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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are trying to downplay it.


Frank Reich doesn’t think it’s much of an advantage.


The head coach hasn’t even brought up his return to Philadelphia this weekend to his players.


But it’s hard to deny that the Colts do have a head start on personnel intel with their opponent in Week Three.


“It’s something that we are aware of,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson says of Reich’s unique insight, after the two worked directly with each other the past two years. “He knows obviously our structure offensively, what we try to do, how we attack things and maybe even some of the terminology and verbiage. So, we have to be careful there.


“At the same time too, we can’t change everything. It’s not one of those deals because players still have to play the game and I have to coach this team and he has to coach his.”


Reich echoed similar sentiments, admitting that he’s had an extra conversation or two with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus in this week’s prep.


“Honestly, nothing too dramatic, a few things here and there, not anything that would be over the top,” Reich said of those talks with Eberflus.


“Again, I always say this, my experience is if you try to say too much it just confuses the matter. So, you give a few personnel things, a few philosophical things, maybe one or two things to look for and then you let our defense play the way we are playing. Play our game, it’s about what we do and Flus knows this. Flus knows this offense. I mean he has gone up against it a bunch in the last couple years as well.”


But there’s no denying the Colts have more than the normal insight for a weekly game plan.


First, Reich obviously knows how Pederson likes to call a game. Reich also has tremendous intuition into the personnel of the Eagles on each side of the ball. He worked directly with the offense in 2016 and 2017. And he went up against a Philly defense daily at practice that hasn’t seen much turnover.


Pederson certainly knows Reich, too, but he doesn’t have the same luxury in knowing the Colts’ personnel and tendencies of their players on either side of the ball.


In a matchup driven league, Reich is going to know player’s strengths and weaknesses (for both teams) unlike really any other you will see this season.


Plus, like Reich mentioned, seeing the Eagles on film isn’t foreign to Eberflus, who worked in the NFC East for the last 7 seasons.


Reich was the Eagles offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017, severing as a key game plan creator before Pederson dialed up the plays on Sunday’s.


When asked this week about what Reich learned from Pederson as a head coach, the Colts’ head man pointed to being aggressive and believing in your players.


The two will certainly share a warm embrace Sunday pregame, before the two competitors go at it for serious bragging right.


“It’s special,” Reich says of his return to Philadelphia. “A lot of times in this business, usually when you are going back to some place, you are usually going back to some place you got fired from. And this isn’t like that. I have nothing but great memories and tremendous experience in the two years there. I couldn’t have a higher opinion of the organization and the people there. But at the end of the day, we are all after the same thing. I owe a lot to that organization because they helped give me the opportunity that I have right now to be the head coach here.


“But it’s exciting to go back and to be able to compete against the defending Super Bowl champions and that’s what we plan on doing.”