Being Fast vs. Being Right

From a purely public relations and marketing perspective, Clark Hunt gets an A+ since Sunday’s season-ending debacle against the Broncos. What better way to make us Addicts forget the bitter taste of another blow-out loss and perhaps the worst season in franchise history than the undeniable excitement of firings and hirings?

I’m as guilty as anyone. Since Romeo got the ax, I literally haven’t had one thought about gaining just eight first downs and 119 yards while giving up 4 sacks, 32 first downs, 488 yards and 38 points. I’ve only thought once about not leading for eight straight games and having the two of the four lowest rated quarterbacks in the NFL.

Every hour, there are no tweets, rumors and posts about Clark’s hiring plans, with mostly glowing reports about his “take the bull by the horns” approach and his shafting of Scott Pioli. The latest news that has most Chiefs fans abuzz is the prospect of hiring Andy Reid.

I’m opposed to Andy Reid coming to the Chiefs.

I get all the good things being said about Reid: his overall record, his work with Donovan McNabb and his postseason success. I also get all the bad things being said about Reid. He mismanaged the team. His record of late with quarterbacks is a disaster. He has horrendous time management skills. The truth is, any coach worthy of serious consideration will have a track record of both positive and negative characteristics and accomplishments. I do believe Reid is a great coach, but I don’t think he’s the right coach for the Chiefs.

I’m a big fan of the win/loss record as the ultimate metric for a head coach. Reid’s is quite good: 140-102, over 14 seasons (including the postseason). But if you dissect Reid’s record, a different pattern emerges. Let’s take a look at Reid’s cumulative win-loss percentage at different points in his career:

  • 58%: fourteen year career
  • 52%: past five years
  • 45%: past three years
  • 38%: past two years
  • 25%: past year

Clearly (to me at least), Reid’s prowess as a head coach is declining. Nate Silver makes explicit this phenomenon that we all implicitly know so well in The Signal and the Noise, citing baseball genius Bill James, who first posited this theory:

By looking at statistics for thousands of players, James had discovered that the typical player continues to improve until he is in his late twenties, at which point his skills usually begin to atrophy, especially once he reaches his midthirties. This gave James one of his most important inventions: the aging curve.

Silver then adds a critical lesson that Clark would be wise to pay attention to:

The notion of the aging curve would have been extremely valuable to any team that had read James’s work. Under baseball’s contract rules, players do not become free agents until fairly late in their careers: after they’ve played at least six full major league seasons….Since the typical rookie reaches the big leagues at twenty-three or twenty-four years old, he might not become a free agent until he is thirty – just after his window of peak performance has eclipsed. Teams were paying premium dollars for free agents on the assumption that they would replicate in their thirties the production they had exhibited in their twenties; in fact, it usually declined…

This paragraph could have been written about Andy Reid.

Desperation is generally not a good frame of mind to make major decisions. Clark Hunt always looks calm, but you know he’s boiling up inside. Four years ago, he inherited one of the most storied franchises in the history of sports, from the man who practically invented the NFL, who, oh yeah, was his dad. And what has Clarkie done? He’s created a team characterized by change and chaos. That ups the ante considerably on this coaching and GM decision. There is literally zero room for error. I find myself thinking about the 1994 baseball strike. It was a colossal mistake and one that took decades to recover from. If Clark hires another disastrous coach (or GM), it may take years for this team to recover.

Enter Andy Reid. For a person who is desperate, Andy Reid probably looks pretty good. He’s got a track record, the respect of his peers and is the definition of a “safe pick.” But he’s not the right pick for our Chiefs. We know from when Haley was hired that we need to make this decision soon, so the head coach can get a head start on hiring assistant coaches and getting ready for the Combine and the Draft. But that doesn’t mean we need to make the choice now. Let’s do a proper vetting and find a coach who is on the upswing of his career, so we can ensure stability for years to come and a return to the Chiefs that we know and that we want.

What do you think, Addicts? Do you like Reid? And if not, who would you advise?

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • KeeVee

    In waiting for the chip Kelly and geno smith fanboys to start commenting lol

  • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

    Sorry Miles but I don’t buy the declining performance thing. It may be true with baseball players but their performance is based on their physical tools, not just their minds.

    It is really, really hard to sustain success in the NFL and Reid has done a pretty good job of it. Clearly, this Eagles team was on the decline over the last few years. That could be due to any number of factors.

    The last five years stats can be twisted any number of ways. For instance, I can say that under Reid, the Eagles have won their division two out of the last four years. I can say that the last five years, the Eagles have finished 9-6-1, 11-5, 10-6 and 4-12. That tells me this seasons mark, not only drastically skews Reids average over the last five years but that it is clear that the 4-12 mark is a serious outlier. Also, Reids success early in Philly was so incredible that to expect him to maintain that over the course of 14 years in the NFL is unreasonable .

