Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said Tuesday he was impressed by both Philip Rivers, who signed a one-year, $25 million contract with the team, and fellow quarterback Tom Brady during his free-agent evaluations.
"I don't understand how he's still doing it," Reich said.
The 58-year-old Colts coach said the team couldn't pass up the chance to sign Rivers, though.
"This was a crazy, unique opportunity. Philip, I think, is a Hall of Fame quarterback," Reich said. "... Went back and watched his play from the past two years and didn't see any physical drop-off."
Rivers, 38, put together one of his best statistical seasons in 2018. He completed 68.3 percent of his throws for 4,308 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
His numbers dropped off considerably last year for the Los Angeles Chargers, though. He tallied 23 TDs and 20 INTs, which helped lead to his mutual exit from the organization after 16 seasons.
Rivers previously worked with Reich for three years when the Colts coach worked as the Chargers' quarterback coach (2013) and offensive coordinator (2014-15). He expects that will allow him to hit the ground running in Indianapolis.
"It's important to have that trust—that Frank has called the plays before and we've made it work," Rivers said March 21. "I've communicated this to him, we've had a lot of those experiences together—those trust-building experiences and I think that that certainly lends to the confidence that this is going to be a successful opportunity."
Rivers will inherit an offense with ample upside thanks to running back Marlon Mack, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle.
The oddsmakers aren't particularly bullish on the Colts, though. There are seven teams with better odds than Indy (+1,400) to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, led by the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs (+200), according to Caesars Palace.
That said, Indianapolis could emerge as a dangerous sleeper if Rivers returns to peak form.