Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid keeps defying expectations.
After a fourteen years as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Reid’s tenure ended in failure. His last years with the Eagles were marred by losing seasons and despite a long history of success, Reid was never able to guide Philadelphia to a championship. The organization decided it was time for a change.
As the end of the 2012 season approached and Reid’s eventual fate was becoming more and more apparent, there were some in the media that suggested that Reid should probably take a year or two off from football. Fourteen years is a long time for an NFL coach to hold the same job and Reid had recently lost his son Garrett, who died at Eagles training camp last August from an accidental heroin overdose.
But Andy Reid had no intention in taking time off. Just days after being fired by the Eagles, Reid was being introduced as the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Given Reid’s history and status as one of the most respected head coaches in the NFL, the media got right back to jumping to conclusions. It was written over and over that Reid would have full control in Kansas City and would have the final say in all personel decisions, even over the GM.
Yet everything we’ve seen from the Chiefs this offseason seems to indicated that GM John Dorsey and Reid really do have their own areas of power. After being hired, Reid was quoted on multiple occasions to the press,as saying that Dorsey had the final call on personel decisions.
Thus far, that appears to be the case.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt seemed to have had his fill of power plays with former GM Scott Pioli. Pioli had total control over everything from the personel decisions right down to who picked up candy wrappers in the stairwell. Pioli’s power trip caused strife in the front office and on the field with former head coach Todd Haley.
Hunt may have allowed Reid a say in who the eventual GM of the Chiefs would be. Reid was the big fish and I am sure Hunt wanted the coach to have a GM that he was comfortable with. But just because Reid was afforded a say in putting together the team, doesn’t mean that he was granted all-encompassing power.
Reid seems to trust Dorsey and so far at least, there have been no reports of any disagreements between the two. Reid’s willingness to defy expectations and work with a GM instead of having the GM work for him, should only benefit the Chiefs as they build their team. Running a successful NFL franchise is a large and difficult task and not many men can do it on their own. Instead of being the football czar in KC, as he was originally projected to be by the media, it appears Reid is content with doing what he does best, which is coaching a football team.
Finally, Reid and Dorsey have decided to hire former Nevada head coach and creator of the Pistol offense, Chris Ault, as a consultant. While it isn’t clear exactly what Ault’s duties will be, there are reports that he will be helping install some form of the Pistol on offense, while also helping to coach the defense on stopping it.
This is yet another move that shows Reid’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing and evolving NFL. College offensive schemes are becoming more and more prevalent in the pros and if the Chiefs want to keep up with their competition, then they need to change with the times.
Kansas City has also hired former Minnesota Vikings head coach, Brad Childress, as the team’s “Spread Game Analyst.” While it is unclear exactly what Childress’ duties will be, it is apparent that the Chiefs are wisely bringing in talented and experienced consultants to help them survive and thrive in today’s NFL.
Instead of getting the hotshot, veteran head coach that was going to come in and call all the shots and put everyone in their place, the Chiefs appear to have gotten a thoughtful, forward thinking leader that has learned from both his success and his failures.
We’re way too early in the process to know if this new Chiefs regime will be successful. But the early returns seem positive.
If Reid and company can put it all together, there could be something very special happing in Kansas City.