John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Making the Right Reid

Last week, I posted my reservations about hiring Andy Reid. A lot of good that did! Despite all of my focused and repeated ESP messages, Clark Hunt pulled off a major coup for our Chiefs!

I hope upon hope that Reid proves me wrong and brings back that perennial playoff feeling back to Kansas City. A key issue that will go along way towards our climb back to the top of the NFL, and one that is now consuming our attention and imagination, is what offensive and defensive mindset Reid will bring to town, and related, what assistant coaches he will call upon to lead us to victory (and thankfully, there’s been no talk of Reid pulling double duty as a coordinator and coach!).

In the great debate between “the system” and “the players,” I’m a firm believer in the players. As Reid selects offensive and defensive coordinators, I hope Reid will pick coordinators who will align their respective systems to fit the strengths of our best players. I’ve never understood coaches who believe their system is the best one, regardless of who their talent is. If you have Tamba Hali, use the defense that best allows him to rush the quarterback. If you have Jamaal Charles, design an offense to let him run free. To do otherwise strikes me as either egotistical or lazy. If there was a magical defense, whether it’s the 3-4, the 4-3, the Tampa 2 or the Wide 9, then every team would be using it.

Another way to tackle this issue is to analyze the ease of adaption. That is, can players or coaches more easily adapt to a new scheme?

Here again, I’d side with making coaches adapt. Players do best when their play is instinctual, born from years, not months, of practice. Malcolm Gladwell writes about a common trait of true experts, regardless of their field – they have each acquired over 10,000 hours of effort in their chosen craft.

That’s about 4 years of work at 8 hours a day. Players, in the heat of a battle, have a fraction of a second to make a decision. Coaches make game plans well in advance of the season and even during a game, they have 20-40 seconds to make adjustments. Players are the ones that need to act instinctually, not coaches, so ideally, you want a system that is intuitive for players and not new.

To be clear, I’m not arguing to keep players in a bad system just because that’s what they’ve been in before. I am arguing though, that a coach’s real gift is to pick a system and a set of coordinators and assistant coaches that can maximize the strengths of our superstars and minimize having players learn something new. Our playmakers, give or take a few, are:


  • Jamaal Charles
  • Dwayne Bowe (Please Clark, just re-sign Bowe. We’ve seen this story before – A.J. Smith letting Vincent Jackson go in San Diego, or the Broncos letting Brandon Marshall go, or, oh yeah, Pioli letting Tony Gonzales walk)
  • Brandon Albert


  • Tamba Hali
  • Derrick Johnson
  • Brandon Flowers
  • Justin Houston

I’ll leave the decision on which particular systems best match our playmakers to those with a higher football IQ than me. So Addicts, what do you think are the best offensive and defensive systems to maximize the talents of our playmakers?!!!

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  • steve james

    I can’t say that I agree with you 100%. A system can make a player look really good. Take castle in New England for example.

    • Jim Harper

      It is spelled Cassel. God man, if you don’t know how to spell something then look it up!

      • steve james

        Sorry if my phones speak to text isn’t perfect as I am sure you are not either. I figured some one with nothing of substance to add would be a jerk about it and I wasn’t disappointed.

      • Brody Hall

        What kind of prick worries about another’s spelling on a football site? Prolly picked on a lot in school so now holds a grudge and picks at anyone he can now a days because he thinks he is getting some “payback” on the world… lol what a joke.

        • boorthisman

          No, I agree in normal spelling, or sentence structure
          but when talking about OUR PLAYERS? no. you must get the freaking name right
          and this article? TONY GONZALEZ* the guy is going to be a freaking HoF, and we cant be annoyed reading stuff like “castle”? I mean seriously have you even looked at a single jersey

  • Brandon Mecham

    So do we have a time table on when the Reid puns stop?

    • Chief Hokie

      Why don’t you Reid on and find out?

  • Jim Harper

    My personal feeling is to leave the defense in a 3-4g but tweak the technique Tamba and Houston are doing well in the current system, and I dont think switching Tamba back to a DE is good. He would have to beef back up and that would slow his speed. I am not concerned about the offense limiting Charles touches. Matter of fact his touches would probably go up with more passing touches. I see him in a Westbrook type role. We need to keep all our free agents and first and foremost pay Bowe what he is worth. Need to keep Albert. We have invested much in him to turn him into a good LT. Also need to keep Colquitt.


    JiM Wh0 cAr3s 1f H3 d1ddNt sP3ll C0rR3cT. Dont be a dick.

  • Michael Shaw

    Defensively speaking we have had too many drafts to align our players with a 3-4 defense. The players have proven that they are doing well in that system. If we go to a 4-3 or god forbid the Crampa 2 we will absolutely regress this defense by 2-3 years. If Andy is smart I would bring in a 3-4 DC. In fact, if he and RAC are as good of friends as he says, I would off RAC the DC position. I know he was just fired as the HC, but he knows the players on defense and they fit his scheme perfectly. I am sure it won’t work, but it is worth a try at least. As for the offense, I really don’t see how Jamaal Charles isn’t perfect for a West Coast style of offense. He is a better version of Marcus Allen, so I truly believe he will flourish in a west coast syle of offense.

  • KCMikeG

    We only run a true 3-4 about half of the time so if we used it more it wouldn’t set us back. Plus most of our players have played in a 4-3 in college. Stop worrying about Charles. Reid will use him extensively and will also show everyone why Dexter in the 2nd was a brilliant choice.

  • Keane Santos

    Eric Winston not on the offensive player’s list if Albert is, and BERRY NOT ON THE DEFENSIVE LIST!? aiyaiyai I hope that was a typo.

    Otherwise agree with you on most parts but coming from someone with very rookie but some football experience it’s hard to ask a coach to run a 3-4 or 4-3 just to fit players, they can to a point and they’ll know both because they have to run many sets but like any coach they will have a personality, you can’t ask a run heavy offensive guy to all of a sudden employ the run and shoot. Some coaches can adapt but most have a specialty.

  • boorthisman

    usually like AA content, this is something close to garbage.
    tony G walked eh? last I checked they got a 2nd round pick for him.
    so the system for the long term is set around jamaal charles? our soon to be 26-27 year old HB? in a league where hb’s are done by 29?
    Bowe? the guy who wont even go to camp when there is no reason to sit out other than to relax? you list jackson and marshall, both of whom are legit number 1 wr’s, who don’t drop easy game winners on the regular.
    and its Gonzalez* shame on you.

    • Chief Hokie


  • Chief Hokie

    You don’t make it to the point of head coach without being egotistical.