ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Frank Reich still keeps tabs on his old team even when the Colts aren’t getting ready to play the Bills.
You’ve heard time and time again how players from those Super Bowl teams still keep in touch and that’s the case with Reich who shared a conversation he had with Jim Kelly right in 2018 after the Bills drafted Josh Allen that made him believe this was Buffalo’s next franchise quarterback.
“As a fan, as a Bills fan and I still am obviously, most of the time but as I’ve watched when he got drafted there I remember Jim Kelly and I having a conversation about it like “oh this feels like it could be the right guy to put our old team back on the map offensively”, you know a guy kind of like Jim Kelly cut out of the same mold in a lot of respects,” Reich said on a zoom call with Buffalo reporters earlier this week.
“So good job there by the organization finding the right guy because it’s not just any guy that should be there, it is that kind of guy so a real credit to the organization.”
Of course as a former quarterback himself, Reich will naturally be interested in whoever the Bills decide is their starting quarterback but especially a guy like Allen who made such a huge jump in his development from year two to year three.
“Impressive development, how he’s gotten better and better. Certainly we know he can put the ball anywhere on the field he wants but his toughness mentally and physically,” Reich said.
But it’s also what Reich sees off the field that’s impressed him.
“Watching from a far you can tell the kind of leader he is, I mean it just jumps off the tape. You watch any game on television this guy’s not just a great player, you can feel his leadership, you can feel the team’s belief in him. That’s a big part of playing quarterback so that’s a credit to Josh for the way that he’s made that team believe in him,” Reich explained.
Since taking over as head coach of the Colts in 2018, Reich has faced the Bills three times, most recently in the Wild Card game last season where Buffalo one a close one, 27-24. Reich also returned to Orchard Park during the preseason in 2019 and first faced his old team in his first season as head coach when the Colts beat the Bills 37-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
That was Josh Allen’s rookie season but he did not play that game after suffering an elbow injury the week before in Houston.
“I just think when start looking at the particular skills of playing quarterback, I thought coming out like his first year I thought he was great but I thought his accuracy needed to be improved and I think he’s done a phenomenal job, I mean he’s really turned into not just a great athlete and a good play maker but I think he’s turned into an accurate passer. I think he’s worked at it,” Reich said.
“I love watching guys develop at the quarterback position, I don’t like playing against them but I have a lot of respect for what he’s done, how he’s done it so much respect to Josh.”