Reich, Frank

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Frank Reich
Frank Michael Reich was a quarterback for the New York Jets for the 1996 season.

Yep, that season.

For a time, he did have the distinction of having led his team to the biggest comeback victory ever in both the collegiate and professional ranks.


Background and college

Born December 4, 1961 in Freeport, New York, Reich attended Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where he started for three years at quarterback. Reich then went to Maryland, where the highlight of his career was the comeback from a 31-0 halftime deficit against the Miami Hurricanes on November 10, 1984, Maryland finally winning 42-40.

NFL Career

Before the Jets

Reich was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round (57th overall) in the 1985 NFL Draft. However, with Jim Kelly firmly established as starter, Reich didn't see much action. However, he was reliable whenever he did come on, leading the Bills to wins. His finest moment came in the playoffs following the 1992 season against the Houston Oilers. Down 35-3 at halftime, Reich led the Bills on a 35-3 run in the second half and overtime against the Oiler defense en route to a 41-38 victory. Reich would help the Bills defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round before once again giving the team back to Kelly, who led them to yet another Super Bowl loss. Reich was picked from the Bills in the 1995 expansion draft to join the Carolina Panthers. Although he started several games for them, he was replaced mid-season by Kerry Collins.

As a Jet

In 1996, Neil O'Donnell, fresh from losing the Super Bowl for the Steelers, was signed. As back up quarterback Glenn Foley had just had major shoulder surgery, Rich Kotite felt the team needed an experienced back up, and signed Reich to a two year deal. After siz games, O'Donnell separated his shoulder, and Reich was named starter. Things didn't get much better. Reich did lead the Jets to their only win on that season, a 31-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals. After the 35-10 hammering by Houston - the game in which O'Donnell managed to end his season by tearing the calf muscle while backpedaling during a warm-up play - Reich was finally benched in favor of Foley. In his seven starts, Reich had 20 turnovers -- 15 interceptions and 5 fumbles. Reich reportedly said of the 1996 season "I need God to get through this." With a pass average of 6.66 yards, you have to wonder....

In March 1997, new head coach Bill Parcells cut Reich.

Post Jets career

After leaving the Jets, Reich signed for the Detroiut Lions. In the first round of the 1997 NFL Playoffs, Reich took over as quarterback for the Lions when Scott Mitchell was knocked out of the game. The score was close the entire game, with the clock winding down it was up to Reich to make a huge play. Instead, Reich dropped back and spiked the ball to stop the clock. Little did he know, it was fourth down and the ball went back to Tampa Bay.

After this blunder, Barry Sanders came to the conclusion he'd never win anything with Detroit, and thus totally crushed, announced his retirement, robbing football of a legend. Nice work, Frank.

Reich retired after the 1998 season.

After the NFL

He is a devout Christian and is now a motivational speaker utilizing the great comebacks as a main keynote of his speeches. He served as the second president of Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Stats as a Jet

    Passing   Rushing
Season QB RAT Att Comp Pct Yds Avg TD INT Att Yds Avg TD
1996 68.9 331 175 52.9 2205 6.66 15 16 18 31 1.7 0
Totals 68.9 331 175 52.9 2205 6.66 15 16 18 31 1.7 0
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