Ok, I get just like all of you that Reich was Manning’s coach with the Indianapolis Colts. I get the Cards are considered a front-runner for Manning’s services should the Colts not pick up his option by March 8th. Let’s not connect the dots – yet.
First of all, it is all moot if the Colts do pick up the option or find another deal Manning can live with and stay with the Colts. Secondly, Reich will be coaching wide receivers, not quarterbacks. Yeah, sure it helps to have a familiar face on the coaching staff, but let’s be real. Reich is staying here whether Manning comes here or not, so to say they hired him for the sole purpose that they plan on dealing for Manning, is just plain ridiculous.
I still like Zona as a great fit. The best fit for Peyton, imo, is probably Baltimore, but Zona has everything there. O-Line could be better, but Manning can probably make do with it.
I don't know that their offense is ideal, but it's definitely the easiest overall fit. The Cards can afford to cut Kolb and take a risk on giving Manning a low-risk (roster bonus/incentive-laden) contract without causing a problem or being too much worse off if he can't go. The Ravens would be his best bet to win a title, if possible, but they can't risk ditching Flacco for Manning only to learn that Manning can't go, which means they'll never even emerge as a contender unless Manning makes huge strides and demonstrates he's 100% before any signing (which won't happen).
I wouldn't mind seeing him out in the desert at all.
It's worth noting that if Manning was a big Frank Reich fan, he likely wouldn't have been demoted from QB coach to WR coach before last season.