San Diego Chargers promote Frank Reich to offensive coordinator, Allen honored

January 15, 2014

Just one day after offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt left to become the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, the San Diego Chargers filled his position by promoting from within and giving quarterbacks coach Frank Reich the job.

One obvious benefit with the Reich hire is that it provides continuity and a theoretically seamless transition for star quarterback Philip Rivers.

“With Frank as offensive coordinator, we will be able to maintain continuity on offense and help maximize the production by (quarterback) Philip (Rivers) and the entire unit,” coach Mike McCoy said. “He has a great feel for the offense we have created and he has been a valuable asset to Philip and all of the quarterbacks.”

Reich, 52, joined the Chargers in 2013 as quarterbacks coach and helped tutor Philip Rivers to a record-breaking season. Rivers completed a team-record, career-best and NFL-leading 69.5 pct. of his passes (378 of 544) in 2013, good for 4,478 yards (third-highest of his career), 32 touchdowns (second-most of his career) and just 11 interceptions. It all added up to a career and team-record-tying passer rating of 105.5.

Rivers also made great strides in his touchdown-to-interception ratio while working with Reich. In 2013, Rivers posted a 32-to-11 ratio (nearly 3-to-1), which was the third-highest of his career.

“Frank has been great. It is great having him. He is a heck of a coach,” said Rivers. “His steadiness from week to week, the way he helps prepare us and coaches is second to none. His playing career obviously helps and his preparation. His 14 years of playing experience is valuable in itself. There is a guy that stood in the pocket and can relate to you on a personal level because he has done it. He is a heck of a teacher. It was great having him and it was a great first year start with him.”

Reich played 14 NFL seasons, including 10 with Buffalo (1985-94) backing up Jim Kelly, one with Carolina (1995), one with the New York Jets (1996), and two with Detroit (1997-98) before retiring in 1998.

Reich was involved in two of the greatest comeback victories in football history, one as a collegian and the other as a pro. During his senior season (1984) at Maryland, Reich led the Terrapins to a 42-40 win over the University of Miami in a game that his squad trailed 31-0. At the time, it was the largest deficit ever overcome in a college football game.

Nine seasons later as the backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills (1992), Reich started for an injured Jim Kelly in an AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Houston Oilers and he rallied the Bills from a 35-3 deficit in the third quarter to a 41-38 win over the Oilers. To this day, it is still the greatest comeback in NFL history.

“Frank is an outstanding football coach with tremendous experience in the league as both a player and coach, including 10 years as a quarterback with the Buffalo Bills in one of the most productive offenses in NFL history," said General Manager Tom Telesco.  "He also has worked with some outstanding coaches and quarterbacks. We’re fortunate to have Frank on our staff.”

Chargers Rookie Wide Receiver Keenan Allen is honored

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, who led all NFL rookies with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdown receptions, was selected as the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy, who led all NFL rookies and set a club rookie record with 1,178 rushing yards, was selected as the 2013 Rookie of the Year.  Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso, who finished third among all NFL players with 159 total tackles, was selected as the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Allen, a third-round selection out of California, set team rookie receiving records in catches and yards as the league's first 1,000-yard rookie since 2011 and the fifth NFL rookie since 2000 to go over the 1,000-yard mark. He had back-to-back 100-yard games twice, the first Chargers rookie to accomplish that since 1960, and his five total 100-yard games was also a San Diego rookie record. He had nine receptions in two games, and a 128-yard effort at Washington in Week Nine.

Lacy, a second-round pick out of Alabama, had 284 rushes and 11 touchdowns, both Green Bay rookie records. Lacy was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month for October after posting 395 yards on 97 attempts in the month. and was the league's Offensive Player of the Week after a 141-yard effort at Dallas in Week 15. He had four 100-yard rushing efforts, which tied for the most among NFL rookies and tied for fifth among all players. Lacy's 11 rushing TDs were third overall in the NFL.

Alonso, a second-round pick out of Oregon, had four interceptions on the season, including a streak of three consecutive games, the first three-game interception streak by an NFL rookie linebacker since 1980, and the first by a Bills rookie linebacker in team history. He had a season-high 22 tackles (13 solo) in Week Six vs. Cincinnati, the most by a Bills LB since 1997. Alonso also had two sacks, a forced fumble and a pair of fumble recoveries.

The Detroit Lions led all teams with three All-Rookie selections – defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah, punter Sam Martin and guard Larry Warford. Carolina, St. Louis, Miami and San Diego each had two players on the squad. In all, 21 clubs are represented among the 27 players honored.

The All-Rookie offense includes Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon, Cincinnati's Giovanni Bernard and Lacy at running back, Allen and Houston's DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver, Washington tight end Jordan Reed, Dallas center Travis Frederick, Chicago's Kyle Long and Warford at guard and San Diego's D.J. Fluker and New York Giants' Justin Pugh at tackle.

The All-Rookie defense includes Ansah, Carolina's Star Lotulelei, the New York Jets' Sheldon Richardson and Carolina's Kawann Short on the defensive line, Alonso, Oakland's Sio Moore and St. Louis' Alec Ogletree at linebacker, Arizona's Tyrann Mathieu and Atlanta's Desmond Trufant at cornerback and San Francisco's Eric Reed and New Orleans' Kenny Vaccaro at safety.

The All-Rookie special teams is Miami kicker Caleb Sturgis, punter Martin, Minnesota kickoff returner Cordarrelle Patterson, St. Louis punt returner Tavon Austin and Miami special teamer Don Jones.

2013 PFWA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: RB Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
2013 PFWA OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: WR Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
2013 PFWA DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: LB Kiko Alonso, Buffalo Bills


QB – Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RB – Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
WR – Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers; DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
TE – Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
C – Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys
G – Kyle Long, Chicago Bears; Larry Warford, Detroit Lions
T – D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers; Justin Pugh, New York Giants

DL – Ziggy Ansah, Detroit Lions; Star Lotulelei, Carolina Panthers; Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets; Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers
LB – Kiko Alonso, Buffalo Bills; Sio Moore, Oakland Raiders; Alec Ogletree, St. Louis Rams
CB – Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona Cardinals; Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons
S – Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers; Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans Saints

Special Teams
PK – Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins
P – Sam Martin, Detroit Lions
KR – Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
PR – Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
ST – Don Jones, Miami Dolphins

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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