Frank Reich played quarterback for 13 seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, and Detroit Lions. As far as his coaching career goes, he spent a few years with the Colts (QBs / WRs) before moving on to posts with the Cardinals (WRs) and Chargers (QBs)
This past off season he was promoted to take over as offensive coordinator with San Diego when Ken Whisenhunt took over as head coach for the Titans. His experience under center slinging the rock, and handing it off, coupled with his coaching experience on some really good staffs have led to him to a conclusion he shared with ESPN over the weekend; being an offensive coordinator is a lot like boxing., especially when it comes to feeling out the tempo.
"I liken it to a boxing match. Every game is a prize fight. And over a 15-round fight, you mix the tempo. There's sometimes you go in and there's a flurry, you're aggressive and you've got somebody on the ropes. You keep your poise and go for the kill."
"Then there's other times that you slow the tempo down. Maybe you've taken a punch, so you rope-a-dope a little bit. You say, 'Geez, we've just got to get through this half, or get through this series.' It's third-and-20 and you hand the ball off. Everybody boos, but sometimes you have to do that. If you're at the end of the round and if you try and throw a knockout blow, you might get knocked out yourself -- and they might score a touchdown and separate that much more."
"So I think that's very, very important -- to be able to mix the tempo. But even when you're slowing it down, there still has to be crispness to the execution, and to the play."
The ebbs and flows of your first game may be nearly 90 days away, and seem like an eternity, but next time you're trading series with an opponent and you've got the play sheet in your hand, keep his words on tempo in mind.
Whether it's a college or high school game, his words ring true; "Every game is a prize fight". As an offensive coordinator, your success very well may ride on understanding how to control the tempo.