Chiefs Design: Solid Judgement And The Work Ethic


These guys have the right mentality.

When they come to work they come “to work.”

And… I’ve appreciated that from day one.

I wouldn’t expect that to change.

~ Andy Reid

Sunday, September 9, 2013

I will make it no secret that I believe Andy Reid is “the” major building block for this team. Teams are made of people. We forget that sometimes. We only see them as coaches, players or GMs. What makes a team are the leaders who lead them and the values they bring to their job place.

Values like solid judgement and the work ethic.

I used to think the successful teams in the league got that way by pure happenstance or that the football God’s smiled their way. When I look at last year’s team and compare it this year’s squad, I can see that it’s solid judgement and a work ethic that have made the difference.

When I think back to Clark Hunt releasing Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli and bringing in Andy Reid and John Dorsey I have often thought it was a matter of serendipity.  Serendipity because the Chiefs had just finished with a 2-14 record while Reid’s Eagles went 4-12, leaving the Chiefs a country without a leader and Reid a leader in search of a country to run.

In Sunday’s convincing win over the Jaguars, it was hard not to notice the progress that players like Tyson Jackson, Donnie Avery, Jeff Allen, Rodney Hudson, Justin Houston and Dontari Poe and almost the whole defense had made since last year. I could see that the place the Chiefs have arrived at… was far less because of the coincidence of Reid and the Chiefs being available at the same moment in time and far more for other, more meaningful, reasons.

I recall, it was early in training camp. I believe it was the first practice following the first preseason game. That’s when coach Reid was questioned about how the practice went and he said something like, “Not so good, I think the players were tired following the game. We’ll have to come back and get after it again tomorrow.” Why is that important? Because Andy Reid is an honest man and he tells his players truthfully how he feels even when it’s not what they want to hear. And that breeds trust. But it also speaks to his value system: the value of… hard work, by working hard.

When you hear Andy Reid say we had a good practice and they really got after it today… he means it. You can rely on him to tell you if the team isn’t where he wants them to be, effort wise. The truth is, he’s said that a lot this preseason and THAT is the most meaningful reason these Chiefs have grown.

It was Colin Powell who said, A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

That’s who your new Chiefs have become and who they will continue becoming.

Tom Brady may have “just so happened” to turn out to be one of the best QBs in the history of the league even though he was selected in the 6th round of the draft. The Indianapolis Colt may “just so happened” to have ended up drafting first in the year that Andrew Luck was coming out of college because Peyton Manning had multiple neck surgeries the previous year.

Have you ever heard anyone say… ever… that Tom Brady or Peyton Manning didn’t work hard?

The point is, happenstance and serendipity may be able to place you at a point in time but it’s not what creates the real “team” progress.

So, what does that mean to “create real team progress?”

Will Rogers once said, Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

Andy Reid and John Dorsey have learned from their mistakes and that brings authentic “experience” to the table. It was so apparent that the Chiefs had grown by leaps and bounds on Sunday for these reasons: solid judgement and the work ethic. Specifically: Reid and Dorsey’s solid judgement and the team’s work ethic (which Reid and Dorsey also have lots of, like a bad flu that won’t go away).

That can be evidenced by their willingness to bring in 7 new players the very weekend before the new season begins. They’ve left no stone unturned (BTW… they’ve also made three roster moves this week).

In his post game comments on Sunday Andy Reid admitted that Special Teams were not up to par because of the influx of new blood. More honesty.

It can also be seen in the players dedication and willingness to work together. To buy in.

These Chiefs have been getting better everyday. In past seasons, coaches used to “preach” getting better everyday but this season the players talk about it and embody it.

These Chiefs have heart and hustle and it comes from their hard work as well as the good decisions management has made.

The game on Sunday is a testament to everything that’s happened this offseason from Clark’s first moves to the obvious game preparations that helped deliver this win.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the Chiefs become winners for years now. I know one game does not a season make. However, watching them not get down after getting behind 2-0 was another positive sign.

While the offense needs to work on being consistent in 3rd down situations, the number of other positives in this game outweigh any negatives that one can cite.

I look forward the offense getting more time to gel but the top to bottom organizational contributions point to the real reasons for this success.

These Chiefs have made me proud to be a Chiefs fan all over again and that has everything to do with, their solid judgement and their work ethic.

So Addicts, anything impressive to you about the Chiefs on Sunday?