Ladies and gentleman, the chairman has spoken.
Clark Hunt, over the last 144 hours, has single-handedly given Chiefs Kingdom a reason to hope — again. On Friday, Hunt terminated general manager Scott Pioli. If that weren’t enough, he went on to hire Andy Reid to become the thirteenth head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s almost as though he’d been listening to his naysayers. Naysayers who questioned his commitment to making the Chiefs a competitive football team. His dissenters should now have their answer. Clearly this was the work of a man who is both prideful and concerned about his organization.
This is the second time that Clark Hunt has gone out and landed arguably the best candidate available to lead his football team. In both cases, it required Hunt to cut a pretty big check. In 2009, Clark Hunt hired Scott Pioli to replace Carl Peterson as GM. That contract made Pioli the highest paid general manager in the NFL. Reid’s five-year deal will reportedly make him one of the highest paid coaches in the league. That, my friends, suggests a burning desire to win.
Hunt introduced his new head coach in a press conference on Monday afternoon. With the Reid announcement out of the way, Hunt will now turn his attention to hiring Pioli’s replacement. Green Bay’s college scouting director John Dorsey is rumored to be the top choice for the job. The Packers advanced to the next round of the playoffs on Saturday night, so the Dorsey situation won’t be resolved for at least another week. In the interim, Reid is likely to start the process of assembling a new coaching staff.
No coaches have been named to Reid’s staff as of yet, but rumors are flying around about who he might hire. Most suspect he’ll bring in some of his former coaches to reprise the roles they held under him in the past. Right now we’re hearing names like Juan Castillo, Pat Shurmur, and Brad Childress (offensively). There are fewer ideas about which direction he’ll go in at defensive coordinator, but Monte Kiffin’s name has been kicked around a bit. It’s very possible that Reid’s hiring will signal the end of the 3-4 defense in Kansas City. That may not be as problematic as it sounds though, as several of Kansas City’s key defensive playmakers are scheme-diverse.
The Reid hiring represents new beginnings for everyone involved. It’s certainly a fresh start for everyone who previously worked at One Arrowhead Drive. It’s also a clean slate for Andy Reid. The former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was maligned after his last two unsuccessful seasons in the City of Brotherly Love. Those two seasons prompted his ousting after 14 years.
There are those who think Reid would’ve been well served by some time away from the game. 2012 was a rough year for Andy Reid, in ways that extend well beyond the white lines of the gridiron. A change of scenery may be exactly what he needs. At least Reid seems to think so:
“My family and I are very excited to join the Chiefs organization and the Kansas City community,” Reid said. “I want to thank the Hunt family for allowing me the opportunity to lead this storied franchise. The Chiefs have always had a passionate fan base and I’m looking forward to Sundays at Arrowhead Stadium. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready for next season, and we are going to get started immediately.”
There’s still plenty of work to be done to lay the foundation for the new-look Kansas City Chiefs. Reid is tasked with finding quality coordinators to usher in new offensive and defensive ideas. Those two forthcoming hires are key to keeping the train on the tracks, but so, too, is identifying the Chiefs’ future at quarterback. The Chiefs own the #1 pick in April’s draft, but it’s unclear whether or not Reid will start his administration in Kansas City the same way he did in Philadelphia. He began his run there with a young quarterback out of Syracuse named Donovan McNabb (selected 2nd overall in the 1999 NFL Draft). Chiefs fans are split on the issue of who to draft with the top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but many of them have West Virginia’s Geno Smith at the top of their wishlist. Fans can only hope Andy Reid feels the same way. He had this to say about the position in yesterday’s presser:
“The quarterback position, I’m going to dig in and look at that and we’ll build that thing. We’ll see how that whole thing builds out. I need to spend some time working at it, though. I’ve got to find that next Len Dawson, doggone it. It might be right here, it might not.”
It’s tough to know what to make of that, but we can rest easy knowing that Reid understands how important that position is to winning in the NFL. One can only hope that he’s as disgusted with the three quarterbacks on the roster as the “sea of Red” contingent he alluded to on Monday.
More answers are on the way, but it will take time to see exactly what Andy Reid has planned for this franchise. Buckle your safety belts, boys and girls. We’re in for a ride over the next few weeks. Hopefully the coaching staff and front office will be rounded out by then. The Senior Bowl is at the end of the month. The NFL combine will follow three weeks later. Andy Reid prides himself on organization so if anybody will be prepared, he will. I, for one, am glad that the Chiefs finally have a head coach who knows the importance of preparation.
Until next week, Addicts!