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KRAVITZ: Frank Reich is a rookie head coach, but it feels like he's been here his entire career

This entire preseason has been about Andrew Luck. Of course it's been all about Luck, and it should be all about Luck, who is poised to return to a regular-season game for the first time since January 1, 2017 after the longest recovery from shoulder surgery in human history (this is not official).

This entire preseason has been about Andrew Luck. Of course it's been all about Luck, and it should be all about Luck, who is poised to return to a regular-season game for the first time since January 1, 2017 after the longest recovery from shoulder surgery in human history (this is not official).

It's almost been lost in the wash: Sunday's home game against the Cincinnati Bengals will mark Frank Reich's first game as a head coach – anywhere, at any level.

Wait, the Colts have a new head coach?

And that's the thing; Reich has blended so seamlessly into the job, you barely notice him. It almost feels like he's been coaching this group for years. He looks the part and sounds the part; now, whether he can coach this team to a decent season – and by decent, I'm thinking eight wins at most – that's the defining question. After being an essential part of the Philadelphia Eagles' run to a Super Bowl title, a title they won with a backup quarterback, can Reich summon the same kind of magic with a decidedly inferior roster? It's been made clear by Chris Ballard that while he wants to win now (who doesn't?), his eyes are focused on the future, as we saw with the John Simon decision. Reich thinks you can win now and win in the future, but, then, what would you expect him to say, right?

"We're never going to sacrifice the win-now part of it for the long term," he said Monday.

That runs completely counter to the decision to jettison John Simon, but I've already flogged that horse to death. Let's just say, the term "body type," a term Ballard used while explaining the decision to skew young with more prototypical body types, will be utilized liberally (by me) this season.

For Reich, though, it's just like old times when he was a stellar backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. He came off the bench then, and he's come off the bench now, having stepped into the breach when Josh McDaniels did his last-minute about-face and left the Colts at the altar. And he's looked and sounded like the guy who was supposed to be here in the first place.

"I can't even tell this is Frank's first time as a head coach," tight end Eric Ebron said. "He's so comfortable, it feels like he's done this before. There are no rookie mistakes. Obviously, there are things you wish you'd call or do differently…but you cannot tell this is his first year coaching."

There's no apparent self-doubt. There are no butterflies. He is totally comfortable in his own skin and totally comfortable as a head coach. He's also learned the media game, which should come as no surprise after having played and been an assistant in this league for many years. On Monday, I asked him who would start at right defensive end, right offensive tackle and cornerback, three positions that have been up for grabs all season.

"That's a good question," he said.

Uh-oh, here comes the non-answer. Whenever they say, "Good question," it means there's no way in Hades they're going to provide an honest and expansive answer.

"I tried in offseason to give you guys as much as I could, but there are competitive advantages to knowing who's going to play," he said. "I know that as a player and as a coach. We have made decisions (on those positions) and we feel good about those decisions but just to protect our team and our fans and our players, we're going to hold off on announcing those decisions."

That's the way Reich operates with us and it's the way he operates with his players and coaches; he offers the "why" on top of the "what." He wants his people to be intellectually invested, to understand the rationale behind various decisions. And not just on offense, either. He has been, in his words, "intentional" about taking part in defensive and special teams meetings as well.

"I know he's an offensive guy, but he's very attentive to the details on defense," safety Matthias Farley said. "He comes to our meetings and he has insights into what offenses are looking at to help us (the defense) play better."

Undeniably, Reich has got a lot on his plate as he heads into his first-ever game as a head coach. Like Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson, Reich has decided to be both the head coach and the play-caller, which is a lot of responsibility for someone who hasn't done it before. There's an undeniable risk there – will it be too much? – but Reich, who seems to have been born for this moment, believes he is more than up to the task. Like I said, it's never seemed too big for him.

"I thought the preseason went well; I got a feeling for calling the plays and being the head coach; although there were no dramatic calls we had to make as far as challenges," he said. "It was good to get a 2-minute situation where you've got to do both. I feel ready to go…(It's a matter of) staying in tune all week with what our players are being asked to do. Being engaged in practice, it naturally flows over to the game because I get a feel for what Flus (defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus) and the defensive guys are doing, what they're calling, the `why' of what they're calling. We always talk about the `why.'…When I get that flow during the week, it's much easier for that to carry over to the game."

He continued, "Maybe something will come up that I didn't anticipate. But I've been around the game a lot and even as a coordinator spent time thinking a lot about it. Even though I'm making the decisions, there are a lot of guys helping me and there's a lot of good communication, not just on gameday but throughout the entire week. We've got guys studying every 2-minute situation that happens in the NFL and learning not just from our experiences, but learning from others' experiences. We talk through as many scenarios as we can, as many game-management scenarios as we can."

The other challenge will be this roster, which by most measures is not very good. At the very least, they are very young, one of the youngest teams in the league, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. There are still sooooo many issues. Who's the right tackle and can he block anybody? Who's the defensive end opposite Jabaal Sheard and can he make an impact like, say, Simon (sorry, beating that dead horse again)? Who will be Pierre Desir's running mate at cornerback? Running back? Anybody's guess, although we'll learn more Wednesday when Reich addresses his injury situation, which includes Marlon Mack. The wide receivers? It's T.Y. Hilton and who-knows.

He looks and sounds like he's been doing this all his adult life. Now come the real games, the first one on Sunday at home against Cincinnati, at which point, more of the tale will be told.

Want more Kravitz? Subscribe to The Bob Kravitz Podcast on iTunes,Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn. If you have a good story idea that's worth writing, feel free to send it to bkravitz@wthr.com.