    He has never had back to back losing seasons in 14 years. In fact, he has only had three total.Once he finished 5-11 and the next season finished 11-5. Once he finished 6-10 and the next season finished 10-6. His history tells me that if he stayed in Philly another year, the Eagles probably would have had a winning record in 2013. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Eagles coach leads them to a winning record next year.

  • http://powellbailbonds.weebly.com/ big chief

    I do like Reid but as I’ve stated before I would be cautiously optimistic with him. Gruden would be my number one. No college coaches or coordinators. Too mych of a crap shoot.

    • Damian

      Gruden is a crapshoot. The guy hasn’t been a coach in years. It takes a while to get in that mode after you’ve been doing TV.

      • http://powellbailbonds.weebly.com/ big chief

        Maybe but it’s hard to argue with a ring. Gruden has proven he’s an NFL HC plus there is nobody better with qb’s. Reid will be the guy though so it’s time to climb aboard the Chiefs Walrus express. He’s guaranteed to be better than Romeo.

    • Nicholas Rodgers

      No head coach has ever won Super Bowls with multiple teams. True Gruden did well with the Raiders, but he basically cherry picked a championship from Tony Dungy in Tampa. So in retrospect, really if we are looking for a retired coach we should want Dungy. He has brought two different teams to championship level. One with offense, and one with defense.

      I think Reid will turn the ship around.

      • http://powellbailbonds.weebly.com/ big chief

        Dungy would be great but Reid will be the guy. I’m not 100% sure we’ll get a superbowl out of him but I am sure we’ll see our boys in red be respectable again. Let’s hope.

  • Daniel Mayfield

    If we can pick up the right QB (Geno Smith) that is kind of like McNabb in his younger years to go along with the talented players we already have, then I can see a better season for KC. Not a big jump to the SB or deep in the playoffs but starting off with a winning season. Unless Hunt can get Bill Cowher back in the game, I think Reid would be a good choice. Not the best but it’s not like you’re gonna trade coaches. It’s hire or fire

    • http://powellbailbonds.weebly.com/ big chief

      Geno Smith is more like Akili Smith than McNabb. I think he’ll be the pick I just hope he’s better than I think he’ll be. I think Te’o in the first and best qb available in the second would be wiser. The difference from one qb to another this year is minimal and none are a number one pick. At least the new rules make having the first pick less financially devestating.

  • obrien5

    This just in, Reid and chiefs pretty much a done deal.to all the folks that think is a bad deal think about it. Where would we go if this deal wasn’t done? Chip Kelly? Really? Shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first. Referring to an article I read a few days ago on AA and I hate to say it but KC has become the red headed step child, thanks to Pioli. I think Reid can change that, did we really want a special teams coach or someone from the cardinals? I didn’t.

    • http://twitter.com/skymuscle83 Skylor Kingrey

      No to chip kelly as well. I want McCoy from the broncos, I think he’d be good. But I don’t want Reid here!!! I bet you were on the Romeo bandwagon huh!!! that was a horrible hire like I called it. Reid is another bad hire!!

      • obrien5

        Reid is a proven winner, Romeo was not, neither was Haley, the only reason the broncos are winning is because of 18.

    • toperspective

      oh the poor gingers.

  • http://twitter.com/skymuscle83 Skylor Kingrey

    I think Reid is a bad hire here!!! It has been rumored for several years at the end of the year that Reid was to be fired. He is a mistake and has had his time. I think that this is going to be bad here still. mark my words.

  • toperspective

    I think it’s a leap to apply James’ work with ballplayers to a football coach. Coaches don’t have to do to much blocking or tackling. However, I do agree that Reid’s last few seasons raise major questions.

  • Miles Yi

    I hear those of you who don’t think James’ work should apply to coaches, or at least apply differently. I think we’d all agree however, that every profession has an arc – you start off as a beginner, hit your prime and then decline until you retire. My only point is that I think Reid’s career is on the decline, and that he’s past his prime. We may be getting a coach for just 2-3 years, rather than a coach for the next decade. If that’s true, we would then have essentially a decade of constant turnover, which would only repeat all the bad things that have happened, not improve upon them.

  • ArrowFan

    The fact that Reid is seriously interested in us makes me happy it kind of deflates the whole no one wants to be a Chiefs argument.

  • David Fritch

    Tom Coughlin flies in the face of the curve argument. Lets hope Andy does too!

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