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Parks Frazier Dazzles As The Jeff Saturday Era Begins For The Indianapolis Colts

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A wild week for the Indianapolis Colts ends with a victory over the Las Vegas Raiders 25-20. With former coach Frank Reich being relieved of his coaching duties on Monday afternoon, Jeff Saturday was named Interim Head Coach shortly after. The inexperienced Saturday was paired with interim offensive coordinator Parks Frazier.

The Former All-Pro

Not only did Jeff Saturday not have any college or NFL head coaching experience, he also had no experience as an assistant coach either. He did coach a high school football team in Georgia to a 20-16 record before leaving the program. Saturday made a name for himself as Peyton Manning’s center during his time in Indianapolis after being an undrafted offensive lineman from North Carolina. But last weekend, he completely out-coached Josh McDaniels and showed he belonged on the sidelines.

“Drinking From A Fire Hose”

Jeff Saturday said at his introductory press conference on Monday evening that he was “drinking from a fire hose” on getting up to speed with all that needed to be done in preparation for the Raiders game. Among the issues he had on his plate…fixing a broken offensive line, figuring out who would play quarterback and most importantly, he had no one on the staff that had called plays. Reports came in that Jeff Saturday and Colts management offered the role to quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich, who countered with asking for a new contract with the new responsibility. The Colts declined that offer from Milanovich and instead offered the position to assistant quarterback coach Parks Frazier.

Who Is Parks Frazier?

Parks Frazier was Frank Reich’s “right hand man” and helped create and teach the playbook to the offense since his arrival in Indianapolis. Frazier played QB at NE Mississippi Community College and later transferred to Murray State.

Frazier then bounced around as an entry level assistant in the college ranks before being hired by Reich in 2018 as the Assistant to the Head Coach and has been promoted each year since joining. He is a very young assistant at the age of 30 and has a great opportunity to really start to make a name for himself for the rest of this season.

Sunday Success

Frazier did one thing very well on Sunday that I think caught the Raiders off guard. He simplified the playbook and the calls. He played to Matt Ryan’s strength and allowed him to get the ball out quickly. It also masked the biggest problem we had this season which has been the offensive line. Saturday also understood that having Matt Ryan start over Sam Ehlinger gave them the best opportunity to win the football game.

You could also argue that Matt Ryan is his own offensive coordinator on the field when he needs to change the play or make a different read better than Ehlinger could. The simplification also allowed us to see the return of Johnathon Taylor back to his old MVP-like form.

What’s Next?

While getting a win over an underwhelming Raiders team, on the road, is great. The road only gets more difficult for Indianapolis. They welcome the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The Eagles are coached by Nick Sirriani, who was Frank Reich’s offensive coordinator from 2018-2020. If there is any staff who knows the Colts game plan as well as Parks Frazier, it’s Philadelphia.

Which legendary NFL defense would love to resurrect?

1985 Chicago Bears

1985 Chicago Bears

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers

2000 Baltimore Ravens

2000 Baltimore Ravens

2002 Tampa Bay Bucs

2002 Tampa Bay Bucs

1986 New York Giants

1986 New York Giants

2013 Seattle Seahawks

2013 Seattle Seahawks

This will be a great barometer for Jeff Saturday and his entire staff as they face off against a playoff caliber team. Expect this game to be close especially as the Eagles were exposed a bit on Monday Night Football this week. Frazier needs to give them a heavy dose of Taylor and continue to use the tight ends to help in blocking to assist the offensive line.

Keep it simple for Matt Ryan and allow him to get the ball out quickly with high percentage throws. Another successful week and Parks Frazier will show he belongs as a play caller in this league for years to come.

Let us know your thoughts on Jeff Saturday and Parks Frazier in the comments below!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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