Reich, that is a gem, a guy who is a Colts guy through and through and wanted to be here. There was no second guessing. I think in the end the Colts fans hate the Patriots even more now for what happened with McDaniels. I think they're excited to get back on board with a team they're going to love."

Reich just won the Super Bowl as offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, helping Carson Wentz play at an MVP level until a knee injury. Then Reich coached a backup into the Super Bowl MVP. The Colts hope Reich can have the same kind of success with a healthy Andrew Luck returning to quarterback from a shoulder injury.

“If we could get any of the magic that the Eagles had in their locker room in Indy, I think we can make the Colts great again,” said McAfee.