Frank Reich says Philip Rivers has ‘legendary’ toughness, was right choice at QB for Colts

Whenever Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich has had the chance to talk about his new quarterback, Philip Rivers, he’s done nothing but pepper the former Los Angeles Chargers starter with praise. He’s called Rivers a better fit for the Colts than six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. He’s deemed him a “Hall of Fame quarterback.” Now, Reich has offered some specific reasons he can’t stop gushing about the 38-year-old signal-caller.

As John Clayton reported in The Washington Post on Thursday, the Colts studied Brady and weighed the possibility of simply keeping Jacoby Brissett atop the QB depth chart for 2020. But Rivers’ toughness and football IQ, in particular, convinced Indy to “move ahead” and reunite Rivers and Reich, who previously spent time together with the Chargers.

“We’re in a quarterback meeting with him,” Reich said, per Clayton, “and the level of football knowledge this guy knows and understands is just at an elite level … You see how quickly his mind can process all of it. I’m so very excited about that … He’s (also) one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever been around. Physically and mentally, you don’t always think about quarterbacks as being one of the tough guys … He’s legendary for toughness.”

Durability, of course, hasn’t been an issue for the veteran QB; he hasn’t missed a single start in 15 years.

The real question is whether Rivers’ heralded attributes will be enough to make the Colts’ gamble worthwhile. Although he had success under Reich with the Chargers and is just two years removed from his eighth Pro Bowl appearance, Rivers also threw 20 interceptions, the second-most of his career, in 2019 during L.A.’s slide to 5-11. Though he’s only signed through the 2020 season in Indianapolis, Reich has already expressed confidence in Rivers leading the Colts for more than one year.

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