INDIANAPOLIS - With 10 years of coaching experience under his belt, new senior offensive assistant Press Taylor joins the coaching staff after previously working with Frank Reich in Philadelphia. Learn more about his coaching career, his role in the 'Philly Special' and his latest opportunity in Indianapolis.
How much of your relationship with Coach (Frank) Reich was a factor in you joining the staff of the Colts?
"It was a huge part of it. Obviously, it has to work out where there is an opportunity, there is an opening here, and that did. But Frank (Reich) is a guy that I have kept in touch with since – we had a great relationship working together in Philadelphia. We were able to win a Super Bowl together, and he is a guy that I have always looked at as a mentor. We've kept in great touch through the years and he was really the most attractive piece in terms of wanting to be here."
During your time that you two shared in Philadelphia, what did you see in Coach (Frank) Reich that indicated that he would have success as a head coach and also be a guy who you might want to work for down the road should the opportunity present itself?
"Well, it's just the character and consistency that he shows every single day. He is the same person no matter what, the highs and the lows – we went through tough times and good times up there in Philadelphia and you saw the same person every single day. He is passionate about the game, he is knowledgeable about the game, but he really invests in the people around him. That's something that as somebody who works underneath him, you can appreciate, you can respect and it's something that you want to continue to work for."
How do you describe that dynamic of working with Coach (Frank) Reich and newly named offensive coordinator Marcus Brady alongside the rest of the staff?
"I think it's specific to each person and the way they are. Knowing Frank (Reich), knowing he has absolutely no ego whatsoever – it's all about what's best for the team, what's best for the offense in that situation. My interaction early on with Marcus (Brady), he seems the same way. That was something Frank (Reich) talked about too – and really all the guys around. I have a relationship with Mike Groh as well. We got a chance to work together there in Philadelphia for three years. So just seeing everybody – the way the guys that have been here, the way they work together and the way they are working to make sure everyone else feels included and has a voice, has a say and everybody's opinion matters, that's something that is great to be around."
What was your role in designing the Philly Special that ultimately helped win that Super Bowl?
"So, at the time I was the assistant quarterbacks coach. I worked hand-in-hand with Frank (Reich), and going into our playoff run we had lost our quarterback to an ACL, we were playing with a backup. Frank (Reich) came into my office as we were getting ready for that bye week and just said, 'We are going to need something to give us an edge. We are going to need some gadget plays, kind of give me your best five ideas.' Having been a quality control (coach), I had watched as much tape as anybody probably, had a lot of things categorized, a lot of ideas and things like that that I had seen around the league and had these examples, whether it was around the league or college football. That was just one of the probably five ideas I presented to Coach (Frank) Reich at the time. It was one that we felt fit us, fit some formations we had been in, the personnel we had. Having a guy like Trey (Burton), that really makes you a lot more comfortable wanting to do that because you know he will make the right decision. Obviously, it played out perfectly in the game, exactly like you would hope, but as you go through practice and uncover some of the problems with it, Trey (Burton) was the decision-maker that we trusted with the ball. Then everything worked out well and Frank (Reich) was actually the one to give me credit for it. But again, like you said earlier, it's such a collaborative environment, all I did was present a play that somebody else had run. It was the whole offensive staff taking it, molding it into something that fit our offense at the time and then ultimately Nick Foles and Coach (Doug) Pederson getting it called in that critical situation in the Super Bowl. It worked out and the players executed it to a 'T.'"
How much confidence does that instill in you when your offensive coordinator comes to you and says, 'Give me your five best plays. What do we've got and what can we work with?'
"That's huge and that's something Frank (Reich) does – the way he communicates with people, no idea is too small. So he is going to, again, it's collaborative. He is going to include everybody and make everybody feels like your ideas matter in this thing and the best idea is going to win. It's not about the way we've done things or who came up with the idea. It's just what works and what applies for us."
Sitting there watching it unfold, were you like, 'Oh man, this really better work right here.'
"Yeah, any time you're going to call a trick play in the Super Bowl on fourth-and-goal on the one-yard line, it better work, especially something like that and it worked out perfectly. Now it's just a great memory to have."
Tell me about getting that first opportunity and how that presented itself to ultimately put you in this position where you are now.
"I knew early on I wanted to coach. I could probably see the writing on the wall that my career wasn't going to continue after college and I was OK with that, but I knew I didn't want my football career to end whether playing was over, I knew I would move into coaching. So, I started looking around for opportunities. I grew up in a college town, I grew up in Norman, Oklahoma when Oklahoma was kind of at the peak."
Your dad played at Oklahoma?
"Absolutely, my dad played and coached at Oklahoma. Oklahoma won the National Championship in 2000. I was in seventh or eighth grade so it was a great time to be in Norman and it kind of stoked that fire for coaching really, for football. I had an opportunity to be a graduate assistant at the University of Tulsa. I spent two years there, loved my time there. I met my wife there. I worked with some great people, but I had an opportunity – I met Chip Kelly at the time, he was still the head coach at Oregon. He took the Eagles' job in 2013, called me, offered me a job. I showed up a week later and was fortunate to kind of ride out a long career there in Philadelphia."
Your brother is the head coach in Cincinnati with the Bengals. This is the closest that you guys have been. Of course in coaching, your careers are going to take you across different paths all across the country. How cool is it now to have the experience of being in such close proximity – and I'm sure nice for your parents as well to make a trip they can just drive and visit the next one.
"I think our wives are probably the happiest because they have each other. So holidays and stuff I'm sure they will get together whether we're able to or not. That would be great if we can, but it's great for them. It's great to be able to do that – to see each other's kids as they grow up, stuff like that and just spend time together. It's definitely the closest we've been in 20 years so we are excited about it."
Get to know the names and faces of the Indianapolis Colts 2021 coaching staff.