INDIANAPOLIS —Hired Feb. 11 as the newest head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Frank Reich entered the team's facility the next day, walked by the team meeting room, and couldn't help but start to think about what he'd be saying to his players in a matter of about two months.
Not one for grand gestures or stump speeches, Reich knows how important it is to set the tone moving forward.
He'll get his first chance to address the team on Monday morning, when the players report for the first day of the offseason workout program. Although the first few sessions are weight room and conditioning work only — coaches' interactions with players are, by rule, extremely limited — Reich will still get the opportunity to get the guys together and start this new era off on the right foot.
"Shortly after getting the job, I walk in this building for the first time, and there's a long list of things to do and work to get done, but I think it's natural that one of the first things that goes through your mind — even though it's a couple months away at the time — is, 'What's that first meeting going to be like? What are you going to say that first meeting?'" Reich told Colts.com's Matt Taylor on Thursday. "So you spend a lot of time thinking about it. It's nothing too dramatic, but you want to lay down some solid foundation stuff."
Off of that, Reich said that while Monday's first team meeting is important, there's also no need to give the players a long list of goals and expectations from the get-go.
"Keep them relatively short — I think the key thing for a first-time head coach is you don't have to say it all in the first meeting," Reich said. "You know, we've got a long time. So we're not going to try to jam it down everybody's throat right away — it doesn't work like that. So we'll just start introducing things, and then lay it out over the offseason."
Reich and his new staff have been logging long hours since starting with the team back in February, and while some guys on the roster have been in and out of the facility since that time, the first-year head coach is anticipating quite the buzz when the players return on Monday.
"It's all fun — every stage of the year is important," Reich said. "These last couple weeks and months are important in doing what we're doing, but it really starts to get exciting when the players get in the building, because being around this business long enough your realize that this is about the players really joining together.
"So it'll be fun to get them in here next week and to get to work."