Andy Reid is a heckuva football coach. Big Red has been around the block a time or two, reaching the conference title game as the head man of the Philadelphia Eagles five times and the Super Bowl once. Yet, it wasn’t all roses for Reid when he first took the job in the city of Brotherly Love from defensive guru Ray Rhodes.
Reid inherited a bad Eagles team in 1999 and promptly drafted Donovan McNabb to become his franchise quarterback. The former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator then went 5-11 before turning the program around in 2000, finishing 11-5 before losing to the New York Giants in the Divisional round.
In 2001, Reid’s third year in Philadelphia, he won the NFC East and made it to the conference title game before narrowly losing to the St. Louis Rams. The season began a run that saw the Eagles win four consecutive division championships.
Reid is now entering his third year with the Chiefs, and the story seems to be following a similar script. Kansas City made the playoffs in one of Reid’s first two campaigns and actually had considerably more success (20-12 compared to 16-16). The Chiefs also appear to have an opening in the AFC West for the first time in years with the Denver Broncos enduring a tough offseason and the decline of Peyton Manning.
So the question is, can Reid win the division here in his third season like he did with Philadelphia? If so, can this become the start of a sustained run for the Chiefs, hopefully ending in the first Lombardi Trophy since 1969? Kansas City has its most complete roster since the Marty Schottenheimer era, maybe even predating those days depending on your opinion of Schottenheimer’s offenses.