SAN DIEGO (AP) –– Frank Reich’s lack of experience as a coordinator isn’t a concern as he prepares to take over running the San Diego Chargers’ offense, general manager Tom Telesco said Wednesday.
Telesco noted that Reich, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach, had picked the plays during his days as a quarterback in the Buffalo Bills’ K-Gun offense.
“Frank is going to do a great job and I have all the confidence in the world in him to come in here and put a little bit of his stamp on the offense,” Telesco said. “Frank’s been doing this a long time. He’s done it from the field and now he will do it from the sidelines.”
The Chargers promoted Reich after Ken Whisenhunt left to become the head coach of the Tennessee Titans.
The Chargers’ offense, led by quarterback Philip Rivers’ stellar season, was among the reasons the team made the playoffs for the first time in four years. The Chargers won their final four regular-season games and beat the Cincinnati Bengals in a wild-card game before losing to the Broncos, 24-17, on Sunday.
“Being in the role of leadership, I never thought that I was going to put my stamp on it,” Reich said Wednesday. “I really want to focus on this as a team and we are going to win as a team and we’re going to get better as a team, whatever that takes. That’s the goal. The stamp that goes on it, that’s the Chargers. It’s the bolt, that is really the stamp we are looking to put on the offense.”
In his first season on San Diego’s staff, Reich helped tutor Rivers to a record-breaking season. Rivers completed a team-record, career-best and NFL-leading 69.5 percent of his passes (378 of 544), good for 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Rivers tied the team record and his personal beset with a passer rating of 105.5. Rivers also set a team mark for single-season completions with 378.
Rivers had said on Monday that Reich would be an obvious choice to replace Whisenhunt.
“Frank has been great,” Rivers said. “He is a heck of a coach. His steadiness from week to week, the way he helps prepare us and coaches is second to none.”
Reich was drafted in the third round by Buffalo in 1985 and played 14 NFL seasons, including 10 with Buffalo, one with Carolina, one with the New York Jets and two with Detroit.
Reich was involved in two of the greatest comeback victories in football history. As a senior at Maryland in 1984, Reich led the Terrapins from a 31-0 deficit against Miami to a 42-40 victory. At the time it was the largest deficit overcome in a college football game.
As the backup quarterback for Buffalo in 1982, Reich started for injured Jim Kelly in a wild-card game against the Houston Oilers and rallied the Bills from a 35-3 deficit in the third quarter to a 41-38 win.