Andy Reid’s Case As 2013 NFL Coach Of The Year


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Whether or not the Associated Press agrees with me, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is clearly the NFL’s Coach of the Year. He’s orchestrated a nine-game turnaround, the largest in franchise history, for the league’s worst team in 2012. The Chiefs’ 56-31 victory over the Oakland Raiders earned them a spot in the 2013 NFL playoffs. Kansas City will at least be the AFC’s #5 seed in the postseason tournament.

The Chiefs are also still in position to win the AFC West now that they’re 11-3 like the division-leading Denver Broncos (who remain atop the West due to the tiebreaker). If the Chiefs win out and the Broncos drop one of their remaining games, the Chiefs would claim the division and have a shot at home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Only New England could stand in the way of them owning the top seed in the postseason tournament.

Reid’s brought strong winds of change with him from South Philadelphia. Let’s be honest though, the Chiefs were historically bad in 2012. It’s tough to imagine a team so talented not making significant strides one year following perhaps the worst in franchise history. Consider what Reid’s done with runningback Jamaal Charles. Charles had already established himself as one of the league’s premier backs. What more could he make of him? I’m glad you asked.

Coming into the 2013 season, Jamaal Charles had just 24 career touchdowns. He has 18 in 2013. With 164 more offensive yards and just 2 more TD’s, he’ll have 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns on the season. That kind of production warrants MVP consideration. Charles has been good thus far in his career, but he’s never made a real case for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award.

Reid has also guided first-year Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to his best NFL season. Here’s Smith’s stat line for the year:

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Smith is a nine-year pro who appeared to be maxed out, but Reid’s gotten more out of him than any coach in his career. He’s on pace to throw the ball more than 540 times this season (the most single-season attempts of his NFL tenure). There was some trepidation about whether or not Alex Smith could continue to be as efficient in an offense that asked him to throw that often. It hasn’t been an issue for him. He has a nearly 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

I suppose we could also talk about Reid’s foresight in bringing special teams coordinator Dave Toub to Kansas City. The Chiefs have four special teams return touchdowns in 2013 (that leads the league). They average 30.5 yards per kick return, also tops in the NFL. Dustin Colquitt has more punts downed inside of the 20-yard line than any punter in the NFL (33). Ryan Succop has made 84% of his field goal attempts in 2013 (the second-most accurate season of his career). Kansas City’s “third phase” has been as important to its success as any other unit in 2013.

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The Kansas City Chiefs have been in this position before, but haven’t had a viable playoff contender in a decade. The 2003 team finished the season 13-3, but quickly exited the postseason when it surrendered 38 points to a Colts team it couldn’t force into a single punt. I believe this group to be most capable of making a run in the postseason since another transplanted quarterback from San Francisco was at the helm (Joe Montana).

Chiefs Kingdom should be cautiously optimistic about this bunch the rest of the way. The team’s posted 101 points in two consecutive road wins, but the Redskins and Raiders are two of the worst teams in the league this year. Kansas City will get a real test of its postseason preparedness next week when the AFC South-leading Colts come to town. It’s possible that they could face Indianapolis again the in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs.

The Chiefs are in the midst of one of the biggest one-year turnarounds in NFL history. For that, Reid deserves to be named AP’s NFL Coach of the Year. Panthers coach Ron Rivera and Saints coach Sean Payton warrant COTY consideration as well, but both of them have been with their respective organizations for several years. Furthermore, all of the working parts were already in place. Reid’s turned the Chiefs franchise around with a new quarterback, a new offensive scheme, and a new coaching staff. The case is closed in my mind.

Does Andy Reid deserve to be named NFL Coach of the Year? Are there any other head coaches more deserving? Use the comment section below to have your say. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!

Follow me on Twitter: @emceereach

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Jason Seibel

    Great points all around, Reach! Great piece, thanks for the breakdown!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Thank you kindly, sir.

  • freshmeat62

    I don’t see how there could be much doubt, from the 1st pick in the draft to a possible #1 seed in the playoffs, that’s pretty dang good. Easy schedule or not. Even if they had only won 8 or 9 this year, it was an awesome job. And how about a shout out to John Dorsey for exec of the year. A heck of a team.

    I imagine the guy in Philly will get some heavy consideration, being an east coast team.

    I think Pete Carrol has done a heck of a job building that team, but it’s been over a couple of years.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Chip Kelly could get some consideration out in Philly, but only if they win that division (which I don’t think will happen). The road to the NFC East crown still goes through Dallas. The Eagles have the Bears this week and have to travel to play the ‘Boys in the season finale. Foles has been great this season, but asking him to beat a playoff-caliber team this week and a division rival that already holds the tiebreaker over them, on the road, the following week? That’s a tall, tall order I’m not sure the kid’s up for.

      Carroll would probably be 5th on my list this season (behind Andy Reid, Ron Rivera, Sean Payton, and Chip Kelly).

    • berttheclock

      Thanks for mentioning Dorsey for Exec of the Year. Funny thing in finding over 30 new players for Reid to employ in his system. One doesn’t work without the other.

      But, in mentioning Pete Carrol with the Seahawks, the same holds for John Schneider to be up for Exec as well. Schneider found the many new players for Carrol. Same situation as KC and both Dorsey and Schneider learned their craft under Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson of the Packers.

  • PunjabiPete

    Agreed on this piece, and that is from my totally objective status as official Chiefs Kool-Aid taster. Can you imagine how insane this team is going to be in 2-3 years? Maybe we will be all uppity like Denver fans, booing them when they don’t win the AFC championship every year.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I hope this team steadily improves, but I’m not ready to think about the future just yet.
      There’s still so much possible in 2013!

  • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

    Other coaches have good cases, but no case is stronger than Reid’s. I expect him to win that honor.

  • steve james

    In my mind he had it sewed up after week 7 & by week 9 only a fool would disagree. Like Peyton the rest of the year is a formality & it doesn’t matter what happens the rest of the year.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Let’s hope the Associated Press agrees.

  • kcpauly

    Good read Reach, I don’tthink there is even a question Big Red is COTY…..
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Woooooooooooooo!!!

  • InsideMyTeam

    Andy Reid has done a magnificent job of turning this team’s culture around. It’s amazing what a difference a great headcoach can make. Next year I would be surprised if we don’t do better than this year considering this was the first year for all the players under his new offense.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      It’ll be hard to duplicate this kind of success, but I put nothing past this man. He’s simply one of this generations best head coaches. So glad to have him.

  • Arrowhead Magic

    To me the only other coaches who could even be in the conversation is Sean Payton (it’s been made very clear that his presence can be a difference maker) and Bill Belichick (it’s crazy that he has managed to get this years Pats to maintain their success), but like Merlin said no one else has a case stronger than Andy Reid.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I think a worst-to-first turnaround in Philly would be a HUGE feather in Chip Kelly’s cap. Especially since he’s never coached in the NFL prior to 2013. He’d get a HELL of a look if that happens.

  • Ren

    How could NE take the #1 spot if KC wins out and DEN drops one? We’d be 13-3 and NE, at best, would sit at 12-4.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Check, you’re right about that! Bad math on my part, sorry.

  • Bosco Cletus

    Glad you touched on Toub, he has really turned the ST’s unit around and made them a force. Good grief even Janokowski was squibbing it to our guys at one point last week.

  • micah stephenson

    He has to b coach of the yr!!!

  • chris

    Agree with most, but if the Broncos lose a game and the chiefs win out they will be the#1 seed regaurdless of how ne’s last 2 games turnout