INDIANAPOLIS – After time spent in both the NFL and CFL over his coaching career, Scott Milanovich joins the Indianapolis Colts staff as the new quarterbacks coach. Learn more about Milanovich’s coaching career, his relationship with Frank Reich and Marcus Brady and what he hopes to bring to the team.
You spent last season as the head coach in Edmonton of the CFL. Your season was cancelled because of COVID-19, prior to that you were in Jacksonville. What was this last year like for you before the opportunity presented itself to join the Indianapolis Colts?
“Like everybody, it was really awkward for us. It was worse for the Canadian Football League because it’s so driven on ticket revenue and doesn’t have the TV deals they have in the NFL to make it go, so fiscally it just didn’t make sense for us to play. The owners were just going to lose too much money. It gave the coaches an opportunity to really dive deep into studies. I got to watch a lot of NFL film, a lot of college film and try to brush up on some things that I thought we needed to be doing offensively. But it was awkward, first year in 20-some years that I hadn’t been a part of a football season. It was hard from that standpoint for sure.”
You have great familiarity with Coach Frank Reich and Marcus Brady. You and Coach Brady spent a number of years together in the CFL. You won back-to-back championships together. How much did that relationship come into play in your decision to come in as the quarterbacks coach?
“I had great respect for Frank (Reich). I first met Frank when he came – I was in Montreal coaching and I think Marcus (Brady) was playing at that time and Frank came to speak to the team because he had a relationship with Marc Trestman who he was the head coach. Both of us have gone to Maryland and we hit it off, and I actually came to visit him when he was the quarterbacks coach here years and years ago and stayed with him. Our relationship grew and we stayed in contact, so I already had a good relationship with Frank and I worked side-by-side with Marcus for almost a decade. Our families are close. We see the game, I think, very similarly. The opportunity to work for a good organization with a guy I believe in, in Frank, and a guy, Marcus, that I have so much faith in – it was hard to leave to be a head coach and the people that are relying on you there in Edmonton, but it was really a no-brainer to come join this.”
What are those different elements from the CFL game that you guys can now implement with this offense?
“Having been in the NFL for the three years prior to last year, the new wave of things was the RPOs and that’s something that has been going on in Canada for two decades. I’d say we’re very comfortable with that. We’re very comfortable with a little more of the new-age offensive philosophy of get your playmakers the ball in space because that’s a huge part of what you have to do up there. I think it’s a benefit. We all played down south, we all played 11-man football, but having the ability of seeing the aggressiveness, the creativity that comes from being in Canada and the different rules, I think it helps.”
Coach Frank Reich always reinforces that collaborative environment within that quarterbacks room. How do you describe that dynamic and the different strengths and personalities that you, Coach Reich and Coach Marcus Brady all bring in?
“I think it’s a great thing. Our offensive staff has so many guys that have played the position. Certainly, I don’t think you have had to play the position to be able to coach it, but it definitely helps because you have a perspective that other guys don’t. There are things that you see having played the position – a guy flash in front of your face or why did he get off that receiver. I think that the progression is a little bit similar, maybe a little bit faster, but it’s just easier for us to speak. The communication goes so quickly because we think the same way. I’m still getting to learn all these guys and having never coached with Frank (Reich) but Mike Groh is a former quarterback, Press (Taylor) is a former quarterback. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun to hear the creativity in the room.”
You were quarterback at Maryland like Frank Reich. Defensive line coach, Brian Baker, also a Terrapin. What is it about the Maryland program producing NFL coaches?
“I don’t know. The reason I went to Maryland, and Frank (Reich) was one of the firsts, was they had sent six straight quarterbacks to the NFL, that’s with Boomer (Esiason), Frank, Neil O’Donnell, I can’t even remember them all at this point but that was the reason why I went there. I can’t answer that. I was never a great NFL player. They always say the best players don’t always make the best coaches. I won’t speak for Frank, he might be sensitive about that but I think that perspective and I think Maryland had an NFL offense before its time. I think those are all reasons why we’ve been able to transfer to the coaching ranks.”