K.C. Chiefs Coach Andy Reid: The Epitome Enigma

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The honeymoon is over. After a 9-0 start and an 11-5 record with a playoff berth in 2013 the love affair between Kansas CIty Chiefs fans and Coach Andy Reid is now officially in jeopardy. For now, the honeymoon is certainly over. If this really was like an actual love relationship that your own daughter was having with a potential suitor, we’d all be suggesting to take it slowly and date for two or three years. In other words, take time to get to know each other first. Well, it’s been long enough for us to see certain patterns arising with Coach Reid and I’m not sure when we’re going to get Dr. Jekyll or when we’re going to get Mr. Reid?

It doesn’t take a terabyte of memory to recall when Andy Reid said bluntly following the game one debacle against the Tennessee Titans, “It’s my fault for not getting the ball into the hands of our best playmaker Jamaal Charles.” At the time, such admitted frankness was refreshing. Now, after watching Coach Reid make the exact same mistake on Sunday afternoon, it’s at the very least… creepy. You could call it “schizo” or even a bit Jekyll-n-Hyde-ish but in any event, you can’t ignore it.

What I think really happens is… when pressured… Andrew Walter Reid slips into panic mode. Even if you consider it a little bit of panic… it is panic. It reminds me of what happens to some kids who are studying in school and reading right along… and then something happens to distract them… and suddenly they are living a different reality.

Andy Reid literally loses his place on the page.

What page? The play chart he is holding in his hand throughout the whole game.

The evidence for this is wide. In fact, some Philly fans warned us about this behavior when we signed him as a coach.

The clock mismanagement at the end of halves is another sign that their is a breakdown in the thinking… or focusing… processes for Coach Reid.

Do I have a degree in Psychology? Yes, but that’s really beside the point. I have not sat down with Andy Reid and made any kind of personal assessment of his pathological history or personality traits. However, as it is with so many students who walk through my door, their “ongoing deviance” hits me in the face soon enough.

Am I attacking Andy Reid’s character? I don’t think so at all. I am a big Andy Reid supporter. Always have been, always will be. Andy Reid’s character is sterling. A family man. A church going Mormon with high values. Andy Reid is to be admired… personally and professionally.

That’s right, professionally Reid deserves much adulation for his accomplishments and is respected around the league as one of the top coaches out there today.

However, Andy Reid is not a perfect person (or coach) and he’ll tell you that himself. That’s why he says… on a regular basis… “There are things we all can work on to improve and that goes for the coaches too, including myself.”

If someone says they made a mistake and then changes their behavior, they are to be congratulated. If they apologize and then repeat the same exact mistakes? What then? After all,

  • Knile Davis rushed for 100+ yards in the past two games but was given 7 total snaps in this contest and 2 runs total. That’s unforgivable.
  • Travis Kelce had 2 total touches.
  • 31 passing plays and 19 running plays is reverting to his Philly cheese mistakes days.
  • 1 touch for DeAnthony Thomas (DAT) from the LOS. 2 touches for DAT in returns.

On Monday, in his piece called “The Kansas City Chiefs Lost For The Wrong Reasons,” Lyle Graversen shared a striking fact about the passing targets vs. the 49ers,

"“…Alex Smith had 31 attempts and Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Dwayne Bowe, Travis Kelce, and DeAnthony Thomas only saw a combined total of 13 targets.”"

Now, there are primary and secondary receivers, and some of this responsibility can be laid to rest right at the feet of Alex Smith. However, the Chiefs playmakers must be the one’s on the receiving end of the play design. The play design drawn up by Coach Reid. Any variance from that pattern must be stopped by the head coach and pointed out to the QB… during the game.

The Chiefs players were clearly good enough to win on Sunday. That’s significant when you consider that the 49ers have been to two straight NFC Championship games (and I might add that one Alex Smith helped them get to one of those). Yes, Chiefs players made mistakes but the fault for this loss lies with the head coach for his bad decisions.

Denial often follows bad decisions too. When Andy Reid was asked why Jamaal Charles only got four carries in the first half he first skirted the issue by talking about… other drives… the second half… bad blocking… and then offered this up,

"“… we could’ve done a better job of giving him more carries and a better opportunity, in particular – when I say look in the mirror – that third and one. If I had to do it all over again – and this is hindsight – but I’d probably come back and hand it to him and give him an opportunity to make a play.”"

It’s that kind of inconsistency that drives me crazy.

If you understand the dynamics of one person calling another person “crazy” it’s usually based on one person… the one calling the other crazy… who is angry for something they’ve done. Consequently, coming to the conclusion that the person who made you angry is having a psychotic break, isn’t going to help you, or them.

So, what the heck really happened on Sunday to Andy Reid when it comes to his play calling because he’s clearly not seeing clearly? I’ll give you the answer to that question right now.

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K.C. Chiefs Coach Andy Reid: The Epitome Enigma