The Kansas City Chiefs introduced “Big Red” Andy Reid as their new head coach on Monday afternoon. It wasn’t the longest of press conferences but he said enough to gain a few insights into what might be ahead.
Here are 5 takeaways from the first official day of the Andy Reid era:
1. The Hunt family name still has luster
One thing Andy Reid made abundantly clear in his introductory interviews was that his appreciation for the Hunt family and the Hunt name was a big factor in his being interested in coaching in Kansas City.
Despite some of the bad press the team has gotten in recent seasons under Scott Pioli, it appears as though in NFL circles at least, Clark Hunt is still a very well respected member of the NFL family. There was some concern that when Pioli was in the picture, that big name free agents (Peyton Manning) and head coaching candidates (Jeff Fischer) were scared away from getting involved with the Chiefs. The hiring of Reid and Reid’s praise of the Hunt family bodes well for the organization moving forward.
2. KC May Not Take A QB #1 Overall
I hesitated to put this on the list because it is what I expected Reid to say but “Big Red” made it clear a couple of different times during his interviews today that he was concerned with making the “right” choice with his first round draft pick. Reid mentioned that often teams press for picks, especially when they are in need of a QB. He cautioned against making a mistake in that department. Later, while talking with Mitch Holthus, Reid mentioned that there were plenty of places the team could get a QB like in a trade or free agency…or even on the roster right now (year, right).
The important thing to remember here is that most of this is coach-speak. Reid likely has no idea what he is going to do with the first pick right now so he is exhibiting caution when speaking about what the team will do with the #1 pick. Reid may not have a plan in place just yet but he is smart enough to know how starved this Kansas City fan base is for a home-grown QB. He made it clear that that he is going to try to make the “right pick” but I guarantee you if Reid and company think one of the QBs in this class can be their guy, they’ll take him.
3. The cupboard isn’t bare
Reid was asked a couple of times about his thoughts on the current roster and he was both complimentary and realistic. He admitted that the Chiefs had some talented players and coaches already on board but he also pointed out that the team was currently the worst in the NFL and that there is plenty of work to be done.
You don’t need to be a football coach to look at the Chiefs and see there is plenty of young talent that the new regime can build around. Reid made it clear that his plan was to hold on to that nucleus and continue to add to it.
4. Draft strategy could be best player available
One of the classic draft arguments is whether or not teams should draft for need or if they should draft the absolute best football player available. The way Reid spoke on Monday, it appeared as though he is in the latter camp. I think the Chiefs have enough talent that they can plug many of their “needs” in free agency while stocking up on the best players through the draft. I’d be ok with that strategy and it sounds like Andy Reid is as well.
5. Chiefs could stick with the 3-4
Reid was asked whether or not he planned to switch the team from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3 he ran in Philly. Reid was ready to say that the change would definitely take place.
“I’m evaluating (3-4 or 4-3 defense) that right now. I understand the value in both.”
“There’s been an effort here to bring in players that work in the 3-4 so we’ll look at that and go from there.”
While the end result may be the 4-3, I am glad Reid isn’t forcing his system on the players just yet. Good coaches adapt to suit the talents of their players. I truly feel if Reid thinks he needs to run the 3-4, he’ll do it and that if he runs the 4-3, it will be because he knows his players can pull it off.
All right, Addicts Those are my initial five takeaways from Reid’s first presser. What are yours?
Check out all of our Andy Reid quotes here.