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What Colts are saying about Frank Reich, Chris Ballard’s contract extensions

(WISH Photo/Charlie Clifford)

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – A wild Wednesday is complete in Westfield.

On Wednesday morning, Jim Irsay and the Colts agreed to new contract extensions for general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich, keeping the duo in Indianapolis through the 2026 season.

Ballard enters his fifth season with the club, having navigated more starting quarterback dilemmas over the past four years than any general manager in football.

Reich comes off his second AFC playoff appearance in three seasons with the Colts, eyeing his first AFC South Division crown in 2021.

“In Chris Ballard and Frank Reich, we have as great a general manager – head coach combination as there is in the NFL, and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have them leading our franchise,” Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay said. “I truly believe this football team is on the doorstep of great things, and that’s because of the culture both have cultivated in their time with the Horseshoe. Whether we are marching toward the playoffs or facing adversity, whether we are building our roster or making a difference in the community, we have the ideal leaders in Chris and Frank.”

Following practice on Wednesday, Reich made a brief statement regarding the contract extension:

Grateful to Mr. (Jim) Irsay and the Colts organization for the confidence and support with the extension. Obviously, incredibly excited to work with this team, the players on this team, the leadership on this team. Then for me as the head coach, maybe the most exciting thing is the relationship with Chris Ballard. He and I, working together along with Mr. (Jim) Irsay, really to try and continue to take this team down the road that we want to go. Bright things are ahead. I could not be more excited with the roster that has been built with the way we’re doing things and the direction that we’re headed.

First-year offensive coordinator Marcus Brady and fourth-year defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus also weighed in the new deals for their bosses. It is clear the hierarchy in Indianapolis is once again on stable ground with one another ahead of the 2021 season.

“It’s great, I think for everybody – for the city, obviously for the coaching staff and then for the players,” Brady said. “The continuity of what Frank (Reich), Chris (Ballard) and Mr. (Irsay) have built here, to be able to keep it going with the culture that they have set here that everybody wants to be a part of.”

“Quality and substance: You talk about two quality men just from inside out and just the substance they have in terms of what they bring to the table,” Eberflus said. “Then the ability to come together personality-wise, for the good of the team.”

Reich later spoke with The NFL Network at Grand Park and shared these details in a televised interview regarding the health of Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson:

I don’t mind telling you, they are doing exceedingly well. But it is still early. All indications at this point, for what you would hope for at this point from them, we are getting that — plus. You can’t really tell until you get out there and test it (on the field). We know we are a week or so away from that happening at a more significant level. But all signs are pretty positive right now. Now where that comes out? Whether that is Week 1, (Week) 2, we don’t know, but we will find out soon enough.