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Chargers Promote Former Lion Reich To Offensive Coordinator

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9 Nov 1997: Quarterback Frank Reich of the Detroit Lions prepares to hand off the ball during a game against the Washington Redskins at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins won the game 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /All

9 Nov 1997: Quarterback Frank Reich of the Detroit Lions prepares to hand off the ball during a game against the Washington Redskins at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins won the game 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /All

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Chargers promoted quarterbacks coach Frank Reich to offensive coordinator on Tuesday.

He replaces Ken Whisenhunt, who was hired Monday as coach of the Tennessee Titans.

The Chargers declined to make Reich available to the media.

Also Tuesday, defensive coordinator John Pagano signed a new contract to remain with the Chargers.

In his first season on San Diego’s staff, Reich helped tutor Philip Rivers to a record-breaking season. Rivers completed a team-record, career-best and NFL-leading 69.5 percent of his passes (378 of 544), good for 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Rivers tied the team record and his personal beset with a passer rating of 105.5. Rivers also set a team mark for single-season completions with 378.

Reich was drafted in the third round by Buffalo in 1985 and played 14 NFL seasons, including 10 with Buffalo, one with Carolina, one with the New York Jets and two with Detroit.

Reich was involved in two of the greatest comeback victories in football history. As a senior at Maryland in 1984, Reich led the Terrapins from a 31-0 deficit against Miami to a 42-40 victory. At the time it was the largest deficit overcome in a college football game.

As the backup quarterback for Buffalo in 1982, Reich started for injured Jim Kelly in a wild-card game against the Houston Oilers and rallied the Bills from a 35-3 deficit in the third quarter to a 41-38 win, the greatest comeback in NFL history.

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