Re-signings And Familiarity Thrust Chiefs Atop AFC West p. I

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Last year the mantra of the Seattle Seahawks was, “I want to win the Super Bowl for _________” fill in the blank with the name of one of their teammates. When members of a group feel a special connection to each other, then they will often care more about the task at hand. Andy Reid knows this well and so did Dick Vermeil. You could call each of them a people-person. Both spend a good deal of time bonding with players and you’ll often hear them call the players in the organization a family (the root word for familiar is “familia” meaning, family). The saying “The family that plays together… stays together” is especially fitting for Reid and company.


Continuity is the physics of perpetual motion. Once an object is set in motion it will continue to stay in motion. What this really means for the Chiefs this year is, there’ll be a lot less wasted time learning what’s new, because while you can expect Andy Reid to tweak his offense, players adjusting to those changes, are going to have one heck of a whole lot easier time of it than having to absorb the whole offensive scheme and playbook from scratch. Which I understand is rather lengthy. Here are a few of the advantages that continuity provides:

  1. Continuity offers stability. “Next to love, balance is the most important thing.”                                         ~John Wooden, Hall of Fame basketball player and coach.
  2. Continuity limits disruptions in the learning cycle, including scaffolding; the building of one piece of information upon another (Educational model).
  3. Continuity enables players to make the right decisions quickly (Business model).
  4. Continuity conserves energy (Scientific model).

Look at organizations like New England, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Baltimore and you’ll find so many of the same players coming back and you’ll also find a boat load of winning seasons in a row… and a few trophies in their cases.

A Continuity Hot Tip: those wanting the Chiefs to draft ILB Eric Kendricks just might get their wish. Andy Reid drafted Eric’s brother Mychal, also a linebacker, in 2012 with the 46th pick. Is there any evidence Reid might actually re-draft from the same family? Do you know who Travis Kelce’s brother is?  Andy selected Center Jason Kelce in the 6th round of the 2011 draft. Doesn’t it make you wonder why Andy Reid would do that? I think you know the answer by now. Rhymes with Zamiliarity. Also, if Kendricks is still on the board when the Chiefs draft in the second round, I will feel completely comfortable predicting who the Chiefs pick will be.


When players are bold they presume they know. You could also call it confidence. The players who have been around the horn with you are usually poised and don’t have to second-guess. Then those players… just go for it. You’ve heard the saying many times, “He who hesitates is lost.” When surrounded by those who are well known to us, we are far less hesitant to be daring.


Players are more open with coaches when they know and trust them. Familiarity improves openness because those we know are more likely to hear and understand what we’ve said. If the communication is not flowing… back and forth… between coach & player the outlook is not very good. If you already “know” and are “conversant” with the coaches, that is the very definition of being open.

"“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” ~Rollo May, Existential Psychologist"

This is one of the reasons Coach Andy Reid has long been considered one of the best coaches in the league, his ability to communicate with his players (and why LeSean McCoy thanked Andy Reid and not Chip Kelly when he left Philadelphia).


When you’re comfortable in your environment… everything is better. “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” When the Chiefs chose to re-sign their own players and keep them at home, they chose to make things easier for themselves. Let’s hope that doesn’t mean complacency.

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