Quick Q&A With Frank Reich

The Colts host their first preseason game on August 20. We huddled with the new head coach before kickoff.
In 1984, your college team came back from a 31-0 halftime deficit to beat the University of Miami. And in 1993, you led a historic 32-point comeback to beat the Houston Oilers. What’s the secret to overcoming such long odds?
During those games, I knew we couldn’t come from behind in one fell swoop. We had to do it one play at a time, one score at a time. I told my teammates: “Don’t look for a miracle play.” Executing consistently and doing the little things right is what produces miracles. Life is the same way.

You were a coaching intern with the Colts in 2006. How have things changed since the first time you came here?
During my internship, the team was in the middle of an incredible run. To witness an organization operating at that level was something to behold. Now we’re coming off a hard season, and it’s time to bounce back. But we’re not trying to get back to the glory days. We can learn from past victories, but we’re doing it our own way, with a new set of people.

How have you changed since your last stint with the Colts?
In this business, there’s no avoiding taking some lumps. As a coach, you need to be able to draw men together to fight as a unit. That’s tough to do unless you’ve been through tough times. So when I look back at the last 10 years, it’s not the wins that have shaped me the most, but the challenges.

You played football for a long time. What still hurts?
I got away without having a single surgery during my career. But I did tear my rotator cuff. So the things that still ache are my shoulder and, every now and then, my back. But other than that, I was very fortunate.

You’re a former pastor and a devout Christian. How do you square that with your current job, spending Sundays in a stadium instead of church?
I attend church whenever I can. And every team I’ve been with has had a team chaplain. They not only provide a service on Saturday night or Sunday morning, but also a Bible study during the week. It really feels like a church experience.

You’re also a motivational speaker. Can you tell us something motivating?
It sounds simple, but I try to encourage people to cultivate good habits and positive thoughts. Have a clear vision of where you are and what you want to accomplish. Then put all of your energy toward doing those things. It’s deceptively difficult, but it’s what energizes me every day.