Mike Mitchell, the Colts' first-year assistant defensive backs coach, made a comment to Gus Bradley during training camp this summer that stuck with the longtime defensive coordinator: "Wow, is Parks (Frazier) impressive."
And it was the way Mitchell said it that stuck with Bradley.
"Someday, if I ever get a head coaching job, Gus, I'm gonna hire Parks Frazier," Bradley said. "It was like that kind of a comment."
Frazier this week was tabbed by interim head coach Jeff Saturday to be the Colts' offensive playcaller going forward, a role that's another step in what's been a steady career progression for the up-and-coming coach. As Frazier climbed that ladder – from being hired as an assistant to Frank Reich in 2018, to being promoted to offensive quality control in 2020, assistant quarterbacks coach in 2021 and pass game specialist/assistant quarterbacks in 2022 – he always thought about what he might do if he were to get further responsibilities and opportunities.
So while the Colts' Week 10 game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium will be Frazier's first time calling plays, he feels more than prepared for the job.
"Having worked closely with the play caller the last couple years, and everything I that I do I'm saying, 'How do I want to do it?' And I think that's a part of growth," Frazier said. "I think that when you take the approach of doing that, then I think you're learning — you don't get that experience of doing it, but when you take the approach of how would I do it and you put yourself in that position, it gives you the ability to be ready."
Part of why Saturday went with Frazier to call plays was it'd provide more continuity and stability for the rest of the coaching staff. But another part of the decision was Frazier's deep knowledge of the Colts' offense – he's the longest-tenured coach on that side of the ball in Indianapolis and has been involved in putting schemes and gameplans together while working closely with the team's quarterbacks over the last five seasons.
"You get used to adjusting, adapting to your personnel," Frazier said. "I've been in a lot of meetings going back five years when (former offensive coordinator) Nick Sirianni was here, with Marcus (Brady), I've been in a lot of meetings where we've sat in there and talked about, how are we going to attack these guys, specifically, this week? How are we going to utilize our personnel that week to attack these guys?"
Frazier will call offensive plays from the coaches' booth, where he's been stationed all season. He's worked long hours this week – and that might even be underselling it – doing everything he can to put his players in the best positions possible to win on Sunday.
And Frazier said he's approaching the opportunity with "mixed emotions" – he's close with Reich, who gave him his first opportunity in the NFL, and said he's texted with the former Colts head coach over the last few days. Reich, Frazier said, imparted some wisdom about how to handle emotions as a first-time playcaller.
But ultimately, this is a major opportunity for Frazier to make his mark on the Colts' offense – and help this team get its season back on track.
"(I'll be) aggressive but in my own way," Frazier said. "Aggressive can look a lot of different ways, right? It can be, you can run the ball and be aggressive in your own way.
"... I'm still an aggressive thinker in the way that I think, and I think that on the attack is our mission as an offense. And that doesn't change. But that can look different in a lot of different ways."
Thursday's practice report: