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INDIANAPOLISWhen Frank Reich met the media for the final time after a 7-9 season in 2019, there was a common theme.

Reich used the word ‘better’ (as in the need to improve) 11 separate times during his opening statement.

In describing the different areas of the team that must get better, Reich threw himself in there, too.

That includes as the head coach, and as an offensive coordinator.

“One thing I definitely want to get better at is I think I can do a better job supporting the coaches in all three phases,” the third-year head coach says. “I felt like you gear so much energy and effort towards the players but part of being the head coach is coaching the coaches and holding the coaches accountable and being involved on every level as the head coach. I think I can do a better job there just giving coaches feedback along the way, encouragement along the way, observations. So that’s definitely one area that I think I can grow in.”

The Colts are 17-15 under Reich, with the team seemingly always playing in spurts.

The 1-5 start to the 2018 season, followed by a 9-1 finish, to sneak into the postseason.

Then in 2019, the Colts began the year 5-2, before losing 7 of their final 9 games.

Avoiding ‘playing in momentum’ is something that Chris Ballard wants to see out of his football team moving forward.

From a play calling standpoint, Reich will have a third different opening day starting quarterback when the Colts get underway this September.

Reich points to the offensive ruts that the unit has occasionally been in as something that he wants to make sure don’t last long.

“As far as offensively, just how do we eliminate those games where it feels like we get stuck?” he says. “What happened in those games that we got stuck? Was it schematic? Did the defense have something on us that we didn’t know?

“Just taking a look back at some of those games. Trying to figure out, ‘Hey, when we get in a lull offensively, what gets us out of the lull?’ Studying those kinds of things as a play caller and seeing it, ‘When we did this, that helped to get us out, or this didn’t work.’ What are those little things that gave us a spark? How can we do more of that? Those are a couple areas that I’ve looked at.”

Achieving linear success is unrealistic in NFL life.

Reich knows that and he’s a firm believer that going from 10-6 to 7-9 is not a trend that we will continue to see go down a path of another sub-.500 season.

“In some ways we took a small step back, but what I see and what I envision is while we took a step back as far as results, there are a lot of other things that made us better,” Reich says. “Having to go through the adversity that we went through, it helped us build in other ways that I think are going to help sustainable, long-term success.”

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